With over 7 million users, Coursera’s online community has grown exponentially since its launch in 2012. Instructors and students alike tell us that Coursera’s robust and stimulating online community is an essential part of their learning experience–as is the support Coursera is able to give to that community.
To that end, Coursera is delighted to welcome Amber Saloner Tennant as VP of User and Community Operations, who joins us this week to take on the challenge of managing and scaling community and user support. At Coursera, Amber will lead all community and user support efforts, including student and instructor support, Coursera’s Community TA program, and more.
Amber joins Coursera following a three-year term at Facebook, where she first ran Mobile and Product Operations and later served as Director of User Operations. Amber’s team of 250 people provided support for Facebook’s 1 billion+ users. Using a creative combination of crowd-sourcing, out-sourcing, and automation, Amber managed to make Facebook’s support process much more efficient while scaling it out considerably.
Amber earned a B.A. and M.B.A. from Stanford and participated in Teach for America. Read on to learn more about her plans for Coursera’s community.
What interests you about Coursera and/or online education?
My first job after college was teaching elementary school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn with Teach For America. Though I knew what the “achievement gap” meant academically, it wasn’t until I entered my classroom that I truly understood the impact it had. My students were smart and eager fourth graders who should have been able to read age-appropriate literature like Harry Potter, but struggled through very basic texts like See Spot Run. Their educational prospects, as is so often the case, were largely determined by where they were born. Though high quality education is a basic human right, the reality today is that it is only available to a lucky minority. This situation needs to change, and I believe Coursera is the platform to facilitate this shift in access. I am thrilled and humbled to join their incredibly talented and committed team, and help them work towards a world where an excellent education is available to all.
What are you looking forward to focusing on at Coursera?
I fundamentally believe education has the power to change people’s life trajectories and make the world a better place. I am delighted to work with the Coursera community to make their experience as positive, engaging, and rewarding as possible.
Courserians, please welcome Amber in the comments below!
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