The Online Revolution: Education for Everyone

Daphne Koller & Andrew Ng

Stanford University

Last year, Stanford University offered three online courses, which anyone in the world could enroll in and take for free.  Together, these three courses had enrollments of around 350,000 students, making this one of the largest experiments in online education ever performed.  Since the beginning of 2012, we have transitioned this effort into a new venture, Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company whose mission is to make high-quality education accessible to everyone by allowing the best universities to offer courses to everyone around the world, for free. Coursera classes provide a real course experience to students, including video content, interactive exercises with meaningful feedback, using both auto-grading and peer-grading, and a rich peer-to-peer interaction around the course materials.  Currently, Coursera has 33 university partners, and over 1.7 million students enrolled in its 200 courses.  These courses span a range of topics including computer science, business, medicine, science, humanities, social sciences, and more.  In this talk, I'll report on this far-reaching experiment in education, and why we believe this model can provide both an improved classroom experience for our on-campus students, via a flipped classroom model, as well as a meaningful learning experience for the millions of students around the world who would otherwise never have access to education of this quality.