Coursera – Quality University education for the world

About a month ago I discovered Coursera – a company that has partnered with top universities to provide online courses for free. I recently signed up (for free!) to the Listening to World Music course to experience an online course as well as learn about a subject of interest.

What was the motivation behind the founding of Coursera and how can such a course operate?

Watch this TED talk by Daphne Koller –  one of the founders of Coursera.

Browse the courses  at

This is what my web page looks like for the World Music course:

The video lectures are broken into 10 – 15 minute chunks. The videos often contain quizzes which I take to check my understanding. There are often links to other web sites such as YouTube links, or musician’s web sites.

Assessments are done by submitting a weekly assignment – 2 to 3 paragraphs – which is then assessed by other students.

There is a discussion forum where I can interact with other students.

So far, I am enjoying the community of students around the world, and enjoying the learning more than attending a lecture in person.


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