Coursera, a California-based online education company has just successfully raised another $43 million form several investors and will likely be adding another 50 people to its staff over the next several months. The company offers a variety of free online courses and is looking to expand their offerings. The company plans to invest in international expansion, through localization, translation and distribution partnerships, and techniques for blended learning, in which Coursera’s online materials are used alongside classroom sessions with a professor.
One interesting idea that has worked well so far is the Signature Line of courses in which students pay a fee to receive an identity-verified certificate that shows completion of a course. In just the first five courses where this option was offered, the company generated some $800,000 leading company leaders to suggest this might be the sole source of revenue needed to bring the company to sustainability.
The company has achieved stunning growth since it was founded about a year ago using an initial round of about $22 million in funding from several sources. Coursera now works with 83 educational institutions, offering about 400 free college-level courses to more than four million students from every country in the world. This is just further evidence of the changing face of higher education today.
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Image courtesy of edcetera.rafter.com.