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Coursera Review: Should You Choose It for Online Learning?

To be able to cope with the ever-evolving learning landscape, we need to get along well with technology. After the pandemic hit the world, online learning rose in popularity and is expected to be a mainstay in the education sector. Online learning platforms offer a lot of courses, which can be beneficial for a person who is trying to pursue a career. One of these platforms is Coursera. We will go over the service, the platform’s features, and the available courses in this Coursera review.

 

Coursera Review: What Is It?

Coursera
Photo from Coursera

 

Coursera is an online education platform that offers massive open online courses (MOOC). It is an ideal platform for everyone who is looking for additional knowledge and enjoys a quality of education at the same level as what some universities offer. Furthermore, with Coursera, you’ll be able to gain global exposure and additional credentials to back your resume up.

Coursera provides certification and degree courses from the world’s top universities. It has partnered with well-known universities, which include Stanford, Duke, Penn, Princeton, Michigan, Peking, and HEC Paris, for all its classes. In addition, it also partners with top companies, including Amazon Web Services, Google, PwC, and IBM.

The professors who are teaching the courses are focusing on video lectures so that a lot of people around the world will be able to learn something new. Besides, what makes it a favorite online learning platform is that it provides good quality education and knowledge that are accessible to all people anywhere in the world. Moreover, it is easy to take courses on this platform since it offers a flexible schedule to learn. You can access its courses anytime, anywhere using your laptop and smartphone.

If you are enjoying this Coursera review, check out our articles on MasterClass, Udemy, and Skillshare as well.

 

Coursera Plus

This is Coursera’s annual subscription program with a 14-day money-back guarantee. It provides unlimited access to more than 3,000 courses, specializations, and professionals. However, it does not include MasterTrack Certificates and Degrees. It will cost you $399 per year.

This subscription allows you to take the courses that you would like simultaneously. People who want to take a lot of different courses in a year will benefit from this subscription more.

 

Popular Topics on Coursera

Coursera Learning
Photo from Coursera

 

Here are the popular topics covered by Coursera:

  • Computer Science
  • Personal Development
  • Business
  • Health
  • Physical Science
  • Information Technology
  • Language Learning
  • Data Science
  • Engineering
  • Art and Humanities
  • Math and Logic
  • Social Sciences

 

Coursera Partner Institutions and Universities

  • The World Bank Group
  • Northwestern University
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Princeton University
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • DeepLearning.AI
  • Google AR and VR
  • Universities of Pennsylvania, Toronto, Michigan, and Minnesota
  • Coursera Project Network
  • Stanford University
  • IBM
  • Yale University
  • University of Copenhagen

 

How to Sign Up on Coursera

sign up
Screenshot from Coursera

 

It is very easy to open an account for Coursera. Follow the steps below to do so.

  1. On your browser, go to www.coursera.com.
  2. Click on “Join for Free.”
  3. You can also register by linking existing accounts. You can choose to link your Facebook, Google, or Apple Account. On the other hand, if you prefer another way, just enter your full name, e-mail address, and make a password.
  4. After that, click on “Join for Free.”
  5. You will then receive a confirmation message.

 

 

Coursera Review: Features

No Coursera review will be complete without taking a look at its features. Here are Coursera’s features that make them stand out from their competitors.

 

Getting Started

 

After signing up on Coursera, you will be directed to a page where you will be asked about your employment, education, and future goals. These will help Coursera to find courses that will suit you. On your homepage, click on the “My Courses” section to see your progress, the courses you completed, or look for new courses that you want to take. To view the courses by category, and see what Coursera has to offer, click on the “Explore” button.

You will also see the free courses and the top-rated ones. When you click on a specific course, you will see the course overview, which provides the course syllabus, the instructor, and reviews from other students who have taken the course before. You’ll also get to know how long it takes to complete a specific course.

You can enroll in classes and pay with your credit card or PayPal account. Moreover, you can choose to audit the course for free. Once enrolled, you can access the materials. The video lectures for each course usually run from 10-15 minutes. You’ll finish these in a number of weeks.

There will also be assignments, readings, and quizzes that you need to complete so you can continue with the course. You will also have access to the “Forums,” which lets you discuss the materials with other students. You will get to know other people, make friends with them, and share your thoughts and ideas with them.

 

Video Subtitles and Visual Aids

You can find captions below the video, which will make it easier for you to follow along and understand the lessons. It is especially beneficial for people who better learn if they read the lessons rather than hear them.

