Two Stanford University professors and a dream to educate the world, that’s what started Coursera.
Two Stanford University professors and a dream to educate the world, that’s what started Coursera. The service offers university-level courses to anyone with an Internet for free and just raised $16 million from venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
“Imagine a future where the top universities are educating thousands of people,” said co-founder Andrew Ng in an interview with VentureBeat.
Ng and co-founder Daphne Koller started Coursera with three classes in fall 2011 from Stanford. For at least one of the classes, Ng tells me, there were 100,00 students enrolled. In typical online course fashion, lectures were video-tapped and there was a discussion forum for students to get help or discuss concepts. Koller and Ng were blown away by the forums: Thousands of students were conversing about their course work, with question response times averaging at 22 minutes. Because of the shear volume of students from around the world, someone was almost always online to help.