Global online education platform, Coursera, has launched new free versions and features for its Coursera for Campus offering, including upgrades focused on academic integrity which it says will address the long-term needs of higher education worldwide.
Coursera said the free plans aimed to help institutions move into the online space, and the new features sought to tackle academic integrity issues and online examinations, particularly for universities using their Coursera for Campus platform to deliver credit-bearing courses.
“As universities try to figure out with their faculty how do we move online, I don’t think a lot of people realize there are ready-made, high-quality content just ready to go,” said Coursera chief executive Jeff Maggioncalda.
“We have seen such incredible response from our campus response initiative that we thought we need to make a permanent, ongoing free option available so that universities can experiment with Coursera for Campus.”
Speaking with QS, Maggioncalda said recent surveys showed in the US, a significant proportion of institutions had no online courses, while many professors had never taught a course virtually.
“Online education is really new for the vast majority of universities,” he said.
The upgrades to Coursera for Campus continue the organization’s Campus Response Initiative, launched in March 2020 to help education providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Maggioncalda said they would help serve more students while study remains online, or for educators concerned over teaching in front of large groups of students.
Currently, more than 3,700 institutions use Coursera for Campus to teach over 2.4 million students worldwide. The platform also has 4,200 ready-made courses from universities and companies available to license, which Maggioncalda said would be a “big equalizer” in the online space.
“For eight years, we’ve been developing a platform for the 150 most elite universities in the world.
“[Universities] can catch immediately by licensing it and you can start developing your own institution’s capacity.”
The platform will also allow institutions to create their own question banks on licensed materials.
“We think there is going to be a really interesting blend between course material with private assessments that are unique to a given professor or institution,” Maggioncalda said.
Additional updates to Coursera for Campus include courses to boost student employability and mobile-enhancements to download courses for offline viewing.