Internet, Networking, & Security Around the Web 89 89 people found this article helpful Guide to Taking Free Coursera Courses An online learning platform for everyone By Leslie Walker Writer Former Lifewire writer Leslie Walker is a multimedia journalism professor who covers social media, web publishing, and internet technologies. our editorial process Twitter Leslie Walker Updated March 15, 2020 The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home Introduction Babies & Pre-K Baby Sign Language Free Resources The Best Educational YouTube Videos for Toddlers The 5 Best Free iPad Apps for Toddlers Must-Have Apps for Kids Under 5 The 10 Best Kid Coloring Apps of 2020 11 Best Places To Play Free Preschool Games Elementary Age Learners Popular Apps for Elementary School Children Ages 5-8 The Best Educational Apps for the iPad The 4 Best Online Flashcards of 2020 14 Best Free Language Learning Websites of 2020 7 Free Programming Languages to Teach Kids How to Code Stream Free Educational Videos at TeacherTube Middle Schoolers & Young Teens The 6 Best Free Language Learning Apps of 2020 11 Best Free Typing Lessons for Kids The 21 Best Educational YouTube Channels for Kids The 10 Best Learning Apps of 2020 10 of the Most Popular Science and Education YouTube Channels The 6 Best Homework Apps to Help Students High Schoolers & Teens Best Apps for Your High Schooler Best Speed Reading Apps Best Apple TV Learning Apps Best Websites for Students 8 Best Note-Taking Apps PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Students College & Adult Learners The Best Research and Reference Websites Free Online Classes for Adults Guide to Taking Free Coursera Courses Best Ways to Find Free Online College Courses Online Music Lessons The Best Online Piano Lessons of 2020 The Best Online Drum Lessons of 2020 The Best Online Guitar Lessons of 2020 Free Online Learning Resources for All Ages Best Sites to Get Free Software for Students How to Get an Apple Student Discount How to Get a Microsoft Store Student Discount Students and Teachers Get Microsoft Office for Free How to Get a Dell Student Discount How to Get an HP Student Discount How to Get the Best Buy Student Discount How to Get an .Edu Email Account Hill Street Studios / Getty Images Tweet Share Email Coursera is a leading online education service launched in 2012 to offer college courses online to anyone for free. Free Coursera courses are available in all kinds of subjects, and typically thousands of students simultaneously take each one at the same time. Millions of people are signing up to take the hundreds of available free courses, typically taught by professors at dozens of well-known universities that have partnered with Corsera. Each educational course is known as a MOOC, an acronym for "massive open online course." Partners include Ivy League schools like Harvard and Princeton as well as large, top-tier state universities such as the Universities of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Michigan. For a full list of participating schools, visit the Coursera universities page. What You Get From Coursera Courses Free Coursera courses offer video lectures and interactive exercises (at no charge to students, as previously stated.) They do not typically offer official college credit, which could be applied toward a college degree. However, Coursera does offera form of certification by providing people who finish all of the coursework a signed "certificate of completion." Students must pay a fee, though, to get a certificate, and they are not available for all courses, at least not yet. Coursera does offer a few degree programs from major universities through their platform. This includes both bachelor's and master's programs. Courses offered by Coursera typically last up to 10 weeks and include a couple of hours of video lessons each week, along with interactive online exercises, quizzes, and peer-to-peer communication among students. In some cases, there's a final exam, too. What Courses Can I Take at Coursera.org? Subjects covered in Coursera's curriculum not as diverse as those at many small and midsize colleges. The service was started by two computer science professors from Stanford, so it's especially strong in computer science. Coursera also offers a robust business catelog. There's a full list of available courses on the website that you can browse. What Learning Techniques Does Coursera Employ? Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller did a lot of research into pedagogical approaches and using artificial intelligence to boost student learning and engagement. As a result, Coursera's classes typically rely heavily on requiring students to actively do things in order to reinforce learning. So, for example, you might expect a video lecture to be interrupted multiple times to ask you to answer a question about the material you've just seen. In homework assignments, you should get immediate feedback. And in some cases with interactive exercises, if your answers suggest you haven't mastered the material yet, you may get a randomized repeat exercise to give you more opportunity to figure it out. Social Learning in Coursera Social media are applied in Coursera classes in various ways. Some (not all) courses use peer-to-peer evaluation of student work, in which you will evaluate the work of your fellow students and others will evaluate your work, too. There are also forums and discussions allowing you to communicate with other students taking the same course. You may also be able to see questions and answers from students who previously took the course. How to Sign up and Take a Coursera Course Go to Coursera.org and start browsing the available courses. Note that the courses are usually offered on specific dates, with a starting and ending week. They are synchronous, meaning students take them at the same time, and they are only available at the state times. That is different from another type of online course, which is asynchronous, meaning you can take those any time you want. When you find one with an interesting title, click on the course title to see the page explaining the course in more detail. It will list the starting date, state how many weeks it lasts and give a short summary of the workload in terms of the hours typically required from each student. It usually offers a good description of the course content and bio of the instructors. If you like what you see and want to participate, press the blue SIGN UP button to enroll and take the course.