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Coursera shuts access to old platform courses (reachtarunhere.github.io)
590 points by reachtarunhere on June 11, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 266 comments

It is truly sad to see Coursera getting greedier by the day. I can honestly say this website changed my life, I was living in a third world country and still in high school when I enrolled in Andrew Ng's machine learning class and thanks to that MOOC I was able to get a machine learning job building recommender systems for a Canadian company straight out of high school. There are plenty of amazing MOOCs that Coursera has completely removed from the website or are only available for people who want to pay upfront. Please don't be like Udacity Coursera.

BTW you have until June 30 to download your courses.

If institutional partners treated MOOCs as a marketing exercise for their university's brand, instead of trying to monetize courses and certificates, people could continue to have this content for free. Unfortunately, universities don't exactly exemplify long-term thinking.

Most of the content for these MOOCs is created by professors as part of their jobs, so this content is owned by their universities. I bet a vast majority of professors would prefer their MOOCs to stay open.

Most of the work has been done already, and the quizzes and exercises are automated, so there's no practical reason these videos couldn't be hosted on YouTube and thrown into an open source MOOC framework like EdX's and continue to serve millions for a few hundred a month in server costs. Except that Coursera is explicitly forbidding non-private use of these courses.

For what it's worth, Free Code Camp gets about 1/8 of the traffic Coursera does, and our (non-opportunity) costs are pretty minor. I don't think hosting these MOOCs would add much to the burden.

If only the individual professors who created these MOOCs could give us permission to host these courses. But there's no way we're going to get anywhere with the university bureaucracies themselves.

> If institutional partners treated MOOCs as a marketing exercise for their university's brand

Top universities already have plenty of brand recognition and get way more applicants than what they can accept. The monetary value of any additional marketing is probably very close to zero for them.

I don't buy that reasoning. If that were true, they'd cease doing anything for marketing purposes. In reality, a brand and a reputation of educational leadership is something that requires continuous investment.

Correct, and top universities do that through investment in research and publication rather than populist fads.

Every once in a while people call into question the value of higher education and ask whether MOOCs mark the end of traditional universities. I find it ironic that when top universities flex their muscles and start asking those people to pay up for classes - the same classes that you otherwise would have had to go through admissions and tuition to get into - they're being called money grabbers.

Maybe we should have a Coursera-like site exclusively for non-US universities, then. Meaning the courses are taxpayer funded and free for students (or, in some places, you might be paid to take them ;) ).

Why, I'd like see teaching and testing separate in that case, so the information stays accessible, while the capitalization on the students is left to those in need to submit to it. I suppose that's what you meant.

The judgment on exercises that is helpful to the students in traditional universities is a factor proportional to the size of courses. On the one hand there is automatic testing, that's feasible in basic matters. Take Khan Academy for example. A test that anyone can do with advanced knowledge is a simple application.

The motivation to really learn, that some get from deadlines, is learned and it's less direct than an actual want to understand a topic. In that sense, while a job doesn't need to become a passion, the drive to really dive deep into a topic comes as part of a hobby and so the tax payer would probably not want to afford that. But that is a different topic and I'm biased against taxes.

In any case, costs could probably be reduced so much per student, that it needn't be the driving factor, far from the tuition that is payed now.

> Top universities already have plenty of brand recognition and get way more applicants than what they can accept. The monetary value of any additional marketing is probably very close to zero for them.

You can apply that reasoning to any large organization: once it's known/famous for its excellence, an overwhelming majority of their marketing investments have small return. Still, they continue to invest in marketing because they know that this excellence has to be maintained. That's exactly what they should use MOOCs for - and they initially did

Perhaps this is a good point in history to create an open repository of problems authored by contributors with some sort of CC license. Basing it on the material of existing MOOC courses would provide focus and relevance. Also long term insurance against changes in openness of MOOCs. Problems need to be original authorship and not copied from textbooks for obvious reasons. Thoughts?

I think so too - are you thinking of building such a thing? I noticed you had some open data science ipython notebooks on GitHub.

Hi Quincy,

FreeCodeCamp's a great project. However, I always wondered about your long-term goals and "business model" (if there is one).

You're offering to integrate old Coursera courses into FCC. But what if you change your mind about openness further down the road ? Couldn't FreeCodeCamp become the Udacity/Coursera of tomorrow ?

Our "business model" is to keep costs as low as possible and sell merchandise. We will never charge for our curriculum.

