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Can Coursera Really Help You Reach Your Goals?

What do we think about Coursera

We say it's one of the best online platforms you can find. They offer many high-quality courses with professional certificates offered by top universities. It has its fair share of issues and it can be a bit pricey. 

But there are many ways you can take advantage of it and use Coursera in your favor. In our honest review, you'll learn what you can find in Coursera our experience, its credibility, and how much it costs. 

Starting with: What is Coursera? It's a super popular open online education platform launched in 2012 and partnered with major universities and companies that offer all types of accredited courses. 

We included them in our list of best online learning platforms, which you can find later if you want to see other options. In total, they have six kinds of programs. First, we have their free courses, which are video lectures with assignments where you can earn a certificate by paying a fee once you complete them. 

They also have guided projects; short tutorials where you learn a specific skill in just under 2 hours. Then we have specializations that focus on a specific skill and professional certificates where you can learn at your own pace and have to complete assignments to prove your knowledge. 

Coursera also offers two types of college education programs. One is their MasterTrack certificates. These are a portion of a Master's program and count as valid college credits. And the other is its complete degree programs, which work just like any other college course and let you study online anytime and earn credit. 

Regardless of your background and goals, you'll find something for you in Coursera. Over eleven different categories, each with tons of different courses to take. Coursera is not an accredited platform, but all of its courses are offered by recognized institutions that are accredited. 

They are partnered with over 275 world-class universities and companies like Google, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, IBM, and many, many more. They are 100% legit. We can start with our Coursera experience. To summarize the sign-in process, we can say it's super easy and fast.

You register for free with an email or a Google or Facebook account and that's it. To find your course, you can use their search bar and find specifically what you're looking for. But if you want to do more in-depth research, you can go to the Explore page.

In case you don't know where to begin, you can add personal information like where you work or what career you are pursuing. It'll give you personalized suggestions for courses that suit your skills and goals. 

Regarding our experience, we wanted to take one of their most popular courses, so we chose Learning how to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects. On any course's main site, you can find all the important details you need to know: User ratings, approximate time to completion, a bio and credentials of the instructors, and a detailed syllabus with all the content included. 

Besides its great reviews and beginner-level status, we chose this particular course because it's 100% free, with official certification included. Now that we have our course, we can start with its lessons. 

You can set how many days per week you can join so Coursera can track your progress and suggest more personalized due dates. It's easy and intuitive, and you have quick access to the content, your grades, the assignments, and a resource section with more specific FAQs and extra reading material. 

We really liked that their layout is very similar to a college's portal, just like Canva or Blackboard. Just like in a college course, you should start by watching the video lessons and then move on to the assignments. 

The most common are quizzes and exams, which can be integrated into the video lessons or graded assignments that you'll find in each module to prove you've understood that week's content. Then we have the discussion forms. 

Participating is not mandatory, but you can check out if you want to share your insight with the rest of the students or find relevant tips and stories that add valuable information to the course. And finally, we have peer-graded assignments which require you and your classmates to grade each other's work. 

This is one of Coursera's biggest issues. As we mentioned, Coursera gives you suggested due dates. There are no definitive due dates. The course is 100% flexible. How much you learn depends on your commitment and your desire to learn. 

We recommend sticking to these due dates because late submission can mean you won't be graded or have to wait for more than you should. Quizzes are multiple-choice, so that's done automatically. But then you'll have to review some of your peer's assignments while they grade yours. 

The number of reviews each assignment needs depends on the course instructor, and the average score of all the reviews will be your final grade. If you follow their due dates and submit your work on time, you'll likely get a grade within a week, as other students usually review activities within three days of their deadline. 

This way, you'll need at least one review from your classmates, even if the class asks for multiple reviews. Now, if you submit an assignment at least three days later than the suggested due date, you'll need all the required peer reviews. 

This is an issue because depending on how late you upload it, there is a chance there won't be enough active users to grade your work. In case you do this and there aren't enough active users to grade you, you'll have to keep submitting your assignment until there are. 

But the key takeaway here is that you are not being graded by an industry expert. For us, peer-graded assignments are not the best way. Having someone with the same knowledge level reviewing your hard work won't have the same result as the one an experienced professor would give. 

You rely 100% on how your classmates want to grade you. But aside from this grading issue, Coursera is excellent. Lessons are interesting and easy to follow, quizzes clearly test your knowledge, and the discussion forum is filled with super helpful information on how to understand the course. 

It was truly a great experience. How much does Coursera cost? If you're willing to invest in their courses, you can pay anywhere from $9.99 per month for guided projects and $49 to $79 per month for professional certificates and specializations. 

But if you want to go to their college content, higher university-issued certificates start at $2,000 per course, while online degree programs begin at $9,000. If you want to take advantage of their wide variety of top-quality courses, you have the option of Coursera Plus.

This is their subscription plan that grants you access to more than 7,000 courses and certifications. It costs $59 per month or $399 per year, and you can see if you like it with their seven-day free trial. 

We recommend Coursera Plus if you plan on taking more than one course. If you have the time and the motivation, you can save hundreds of dollars. But if you're looking for a one-time course it's better to pay for it or even choose the Coursera audit track first. 

Just go to Coursera and start looking until you find the one for you. We hope we have helped you better understand how Coursera works. 

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