Scale, Democratization, and Online Education

At Intead we have two passions: technology and education. In what capacity do these two loves merge better than in the online education sector? Our recent conversation with Coursera's Lisa Barrett was very exciting for us. We hope you'll enjoy it as well.  Click the Intead logo below and listen or download the episode from iTunes. 

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Lisa Barrett, the Director of Global Partnership Strategy at Coursera, joins Michael Waxman-Lenz, Intead CEO and co-founder, in an exciting discussion about the essentials of online education. With Coursera reaching 10 million+ learners, Ms. Barrett expertly discusses scale, reach, the democratization of education, and the future of online education. Coursera currently partners with 114 institutions throughout the world to provide a platform for online learning. Interestingly more of these institutions are non-American.

The conversation begins with an explanation of what motivates an institution or professor to build an online course. Ms. Barrett suggests there are wide range of reasons largely stemming from the mission of the institution or individual faculty member. Among the more popular reasons for creating an online course: global reach, teaching/learning research, and specific academic content research. Through an online course a professor can reach more students in one course than she could have previously reached in a lifetime of teaching!

Coursera’s audience reach is remarkable. Of the 10 million+ learners, only 35% are Americans. The global reach of Coursera is amazing. The largest growing segment is emerging markets including China and Brazil. High schoolers through mature adults take advantage of Coursera’s academic offerings. The majority of Coursera users have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and come to Coursera for continuing education, career changes, retooling, or growth.

Coursera is a social mission and throughout Coursera’s growth the mission has remained central. The democratization of education is critical.

The conversation includes discussion of:

  • potential for content licensing in the future
  • differences in program popularity in various markets
  • Coursera’s future plans data and data analysis

We have also collected interesting statistical facts on online education and various providers. Check out the Slideshare Presentation at the bottom of the page. 

Topics: MOOCS, Coursera

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