You will enjoy the videos of the lessons. The videos present close-ups of the speakers and detailed illustrations of the concepts that they are explaining.

 

Well-Organized Lessons

You will already know what you are going to anticipate along the way since the syllabus and the course outline are presented in the introduction.

 

Quizzes, Assignments, and Exams

Quizzes
Photo from Coursera

 

These will be given to you to test your knowledge and everything that you have learned in the video lectures.

 

Forums

This lets you post questions about the topics so you will get support from other students. Moreover, this will let you engage in course discussions with your fellow students.

 

Interactive Lessons

You get to learn more as Coursera lets you engage in active learning. The lecturers may ask you some questions that will let you pay attention and become more motivated.

 

Certificate of Completion

You will get a certificate when you pay for a course. The certificate can be used to back up your resume and can be attached to your LinkedIn profile.

 

Wide Variety of Learning Options

You can choose among individual courses, specializations, guided projects, MasterTrack Certificates, and degrees and MBAs programs.

 

Financial Aid

Financial Aid
Screenshot from Coursera

 

Users can apply for a scholarship or financial assistance if they don’t have enough money to enroll.

 

Cross-Platform Support

Courses can be taken using your desktop, laptop, or smartphone.

 

Personalized Recommendations

You will be given course recommendations based on what suits you.

 

Coursera Course Types and Certifications

Certificates
Screenshot from Coursera

 

In this part of our Coursera review, we discuss the courses and certifications that Coursera offers.

 

Individual Courses

These are the courses that belong to the “Course Audit” option or the “Auditing” course. You can access different courses on a wide variety of topics free of charge. The courses include a particular topic or skill that can be completed in just a few weeks. If you are just interested in learning and not after earning a certificate, you can take and enjoy as many of these courses as you like for free.

  • AI in Healthcare – Stanford University
  • Social Media Marketing – Northwestern University
  • Content Strategy for Professionals – Northwestern University
  • Palliative Care Always – Stanford University

 

Course Certificates

As stated above, there are a lot of different courses with a huge variety of topics that you can access. However, if you want to have access to graded exercises, assignments, additional quizzes, exams, and peer-reviewed papers, you need to make a payment. Moreover, you will be given a certificate as proof that you were able to finish a particular course but, you have to remember that aside from your payment, the graded classwork materials are also requirements for you to get your certification.

Lessons used to last up to six weeks, and each course certificate will cost you from $29 to $99. You can make a one-time payment then you’ll have 180 days to consume the course. If you are interested to take certificate courses, you can see the cost of each course on its respective home page.

In addition to this, you can include your certification to back up your resume and even add it to your LinkedIn profile. It will be an additional credential that you can attach to your resume. However, your course certificate will not translate to professional or academic credits.

  • Machine Learning – Stanford University
  • The Science of Well Being – Yale University
  • Technical Support Fundamentals – Google
  • Neural Networks and Deep Learning – DeepLearning.AI

 

Guided Projects

This is new to Coursera. These include some interesting short projects that will only take a couple of hours. You can take some of these short projects for $10 each.

  • Getting Started with Power BI Desktop
  • Build a Full Website using WordPress
  • Programming a Quantum Computer with Qiskit
  • Sentiment Analysis (BERT Deep Learning)

 

Specializations

These are selected groups of a certain set of courses focusing on the same or particular topic. If you take this option, you get to have a specialization certificate on a specific career that you want to master.

However, you need to complete a series of tests, submit hands-on projects, and take the quizzes. This is mostly applicable if you want to master a career-related skill. You have to take multiple numbers of classes, and these will help you to master some skills. The specialization certificate will then be given to you after you finish the set of courses.

In addition to this, lessons are mostly between four to six months. It uses a monthly subscription basis. These courses will cost you from $39 to $79 monthly. You can reduce the cost if you are a fast learner since you can take the course as quickly as you want. Also, you can spend more time and commit yourself to learn and finish the course quicker. And since it works on a subscription basis, you will have access to all the materials for each course covered by the specialization course.

However, you’ll be charged again if you wish to add another specialization. You have to remember that partial refunds are not allowed, so you have to cancel your subscription before your next payment. There is also a seven-day free trial that lets you cancel your subscription within a week if you feel that the course is not for you.

 

MasterTrack Certificates

This is another step that involves real-world projects, online modules, interactive learning with friends, and live instructions from the expert. It will help you to make progress and earn certificates toward a Master’s degree that will help you gain credits if you wish to have a full degree program. What makes it different from the regular master’s degree program is that it comes in a modular format.

