#SUNYCIT – Learners First: Coursera’s Approach to the Creation of the Best Learning Experiences

#SUNYCIT - Learners First- Coursera's Approach to the Creation of the Best Learning Experiences

Andreina Bloom Parisi-Amon, Coursera Teaching and Learning Team Manager, presented on lessons learned at Coursera. This presentation contained a number of key points. I recommend that you watch the recording and view my notes.

Because of the number of courses and the number of learners, Coursera has been able to analyze the data and determine what makes a good learning experience. According to Coursera, the majority of learners took courses to help their careers, others used Coursera to pursue academic goals.

According to Coursera, the majority of learners took courses to help their careers, others used Coursera to pursue academic goals.

Andreina outlined their course design process:

  • Content Strategy
  • Learning Objectives
  • Application & Assessment
  • Accessible Instructional Materials
  • Iteration

A key consideration is “How should the learner be different after your course?”

In Coursera courses, learners did not shy away from difficult material. Learners understand the value of tough material and want to learn this challenging content. They appreciate progress.

It is important to learn from the learner about the right time schedule for disseminating content.

There were some really good tips regarding video production for courses:

  • Speaking faster yields better retention.
  • More in-video quizzes yield better retention.
  • Keep videos short (4-7 minutes).
  • Focus on important content.
  • Chunk content.

Here is a video example highlighted by Coursera:

Adding discussion prompts at key points increases participation.

One last note, you need to be able to iterate on your course as the course is happening. If a number of learners are getting a question wrong, you then need to clarify in the course as soon as possible.

This was an informative presentation that had nuggets of gold throughout. There are definitely lessons that can be applied to online courses.

Stan Skrabut, Ed.D.

Stan is Director of Technology-Enhanced Instruction. He has over 20 years experience working as an instructional technologist and trainer. He has a master’s degree in computing technology in education and a doctorate in education specializing in instructional technology.

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