Online lectures: Coursera

The fourth and final part in the mini-series about online education.

As tens of thousands of others, my first class on Coursera was Machine learning, led by Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng. It was clear from the beginning that it is a hit.

Professor Ng knows very well how to teach. The lectures were well structured, interesting and the principles of a given topic were communicated effectively. Coursera doesn’t make the same mistake as Udacity; lecutres are usually 10–14 mintues long with an occasional in-lecture quiz. Assignments for the ML course were stimulating and rewarding. Not that taking the ML course will make you a full-fledged data analysit (although some might argue otherwise), but you’ll learn the basics and get pointers to what to learn next.

It’s the same story with the rest of Coursera courses. They are fun and engaging, you’ll learn a great deal and know where to look next if you want to dive deeper in that particular subject.

From the technical standpoint, Coursera is not as advanced as Udacity (e.g. rewinding lecture video is a pain), but they’ve created a great paltform for online education. Plus, they are tailoring it to each course needs.

This, together with perfect content, partnership with top world universities, broad choice of topics make Coursera my online education platform of choise.

For some interesting behind the scenes info, watch this TED talk by Daphne Koller, Coursera co-founder.

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