MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - May 30, 2013) - Coursera, a leading massive open online course (MOOC) platform, today announced that it will be working with 10 US state university systems and public university flagships to explore the possibilities of using MOOC technology and content to improve completion, quality, and access to higher education, both across their combined audiences of approximately 1.25 million physically enrolled students and among Coursera's global classroom of learners. The institutions who intend to join Coursera's network to make their own faculty and course content available online, as well as collaborate on existing content in on-campus settings, are the State University of New York (SUNY), the Tennessee Board of Regents and University of Tennessee Systems, University of Colorado System, University of Houston System, University of Kentucky, University of Nebraska, University of New Mexico, University System of Georgia, and West Virginia University.

At the core of these partnerships is the motivation to encourage new methods and enhance previous approaches to teaching both on-campus and online. Faculty teaching at these institutions will have the opportunity to develop online courses as well as adapt existing MOOC content, which they can then incorporate into their own classrooms. This approach allows faculty to experiment with and improve upon existing "blended learning," which combines online video lectures and content with active, in-person classroom interactions to increase classroom engagement. Pilot programs, which will be offered at several joining institutions, will be evaluated for their effectiveness in enhancing student success.

Additionally, this collaboration opens up opportunities for institutions to consider for-credit offerings for non-matriculated students interested in continuing their education, but who might not have access to campus resources. Coursera's platform could allow these learners the option to enroll in a MOOC developed by these institutions and, with rigorous online testing and successful completion, apply for course credit at the discretion of the institution. Moreover, faculty at other institutions may be able to access this developed course content and adapt it to suit the needs of their own students. In particular, this capability can greatly enhance high school dual enrollment programs, opening up these high-value programs even to high schools that lack instructors qualified to teach college-level content.

"This new partnership with Coursera will be invaluable as we launch Open SUNY, which will give our students increased access to the online courses SUNY faculty offer in New York and worldwide," said Nancy L. Zimpher, chancellor of the nation's largest system of public higher education, The State University of New York. "Working with Coursera presents a fantastic opportunity for higher education systems across the country to increase educational access, instructional quality and exposure, and degree completion. We are proud to be a part of this effort and look forward to getting started."

This exciting partnership also opens up new channels for sharing knowledge and resources between professors, and across campuses and entire state university systems. Whether creating, modifying or adding to their curriculums, professors will have access to instructor-to-instructor interactions and discover best practices from a diverse community of education professionals. Also, by using Coursera in their teaching, professors and universities will soon be able to tap into the platform's data analytics, which can identify learning obstacles and recognize gaps in subject matter, thus allowing professors to refocus their efforts for improved student outcomes.

"Major state university systems represent an important opportunity to use MOOCs in blended course settings and to advance the scholarship of teaching and learning," said Michael Lightner, Professor and Chair, Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder. "This partnership of Coursera and major university systems is an important step in bringing MOOC courses into mainstream institutions, as well as expanding the community of excellent educators providing MOOC courses to the world."

Over the past year, MOOCs have opened the doors of access to quality education, and have already captured the attention of educational leaders and students worldwide. By collaborating with institutions that span all levels of education -- both public and private -- and by maintaining a commitment to fostering student learning without limits, Coursera hopes to lead the movement to expand the possibilities that MOOCs and online learning can enable.

"We think the coming decade will see a transformation in the way education is delivered, where teachers and online content come together to better serve students on campus and beyond," said Daphne Koller, Co-Founder of Coursera. "With this announcement, we take a step further in our goal to expand quality education to all," added Andrew Ng, Co-Founder of Coursera.

For more information about today's announcement, or to sign up for Coursera, visit

About Coursera

Coursera believes in connecting people to a great education so that anyone around the world can learn without limits. Coursera is on a mission to educate millions of people by offering classes from top universities and organizations 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 a unique online learning experience. Coursera has partnered with top-tier universities and organizations to provide courses across a broad range of disciplines, including medicine, literature, history, computer science and the arts, among others. Coursera is backed by leading venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates. For more information, visit

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Iz Conroy
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