Coursera offers free online course access to universities and colleges during coronavirus pandemic
In an attempt to make it easier for university students to continue to learn and continue their studies amid the spread of the novel coronavirus, online course provider Coursera has offered their online library to universities around the world.
The free access will be available through July 31 and universities can sign up through a special online portal that Coursera has set up (visit https://www.coursera.org/coronavirus to learn more). Coursera Chief Enterprise Officer Leah Belsky said that although the access is free to universities worldwide, those most impacted by the spread of COVID-19 may be given priority. After a student enrolls in individual courses, they will have access to the content through September 2020.
Universities and colleges, including Princeton, Stanford, Columbia and many others have canceled in-person classes in attempts to limit the spread of the virus. Some have been affected, others are closing out of an abundance of caution, and moving their instruction online so that students can still learn, even though they’re not in a lecture hall or receiving face-to-face instruction.
While many organizations in the United States are capable of moving online, the infrastructure may not be in place yet for universities around the world.
Belsky told Forbes that she sees the COVID-19 spread as a transformative moment for higher education, which has been slower to adopt tools like what Coursera offers.
“The higher education community will take a big leap forward because of the forced experimentation that’s happening during this crisis,” Belsky told Forbes.
The platform features content developed by top-tier educational partners like Columbia and Johns Hopkins University. Belsky said that Coursera offers “almost any course that you would find taught in a graduate or undergraduate curriculum.” She believes professors will find it easy to transition from their own curriculum to what Coursera offers.
As of March 10, more than half a million students were affected by class cancellations and campus closures, according to a report from NPR.
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