Coursera free courses
University courses are quickly moving online in the face of COVID-19. Source: Glenn Carstens-Peters/Unsplash

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, Coursera has made its full course catalogue available for free online to every university that has had to close down.

Universities need only sign up for Coursera for Campus to access 3,800 courses across 400 specialisations, straight from the online learning portal’s partner institutions. Students stand to earn up to 5,000 licences from these courses. 

These institutions will have access until July 31 2020, while students will have until September 30, 2020, to complete their courses. Beyond that, Coursera will roll out monthly extension plans on a need basis.

On top of that, these Coursera free courses on offer cover a wide range of topics from business and technology to healthcare and physical sciences. This allows students across disciplines to continue their high-quality education from anywhere in the world throughout this pandemic. 

When universities opt for Coursera free courses, they grant students access to bite-sized video lessons from renowned professors, disseminated in multiple languages on multiple devices. These are complemented by applied projects, interactive quizzes and peer-reviewed assignments. 

All these materials are available via one central learning programme, which creates a tight virtual community of faculty and students in a time when gathering physically is simply unfeasible. 

Coursera free courses

Some institutions have set up drive-through testing facilities for COVID-19, such as this one at the University of Utah’s Sugar House Health Clinic. Source: George Frey/AFP

Duke University pilots Coursera free courses

It was fortunate that Duke University had spent the last seven years setting up its online learning infrastructure. Within three weeks of the global health scare, its team managed to design online course materials to match desired learning outcomes. 

Thanks to this groundwork, the university was prepared to hit the ground running.

Duke University used Coursera for Campus to serve impacted students at their Duke Kunshan campus in China. As a result, faculties were able to carry out classes online after Chinese New Year and will continue to do so in the upcoming semester with the full support of lecturer and student communities.

According to Matthew Rascoff, who spearheads Duke’s digital efforts, the faculty benefited from “access to a high-quality library of courseware from hundreds of Coursera partners”. “Students dived right into learning new skills on their own – some finishing four courses in just the first few days,” he said.

Check out how the Manipal Academy of Higher Education uses Coursera to its benefit in this video.

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