We have turned down all offers of funding specifically to avoid a situation where an investor could try and force us to do otherwise. We will remain free and open source.

I'm not him, but it looks like their curriculum is licensed in the github repo under "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License", which according to this:


Would suggest that anyone could take their curriculum and rehost it with attribution if they were to "go private".

just saw this comment, and checked it out. I think it is a cool project and I will circle back to it when I have more time. I was a little put out by the onboarding proces just because I signed in with my github account, but several steps made me open a browser and go to github....to open a github account. That said, I have experience developing and I suspect a beginner is your target audience. Also, it is (or seems) free so you don't owe me anything and I appreciate the work you put in to it.

Hadn't heard of FCC before, just checked it out. I really like the idea of parntnering with nonprofits to solicit practical capstone exercises. Seems like a good way to croas the production deployment barrier.

> Please don't be like Udacity

Huh? Udacity has numerous free courses. They've never made a free course non-free. Any new paid course is developed with new material, and they're still churning out free courses.

Here's one of the gems from the early days of Udacity - Peter Norvig's Design of Computer Programs: https://www.udacity.com/course/design-of-computer-programs--...

And here's one of the early machine learning courses: https://www.udacity.com/course/intro-to-machine-learning--ud...

thanks to that MOOC I was able to get a machine learning job building recommender systems for a Canadian company straight out of high school

This amazes me. Are you leaving out more significant details? I cannot begin to imagine this happening where I live, in London. Being hired based on a MOOC? Did you go on to do some impressive projects which got you the job?

I had a couple of cool personal projects, but what really impressed them was that I sent them a minimum viable product of what they were trying to build.

It was a music company so I put my hacky Perl skills to work and crawled youtube, songkick, musicbrainz and made a small music discovery website with cool features such as predicting the popularity of an artist based on social media metrics. I was like "I can do that look lol".

They called me for an interview, I showed them my notebook full of ML notes and they asked me to start on Monday.

So, even better than showing a degree issued from a prestigious and expensive school is to show your previous work.

Excellent, you're a great example of how this stuff should work!

Did they pay for the flight to Canada and accommodation for the interview, or did you?

Did udacity block access to any of the earlier courses though? I can still access all free courses I've ever found on the site (and with the videos available on youtube)

Not only did they not block them, they've added more free standalone courses alongside their paid "Nanodegree" courses.

Coursera is willing to have the same amount of money you're willing to keep. How are they greedier than you?

Expecting a service without giving anything in return is the definition of "greedy".

You just don't get it. I can afford to pay for a MOOC and I would consider it, but there are millions of people who can't afford it.

Coursera's about page used to say this: "committed to making the best education in the world freely available to any person who seeks it".

Now they have removed every instance of the word "free" https://www.coursera.org/about/

Nothing wrong with being a for-profit company, but they went from optional paid certificates to deleting old MOOCs and making new ones exclusive for those willing to pay, every day their monetization tactics get more aggressive.

Also check this video from 3 years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUO3Pk0nOCM

Despite the changes, the financial aid option (100% off) is still running. https://learner.coursera.help/hc/en-us/articles/209819033-Ap...

Capitalism, aye. Is this Shirky's Law in action?

So? They have changed their business model. They're entitled to do so.

If you care so much about the poor, you might as well subsidize a MOOC for them, instead of demanding Coursera to do so.

And people are "entitled" to criticize them on the Internet.

Sheesh, people really over-dramatize Hacker News threads. We aren't a legislative chamber debating a bill. We're an assortment of techno-hipster liberals and wannabe-entrepreneur libertarians, commenting on (often trivial) current events over coffee on a Saturday morning. The moral outrage-over-the-outrage-over-the-outrage-over-the-outrage gets comical after the first couple recursions.

And people are also entitled to criticize the criticizers.

How is that for an outrage over an outrage? :)

So it makes me sad and I am expressing my opinion on a public forum. I don't have enough money to subsidize MOOCs for the poor but if you come up with another useless idea I am sure you will let me know.

"Coursera is entitled to do X" is not meaningful criticism, though, when you are responding to a moral argument. It's like when people respond to "you are being an asshole" with "it's my right to." Well, sure, but you're still being an asshole.

Wow, your response is in no way meaningful. Your response adds exactly nothing to the discussion. Nobody "demanded" anything.

I think they will change to monetize everything very soon. Right now is the transisition period where by you still able to seek for financial aid and get approved.

