I’m taking a Coursera course


Coursera is a year-old American internet company that gets world-class university professors to run free, massive online courses that anyone can sign up for. They’re the largest online provider of free courses now, with tens of thousands of people signing up for courses. You can learn more about Coursera here.

I signed up for an 8-week course in Data Analysis which started this week. I did this for my own interest and because it’s good for me to challenge myself once in a while.

I’ve found the experience really interesting and engaging. The professor’s videos are extensive but focused. You can stop and start them whenever you like, and there are HTML and PDF versions of the course notes to download. This course has an online quiz every week, and will have a couple of full-on assignments that get graded. There are too many participants to interact directly with the prof, but there are extensive online discussion forums where we students can communicate with each other.

The first week was actually quite challenging, much harder than I thought it would be. Luckily the quiz wasn’t timed. I was able to get a good score on it so I feel I absorbed the info (I have some background in statistics and programming which helps a lot). While I wouldn’t be taking this if I was worried about employers recognising the Coursera qualification – most do not – I’m very glad that I enrolled. I’m really going to learn something.


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