However, unlike other online education, the courses here have a specific time duration. It means that the courses do not start at any random time. It is better to check their respective schedules before enrolling.

You can be sure that you will finish without hassle. This is because the programs are divided into several modules. Furthermore, it may take you four to eight months to complete and will cost you around $2,000-$5,000, which can be paid in full or in installments. However, there is a potential that you can get scholarships or funding. Before you apply for a Master’s Certificate, there are a few required certifications. The university will review your application, and there will be verification.

 

Professional Certification

Professional Certificates
Screenshot from Coursera

 

This is the same with Individual courses and Specializations, but they are more into building a career. It involves training programs to build your portfolio and help you prepare for your prospective job. With that, it is said to be the best option for those who are seeking a job. It will help you to get certification that organizations recognize and can lead to accreditation.

To earn this certificate, you need to enroll in a program and pay for it. It will cost you $499 a year. However, you also need to pass all the required courses and meet all the given requirements.

  • Data Engineering with Google Cloud – Google Cloud
  • UCI Project Management – University of California, Irvine
  • Cloud Architecture with Google Cloud – Google Cloud
  • IBM Cybersecurity Analyst – IBM

 

Degrees and MBAs

With this option, you can enroll for an online Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree. These are equivalent to what you will receive from a regular university or college. However, they are much cheaper. It will take you one to three years to earn a degree and will cost you $15,000 to $25,000 for a complete course. For MBA courses, they will cost you more than $100,000. However, all the credentials here are legitimate, and you get to enjoy flexibility in studying since it is online and can still manage your busy schedule.

That concludes the courses and certifications section of our Coursera review. Continue reading to see the pros and cons, as well as comparison VS other learning platforms.

 

Coursera Review: The Pros and Cons

In this part of our Coursera review, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of enrolling in their classes.

PROS

  • Electronic course certificate given upon completion of the course.
  • A large number of partnerships with well-known universities and institutions
  • Courses that are free to audit
  • Structured learning environment
  • Fully accredited and university-level courses
  • Financial aid feature
  • Updated topics and courses
  • Easy to navigate
  • Study at your own pace

CONS

  • Inadequate assessments
  • Not easy to access support
  • Some courses depending on peer grading
  • Forums sometimes unmoderated
  • MasterTrack programs a bit expensive

 

 

Coursera vs. Other Online Learning Platforms

In this section of our Coursera review, let’s see how it stacks up against the competition.

 

Coursera vs. Udemy

Udemy
Photo from Play Store

 

The main difference between these two online platforms is that the courses under Coursera are affiliated with well-known universities and institutions. However, the courses that Udemy offers are not accredited, and a few individuals created them. While Coursera gives chance to learners to gain certification and degrees online, Udemy gives people a chance to earn money by developing and teaching courses. Moreover, Udemy’s courses are a lot cheaper with a wide range of courses.

In addition to this, Coursera offers free courses, while in Udemy, there is no free option. Also, there is no guarantee for the quality of learnings that you will get from Udemy, unlike with Coursera, wherein the courses are drafted by some of the best instructors.

 

Coursera vs. MasterClass

MasterClass
Screenshot from MasterClass

 

Coursera’s courses are crafted by great instructors, while for MasterClass, the instructors are the best in their respective fields. While MasterClass is more focused on teaching people’s passion to develop, Coursera is more focused on academic subjects that people can use some of the courses to earn a degree or MBA along the way.

 

Coursera vs. Skillshare

Skillshare review
Photo by Skillshare

 

The production and content quality of Skillshare are not as good as that of Coursera. Skillshare focuses more on developing one’s creative skills. However, Skillshare is much cheaper than Coursera, and the courses are more on how to do things. There are courses for business and fun as well. Skillshare has courses that can be easily learned.

 

Set Out on the Right Course With Coursera

Coursera is an ideal choice if you are looking for a great learning experience. Not only can you try some of its courses for free, but also you can gain a certificate as you pursue a course. The decision for a subscription is always up to you. You can opt to continue your learning to have a certificate, or just be satisfied with the free courses.

Moreover, as the courses are by professors from well-known universities, you can be sure that you will learn a lot. You can use all the knowledge that you earned, and depending on what you take, you can earn a degree or an MBA.

As it offers flexibility, you can always learn at your own pace. With that, you can choose if you want to learn or work at a particular time. If you are passionate enough to learn, Coursera is a great place for you.

Coursera Review: Should You Choose It for Online Learning?

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