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Stanford, Duke & Wharton free online marketing & management courses

Over 70,000 students a week enroll  into Coursera’s free online education courses in subjects ranging from management, marketing and programming. So,not surprisingly, the ticker is moving up every few seconds.

Courses such as “An introduction to marketing”, “Understanding media through Google” and “Design thinking” are just some of the programs that are providing access for millions to higher education for free.

Many of Coursera’s 400 courses are offered by some of the most prestigious universities such as; Columbia, Princeton, Harvard and even the Technion.

Just last month Coursera nabbed another stamp of approval with the closure of a $43 million investment round from the World Bank. Piling on the prestige, the American Council on Education (ACE) approved a handful of courses for credit, affording Coursera a boost ahead of Udacity and EdX.

So, just how did Coursera take the online university scene by storm? How come it has the blessing of the top universities and councils around the world? And how can you and I make the most of Coursera?

Coursera is a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) that is disrupting academia and heralding a transformation in higher education. I have to admit, MOOC at first sounded to me like street gang code, but the real meaning couldn’t be further from a back alley.

MOOCs are gaining momentum, just when students are facing dwindling options. They are forcing top ranking universities to sit up, shake the dust and budget for free online courses, even though they haven’t worked out a way to monetize them.

Eventually Coursera hopes to make a profit from offering verified certificates. But one of its biggest challenges is the huge drop-out rate of enrollers.

Today there is already a new breed of Coursera junkies who cannot collect certificates but find some courses a great way to step up their training and job seeking opportunities.

Here are some of the tips they offer to make the most out of the courses:

1. The introductory videos don’t necessarily lead on to the course content, best to give it a try before making conclusions

2. Although most courses don’t offer accreditation, to some employees they demonstrate a personal commitment to learning, so it’s important to emphasize the merit

3. Try taking a course with a friend, or even a study group, to get each other motivated

4. If you have a project requiring you to learn a particular topic, you’re going to be able to take better advantage of Coursera and other MOOCs

5. Don’t assume there is consistency between classes; some courses won’t require you to submit anything till the end while others will not pass you if you miss 30% of one week

6. Coursera can provide a structure for producing portfolio items; let’s say you want a job in advertising. It’s hard to just come up with a fake campaign without somebody giving you some constraints and strategy.

7. Learn your limits, don’t enroll in more than one time-demanding course at once, try out the first week and quit if it doesn’t appeal to you

8. One of the most recommended courses is Wharton’s marketing course, which is a part of their MBA program. It focuses on branding strategies, customer centricity and new market entry.

For more, follow the twitter account; @MOOCNewsReviews, and the following Linkedin discussion thread; http://www.linkedin.com/groups/How-many-Coursera-certificates-you-4613607.S.232817708

Check out more marketing and business courses at: www.coursera.org

Debbie Meltzer


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