Duke’s Online Learning Model Expands to Other Universities

When Duke student Sinclair Toffa (TC ‘18) first heard about Coursera for Duke his reaction was, “This is fantastic.” So he was not surprised when he heard that Duke’s unique model of online co-curricular learning has become a model that 10 other universities are following.

Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda announced a pilot program replicating Duke’s strategy earlier this month at Coursera’s annual Partner’s Conference in Tempe, Arizona. The program, called Coursera for Partners, allows universities to offer their students free access to their Coursera courses and is based directly on the Coursera for Duke program recently launched at Duke University, according to Maggioncalda.

Coursera for Duke gives Duke students, staff, and faculty free access to Duke’s 50+ online courses and Specializations on Coursera. Coursera for Duke was conceived by Duke Learning Innovation to provide flexible, digital learning opportunities to the Duke community. Now 10 additional universities, soon to be announced, will pilot similar access to their own courses through Coursera for Partners in the coming months.

Duke University President Vincent E. Price said of the announcement, “Learning and teaching are changing, and we at Duke aim to be at the forefront, leading that change for the better. I’m pleased to see a promising new model of co-curricular digital learning, incubated at Duke, scale so quickly to 10 other universities worldwide.”

Matthew Rascoff, Duke’s Associate Vice Provost for Digital Education & Innovation,  sees Coursera for Duke as one way to expand the universe of learning at Duke. ”It offers the Duke community opportunities to enhance skills, branch out, and explore new topics – at learners’ pace, with no grade, and no risk,” he said. “The digital co-curriculum of Coursera for Duke complements the formal curriculum with prerequisite ‘Level-Ups,’ college-to-career skill bridges, and interdisciplinary learning expeditions.”

In the two months since Coursera for Duke launched, over 500 students have participated in over 4000 hours of learning through the program. Completion rates of the courses are more than double the usual rates for Duke’s Coursera courses.

Duke Student Government executive vice president Kushal Kadakia said,”Coursera for Duke just launched in December but Duke students are already loving it. Our outreach on social media reached over a thousand students in less than a week, and enrollment over the past few months has been through the roof”.

“Coursera eliminates the false dilemma that students face between taking classes you ‘want’ versus class you think you ‘need.’ Digital learning allows us to study our passions on campus while acquiring skills online – all while moving at our own pace and without pressure to ensure we can meet the demands of the rapidly evolving modern economy.”