Learn with Coursera

Introduction to Coursera

Coursera offers more than 3,000 cutting edge courses, taught by top instructors from 190 of the world’s leading universities and organizations, and is available for FREE to PACL cardholders through September 2024!

I chose the class “From Freedom Rides to Ferguson: Narratives of Nonviolence in the American Civil Rights Movement”, opens a new window to get acquainted with the Coursera platform. This is a course I’d recommend anytime, but it is particularly timely during Black History Month. The goal of the course is for participants to gain an understanding of the chronology of the American Civil Rights Movement and its leaders, civil rights activist groups, the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to the Movement and the application of nonviolence philosophy to activism, current issues, and everyday life.

Highlights of taking this course include hearing organizers from the time speak about their strategies via video recordings of interviews. An online class with this type of embedded material makes the content a richer experience than just reading text. The discussion forums offer the opportunity to carry on a conversation virtually with other people enrolled in the class.

Participating in Coursera

Sign up through the Library’s website, opens a new window. Browse your options! What would you like to learn? Check out the recommended categories, opens a new window or search the Coursera catalog for topics that interest you. Many of the courses have rolling start dates, so you can start the class as soon as you sign up for it.

Strategies for Learning Online

  • If this is the first time you have taken an online course, take some time to get acquainted with how the course is set up.
  • Look at how the course is organized so you will have an idea of the time commitment it requires.
  • Set aside time in your personal calendar to complete the assignments and activities—make appointments with yourself for completing the material.
  • If you run into technical difficulties, look for the help and discussion forum options to get back on track.
  • While online learning offers a flexible way to access information, it is a different experience from in-person learning. Use the learning strategies that work for you, like having a paper notebook and pencil to make notes or write up your own summaries. Hybridize online learning with your personal style to make the most of the new information you encounter.

Coursera is a great opportunity to get acquainted with online learning in a low pressure environment because it is free to access and you can decide what you’d like to learn!

-Rebecca Kohn, Senior Librarian, Rinconada Library | Follow Rebecca_Kohn on Bibliocommons