MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 18, 2012) - Coursera announced today that Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania will use Coursera's education platform to make web-based courses available online for free and improve teaching on their campuses. The Coursera education platform is the first to host content from multiple world-renowned universities at one online destination. These courses include video lectures with interactive quizzes, mastery-building interactive assignments and collaborative online forums.

Faculty from these top-ranked universities will provide courses in multiple disciplines, including business, medicine, social studies, history, literature, mathematics and computer science, among others. Seven courses from Stanford, University of California, Berkeley and University of Michigan have been running for several weeks, and around 30 more courses will launch later this week and through late summer. Additional courses will be added to the platform as Coursera and its university partners expand their course offerings.

"The Coursera platform will allow our faculty to explore ways to improve teaching in our own classrooms, while at the same time allowing them to make exceptional educational opportunities available well beyond the confines of our campus," said Princeton University President Shirley M. Tilghman. "We are very pleased that faculty in a broad range of disciplines are interested in tailoring the use of this technology to their own particular courses for the purpose of improving both the impact and the scope of their teaching."

"Our faculty members are eager to share their knowledge globally and our students are equally excited about experimenting with this new approach to learning," said University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman.

"Penn is delighted to participate in this innovative collaboration that will make high-quality learning opportunities available to millions of people around the world," said Penn President Amy Gutmann. "Expanding access to higher education both nationally and globally remains one of our most critical responsibilities. This initiative provides an invaluable opportunity for anyone who has the motivation and preparation to partake of a world-class education."

With the capacity to reach millions of people at once, web-based courses are pioneering a new model for higher learning -- one that potentially gives everyone in the world access to a top-level educational experience that was once reserved for a small percentage of the population. With an innovative design inspired by educational research on effective learning, the Coursera platform creates an interactive learning experience for the participating universities' course offerings. Recorded video lectures contain frequent quizzes that reinforce concept retention as well as deeper assignments that test students' understanding and build mastery of the material. The Coursera platform also offers community forums that encourage students to participate actively with classmates from around the world.

Coursera was founded in the fall of 2011 by Stanford Computer Science Professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng. It builds on the groundbreaking technology they helped develop that was used to host Stanford's free online classes. These classes were an instant success, receiving more than 350,000 enrollments across 172 different countries.

"Our mission is to teach the world and make higher education available for everyone," said Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng. "By partnering with the world's leading universities, we're making college-level classes more accessible to anyone who wants to learn," added Daphne Koller.

Over the next few months, new online courses across a range of disciplines will continue to be added to the online platform, from current university partners as well as other top-tier educational institutions.

Visit to learn more and sign up for courses.

About Coursera
Coursera is on a mission to change the world by educating millions of people by offering classes from top universities and professors online for free. Coursera's comprehensive education platform combines mastery-based learning principles with video lectures, interactive content and a global community of peers, offering students from around the world a unique online learning experience. Coursera has partnered with top-tier universities to provide courses across a broad range of disciplines, including medicine, literature, history and computer science, among others. For more information, visit

Contact Information:

LaunchSquad for Coursera
Emma Starks
(415) 625-8555
coursera [at] launchsquad [dot] com