Coursera, the online learning platform and one of the pioneers of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), announced today that it was launching CourseMatch, a machine learning solution that will automatically match Coursera courses to on-campus courses at colleges and universities across the globe.
In March, as the spread of COVID-19 was becoming obvious and the disruption to more than 1.5 billion students’ education was intensifying, Coursera announced a Coronavirus Response Initiative that provided pandemic-impacted universitues with free access to the Coursera course catalogue through Coursera for Campus.
Universities were able to sign up and give their enrolled students access to more than 3,800 courses and 400 Specializations from Coursera’s university and industry partners. Institutions were given access until July 31, 2020, after which they could receive month-to-month extensions depending on the level of risk from the virus. Students who enroll on or before July 31 will be permitted access until Sept. 30, 2020.
That offer came just in time as colleges and universities were scrambling to convert their on-campus courses to remote learning options. Many institutions were caught unprepared – both in terms of technology and faculty readiness – for that conversion. They needed high-quality off-the-shelf options, and that was the gap Coursera has tried to fill.
Coursera has since activated more than 2,600 programs for colleges and universities around the world. But with the large demand came a problem – as more universities went live with Coursera offerings, they needed a solution that would identify courses on Coursera that most closely matched the courses in their own on-campus catalogues. Otherwise, administrators or faculty had to manually identify which Coursera options were the best to offer their students.
CourseMatch, developed by the company’s Data Science team, was the answer. The solution uses natural language processing techniques to find the semantic similarity between Coursera and institutional courses — returning up to 5 courses on Coursera for each on-campus course along with a relevance score.
CourseMatch can handle course catalogues in more than 100 languages and then map them to the most relevant courses into English or any of more than 50 other languages. The company claims that 2.6 million courses at 1,800 institutions have already been matched.
With the release today, universities will be able to access the matching feature directly and search their institution’s catalogue. If an institution’s catalogue is not yet among the 1,800 available, it can send the information directly to Coursera that will turn around results within 48 hours.
The announcement of CourseMatch is another major move by Coursera, which was founded in 2012 by two Stanford computer science professors – Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller. It initially offered free MOOCs, but later it added fees for students who wanted to earn certification of the courses they completed.
Beginning in 2017, it began a number of online masters degrees, in fields such as computer science, business and public health, from highly regarded schools like the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. And in 2o18, it launched its first online bachelor of science degree from the University of London.
Add in a growing number of specialization certificates and partnerships with business and governments, and the company’s revenues have surged to the point that last year Forbes pegged its net worth at more than one billion dollars.
By adding CourseMatch, Coursera has positioned itself to assume an even higher profile on the post-pandemic higher education landscape, which is likely to feature a much greater reliance on remote learning methods for some time to come. “With colleges and universities around the world shuttering campuses due to COVID-19, higher education institutions are looking to online learning to maintain their on-campus programs. To facilitate this transition, Coursera has built a machine learning-powered solution that dynamically matches university curricula to Coursera’s course catalog,” said Dr. Emily Glassberg Sands, VP of Data Science at Coursera. “CourseMatch enables universities to quickly deploy high-quality learning and minimize disruption to student learning.”
This press release was published on Supremearticle.com
Permanent link to this press release here