Special Reports

Coursera’s Daphne Koller On Online Education – Part 2


Online education is helping a lot of students achieve their goals by offering convenience and flexibility in terms of schedules. Coursera, founded by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, ups the ante by providing these benefits and making courses free.

In her TED talk, Daphne Koller revealed the components for each course. The first component is made when education is moved away from the constraints of a classroom and its content is intentionally formatted and designed for online use.

For example, a one-hour lecture can be broken up to short, modular units of eight to 12 minutes. Each of these lectures represents a coherent concept. This format is also designed to break away from the one-size-fits-all model of traditional education, allowing for a more personalized curriculum.

The second component, and perhaps the major part for online education, is ensuring that students practice with the material to fully understand the concept. There are several practices that Coursera has incorporated in its site such as: simple retrieval and interactive quizzes.

Unlike the traditional classroom setting where information is not so effectively shared, online education allows students to replay videos and retain the knowledge gained from each course. It also helps students engage with the material.

Moreover, Coursera uses technology to check the work of 100,000 students. Grading different types of homework is just a breeze with the technology we have today. "This ability to interact actively with the material and be told when you're right or wrong is really essential to student learning," Koller said.

Coursera also has online forums where students can interact with each other. Koller noted that the average response time for a question on the Q&A forum was 22 minutes.

So what could an online college contribute to society by offering top quality education to everyone around the world for free? First, it would support the idea that education is a fundamental human right and could be used for an individual to gain the necessary skills to improve their way of living.

Second, it would encourage lifelong learning. With amazing and quality content being offered for free, there would be lesser hindrances for people to continue moving forward. Lastly, online education could be the start of a wave of innovation from talents all over the world.

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