Coursera offers courses free of charge with aim of educating millions
Universities including Stanford, Princeton and Edinburgh are offering intensive courses online with the aim of making education accessible to millions of students.
The project, Coursera, was developed by two computer scientists from Stanford University. Lectures are separated into 10-15 minute videos, with interactive quizzes and exercises also playing a major role.
"Students learn best, not by passively watching video but by thinking, practicing and doing," said co-founder Andrew Ng. "Our education technology is developed around these concepts and helps busy students master material quickly."
Tuition fees at top American universities can be as high as $40,000 (£25,600), making them inaccessible to many. Coursea says it wants to educate "tens of millions of students" in the next five years by making information available free of charge.
To sign up to a course, people need to register for an account and then enrol in subjects that interest them.
Currently on offer is a ten-week course on Greek and Roman mythology from the University of Pennsylvania, an eight-week course on quantum mechanics and quantum computation from the University of California, and a 10-week course in computer architecture from Princeton.
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