Please help petition Coursera to keep registration open to the public and leave the courses online and functional after they officially end! is the perfect example how it should be done. The public can register any time and access the content any time. Each user can receive feedback on the quizzes and the assignments by the grader. If users register after the course officially starts, they will not get a certificate. After the class officially finishes, staff won't answer questions on the forum anymore.

Coursera's move to impose a deadline on the registration and take the websites offline after classes end is opposite to the spirit of free online education. Any student that doesn't register by the deadline will not be able to access the content for free. In addition, any student who cannot take the classes now, will not be able to take them later.

asked 16 Mar '12, 17:34

bizso09's gravatar image


edited 16 Mar '12, 18:18

Could you please fill in a bit more detail about what you say in the third paragraph? I've missed hearing about any of this. Is the old being taken down? Has Coursera said the current offerings will go offline at some point?
(16 Mar '12, 17:54) Hillbilly Hillbilly's gravatar image
@Hillbilly is the right way to do it. However, the new coursera courses have a deadline on registration and will not be accessible once they finish.
(16 Mar '12, 18:18) bizso09 bizso09's gravatar image
It is a shame Coursera is imposing a deadline on the registration. But I think you can work around this by signing up all the courses that are currently open, just in case they would not be open for registration when you eventually have time to take them.
(16 Mar '12, 22:38) rialmat rialmat's gravatar image

If keeping classes open was the best model, then MIT OCW would have been as successful as Coursera/Udacity. It hasn't. The social element has been key and you lose a lot of that if you remove the time constraints.

There is no indication that these courses are a one time only offering, so that isn't a valid reason for changing the model.

The current system means everyone is working on the same section of the course at the same time. The discussion forums would become unusable if every section of a 10 week class was being discussed simultaneously.


answered 16 Mar '12, 19:36

jholyhead's gravatar image


I agree with that. Having a cohort of students doing the same thing as you are at the same time is a much more conducing learning environment. Just like in real life
(17 Mar '12, 02:21) robot robot's gravatar image
I disagree. There will always be a lot of people taking any particular section, and tags let you find the people who are working on the same sections you are and ignore the others (if the forum were also kept open, that is -- which, of course, it is not, under the current plan). But not letting the class stay open completely shuts out those who can't match the timeline. Even if it's only a minority of students who would want to access the class on their own schedule (and who knows how many it is?), closing the classes would completely and unjustly penalize that minority, while leaving them open would be, at worst, a minor irritation for the "on-time" students. And some people's learning style need not include the social aspect, so please don't discriminate against those learners. Disclaimer: I am part of that minority. One of the reasons I like online classes is because my work/life schedule makes it impossible for me to go back to school, so I have to get my further education on my own schedule -- which I can do with, e.g., Andrew Ng's ML class, which is still accessible despite being finished. Coursera's closed classes make me very sad and very mad. I personally do prefer social learning -- which is why I would far rather be in a classroom than on a computer!! But since I can't do the former, at least don't prevent me from doing the latter on my own schedule.
(02 Apr '12, 12:00) Dudley Brooks Dudley%20Brooks's gravatar image

Is there a mechanism for actually petitioning, or do you merely mean that we should express our feelings in this forum and (say) upvote this posting?


answered 16 Mar '12, 18:08

Dudley%20Brooks's gravatar image

Dudley Brooks

The more people read this, the more people are aware of it, the more people will mention it to coursera, the more they will listen, the more likely they will keep the classes online and open.
(16 Mar '12, 18:20) bizso09 bizso09's gravatar image

I'd say the core problem was that the opening and closing dates were never announced. The classes were delayed, delayed more, and when they went live, many people never knew about it. I wanted to take PGMs, and I just found out enrollment had opened and closed.... I was in some of their other classes, so it's not like I'm not getting e-mails from them.


answered 02 Apr '12, 09:30

cmsp's gravatar image


If you'd signed up for information before launch you got emails about those classes keeping you informed on when they were due to start.
(02 Apr '12, 09:37) jholyhead jholyhead's gravatar image

Someone has mentioned this concern on Twitter:!/coursera/status/184148446528274432 The answer from Coursera is to "stay tuned". So maybe we should be patient and wait until the end of the first batch of courses to see what will happen.


answered 05 Apr '12, 07:23

gujy's gravatar image


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