Looking from the outside, it appears that Coursera for Business seeks to become a long time partner of professionals looking for ongoing learning, through the companies they work for. Or from a top management-down model, it could be a tool for increasing the importance of learning within an organizational culture.
There are three pitch points in the Coursera for Business offering.
“Selected learning programs, designed by industry and pedagogy experts (…) Courses from top universities, hand-selected to map to your company’s needs.”
This suggest that the educational offerings will come from the existing Coursera catalog, which comprises over 1,500 courses in English alone, mostly for Business, Social and Computer Science.
“Track employee enrollments through an easy-to-use interface. Follow employees’ learning progress with detailed analytics and reports.”
We have discussed the role of analytics in learning. And as we have stressed, analytics is a journey, so hopefully their tools are flexible enough for organizations at different levels of analytics integration.
So far it means co-branded learning homepages and log in with work emails on ordinary Coursera mobile apps.
Among the organizations who already signed up with C4B is the Bank of New York Mellon, who is taking a Hong Kong University course track on web development to onboard all new software developers as part of their orientation.
As promising as this new offering by Coursera sounds, there is one doubt, and it regards learner’s autonomy. In an interview with CNBC, Coursera CEO Rick Levin explains how the Business offer was validated once they realized how students were using their work emails to log into Coursera. But this new offer caters enterprise learning. To the question of whether the Coursera training would be mandatory for employees, he seems to deny it, but it is not clear. Levin also claims Coursera for Business would “partially replace tuition reimbursement plans”.
See Levin’s interview here:
Would you like your organization to sign you up for curated Coursera training? Tell us about why or why not in the comments!