Coursera for Duke Gives Campus Community Free Access to 40+ Online Courses

broadhead center at night

Duke students, staff, and faculty can now take any of Duke’s online Coursera courses and earn a verified certificate for free. Coursera for Duke is a platform specifically for the Duke community to access courses on topics ranging from computer programming to writing, all taught by Duke faculty.

A Coursera Course Certificate is an official Coursera credential that verifies the identity of a learner and confirms that they successfully completed a course. Coursera Certificates can be shared on LinkedIn profiles or social media, and can be mentioned on a job application or resume. (They do not, however, provide academic or professional credits.) A monthly subscription to Coursera, which provides access to their catalog of courses, costs around $40 per month.

Matthew Rascoff, Associate Vice Provost for Digital Education and Innovation, said: “Coursera for Duke expands the universe of learning at Duke. Online co-curricular courses complement what we offer in the formal curriculum with opportunities to enhance skills, branch out, explore a topic, and challenge yourself – at your own pace, with no grade, and no risk.”

Coursera for Duke provides new opportunities for the campus community: students can take gain important skills and knowledge without having to add another class to their course schedule. Rascoff thinks this is especially important for Duke students to develop interdisciplinary skills: a history major can learn data analysis, or an engineer can improve their writing skills, without the worrying about their performance impacting their GPA.

Marie Rogers, a Duke sophomore majoring in computer science, started taking Duke’s “Programming Foundations in JavaScript, HTML and CSS” course on Coursera in Spring 2017. “I was in Comp Sci 101 at that point, and I wanted to explore a few new languages and have something I could add to my resume,” she said. “It’s definitely accessible for people who haven’t done computer science before.”

Simple Access, Flexible Deadlines

The campus community can access Coursera for Duke at online.duke.edu/coursera-for-duke. Visitors to the site will be prompted to log in using their Duke NetID. They will then be taken to a catalog of available courses. Individuals can enroll in any course at any time, and can enroll in as many courses as they want.

Most of the courses on Coursera for Duke take 4-6 weeks to complete, and require 8-10 hours of work per week. However, learners can take the course at whatever pace they want with no penalty, providing maximum flexibility for people with busy lives. The courses include suggested deadlines to help learners stay on track, but missing a deadline does not affect a learner’s grade or ability to earn a certificate. If a learner falls behind or wants more time to complete a course, they can switch to the next session.

“I like that you can change the deadline, because it doesn’t feel like there much pressure. You can do it when you create time for it.”

As Duke develops additional courses for Coursera, they will become available through Coursera for Duke as well. Currently in the works are a course on chimpanzee behavior and conservation being created by the Jane Goodall Institute Research Center at Duke and a series of courses on programming in C.

Learn more about Coursera for Duke.

Courtney Lockemer

Author: Courtney Lockemer

Courtney was formerly the Communications and Outreach Manager at Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL). She previously held a communications job in Duke’s Office of Information Technology, in which she helped promote innovative projects such as Duke’s iPod First Year Experience. Courtney holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton University as well as an M.F.A. in Studio for Interrelated Media from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.