While students in South Africa have had to return to their respective institutions regardless of the ongoing pandemic and lockdown, the move to more digitally-focused solutions has also been taking off of late. This brings us to Coursera for Campus, which has made a number of important announcements regarding its online platform.

To that end, Coursera for Campus has announced free versions of platform, and upgraded features to address the critical and long-term needs of higher education in South Africa, the company explains.

The new features are said to allow universities to deliver academic integrity for credit-bearing online learning, along with improved student employability, and authored private courses. With more than 6 800 students making use of the platform in SA, the announcement of these new features are aimed at growing those numbers too on Coursera for Campus.

“The pandemic has been a catalyst for universities to make online learning the core of their student experience,” notes Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO.

“We’ve grown from 30 universities using Coursera for Campus to over 3,700 in just seven months, and these upgrades will help them better deliver for-credit online learning and job-relevant skills for their students,” he adds.

There are now three different tiers being made available by the platform, with some subject to specific course exemptions:

  • “The Student plan gives every university student free access to unlimited Guided Projects for hands-on learning and one course annually.
  • The Basic plan provides up to 20,000 free student licenses to every university. Every license includes access to unlimited Guided Projects and one course annually. This long-term free offering includes basic plagiarism deterrence features and access to the online help center.
  • The Institution plan provides unlimited Guided Projects and unlimited course enrollments for each student license. It also enables universities to author, grade, and manage for-credit online learning programs with enhanced academic integrity.”

As for the upgraded featured features, key among them include a mobile-friendly platform. Here, Coursera says students will be able to download courses, synchronise their progress and quizzes, take notes with highlights, and sync calendar sync, which is said to be optimised for low data consumption.

In terms of skills development aimed at making students more employable, Coursera is adding access to professional certificates from the likes of Google, IBM, Facebook, Intuit, Salesforce, and Amazon.

On the educator side of things, the platform also has a few new elements that will be of interest to them. These include administer secure, high-stakes exams and detect plagiarism in assignments on Coursera for Campus. The platform notes that over the coming months, Coursera will enhance exam security with third-party ID verification tools.

With digital education being embraced as the new normal, a platform like these might prove worthwhile for tertiary institutions. To find out more about Coursera for Campus, head here.

[Image – Photo by Sebastian Mantel on Unsplash]