Coursera: Blowing My Mind One Free Class At A Time


Inc.’s Leadership section is a spot I frequently check into each day.  I love tying leadership to public speaking and presentation, and learning something new helps me make my course content more relatable to my business students.  My favorite articles as of late have been written by Jeff Haden.  Learn more about Haden’s work here.

Imagine my surprise when I logged onto Inc. Leadership on Wednesday evening…  I saw an article by Aaron Aders called “Take an Ivy League Class for Free.”  Intrigued, I clicked to learn more.  Certainly, I thought, there’s a catch.

Turns out, there’s not.

Coursera has a clear goal, as explained in the “About Me” section of their website, and it is pretty simple: “We are a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free […] Through this, we hope to give everyone access to the world-class education that has so far been available only to a select few. We want to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in” (Source).

Daphne Koeller co-founded Coursera with Andrew Ng.  To learn more, check out Koeller’s TED Talk: “What we’re learning from online education.”


I browsed through the free courses offered and noted a wide variety of subjects and course content as well as a wide variety of timeframes.  You could take Gamification for 6 weeks or Think Again: How To Reason and Argue for 12 weeks.  Course categories include medicine, business and management, mathematics, and biology among many others.  Coursera’s instructors teach at prestigious universities such as Duke, Stanford, Princeton, and UC Berkley among others.  And every single course is absolutely free.

Excited, inspired, and ever-ready to learn, I immediately signed up for Modern and Contemporary American Poetry.  The course will begin on September 10 and will last for 10 weeks.  I’ll be sure to write a review after the first week and after the entire course is over.


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