The spiritual message was that they were democratizing access to education. That dream has apparently died and this is the mourning process. Go back to your Ayn Rand book.

Did coursera come up with an official statement yet?

That would be an interesting read.

You can now find a response from us below.

If i may ask, the Ng course - how much prior knowledge did you have in the course?

In case you want to download as may courses as possible before they fade away, here are some notes.

Please forgive me some mistakes, I wrote this a bit in a hurry.


1) Spawn a virtual server on DigitalOcean.

I am using the 40$/month in order to have 40GB of space, but my plan is to shut it down in a day or two.

The advantage is to have storage space AND super-fast connection.

If you don't want to spend money, here is my referral code:


This will give you 10$ credit for free.

2) Install screen, python-virtualenv, python3, python3-pip

3) edit ~/.bash_aliases:

    #!/usr/bin/env bash
    alias download="./coursera-dl -u <<username>> -p <<password>>"
    alias download_preview="./coursera-dl -b -u <<username>> -p <<password>>"
4) Install coursera-dl: see https://github.com/coursera-dl/coursera-dl#alternative-insta...

name the virtualenv "coursera", and place it in the root home directory

5) patch to use python3:

* pip3 install -r requirements.txt * patch coursera/coursera.dl:

    #!/usr/bin/env python
    # -*- coding: utf-8 -*-


    #!/usr/bin/env python3
    # -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
6) Edit ~/.bashrc

Add this lines at the end of the file:

    cd coursera
    source bin/activate
    cd coursera

The setup process is done. Here is how to use it:

1) Start a screen session: `screen -S coursera`

download_preview compilers-004

you can download more courses in parallel by creating another window (C-a c) and typing donwload_preview $coursename.

If anyone wants these steps fully automated you can use this script:


Just use it as a User Data file on DigitalOcean or elsewhere.

Edit: After doing this, I realized coursera-dl has a Docker script already. You may prefer it: https://github.com/coursera-dl/coursera-dl/tree/master/deplo...

A complete list of the courses cited so far in this thread can be obtained via this shell one-liner:

    curl "https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11881767" | grep -Po "[a-zA-Z0-9-]*-0\d{2}" | sort | uniq

    curl "https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11881767" | grep -Po "[a-zA-Z0-9-]*-0\d{2}" | sort | uniq | awk '{print "# " $0}'

You might might want to update your script :)


Awesome. Just awesome.

So why not share all the downloaded content through a p2p torrent network, rather than to keep them in our own servers to ourselves, so that everyone else benefits?

The Coursera TOS prohibit this. Specificaly, "You may download content from our Services only for your personal, non-commercial use, unless you obtain Coursera's written permission to otherwise use the content."[0]

[0] - https://www.coursera.org/about/terms

That's fine, but so why don't we? If the whole purpose of downloading all these courses is so that we can continue to access them after Coursera goes full moneygrub mode, surely someone is willing to sacrifice their Coursera account for this?

Lets think about it from ethical stand point. The kind of people who downloads and wants to learn is just a very tiny fraction of people in the entire tech population(Even most people in tech industry does not want to invest in learning). Their contribution will be significant. So what about the hard work the authors who had put in to create the course ? Don't worry their life will not be affected much(not like they will miss being billionaire). The only people who might get affected is the undeserved people who is taking advantage of intellects like the university.

ToS and even copyright law never stopped SciHub and LibGen.

An old saying I remember from my days in the ebook scene: "Those who want the knowledge will always find it."

As someone else pointed out, that is not allowed by the TOS.

But quite frankly... now that such content is not freely available anymore, I expect that to begin circulating on the p2p networks anyway.

Speaking of which: a few years ago there was quite awesome astronomy course, which I didn't have time to finish in real-time, and the content was deleted as soon as the course ended. I liked it wa-ay better than any other astronomy-ish stuff they had (and still have) later: it was more about actually modelling the celestial sphere and understanding the movement of the planets, than vaguely speaking about contents of the universe. Does by any chance anyone know how I can try and find it somewhere else? All I remember is that the professor had long gray hair and beard, which isn't really google-able.

I took that course and I really enjoyed it. That's why, I downloaded it and uploaded it to drive when I heard that coursera is gonna delete it. Here's the link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B64NfOIwa64BVFJXQzNhTDM3ND... Keep looking up :D

you're probably thinking of "Introduction to Astronomy" by Ronen Plesser. that course was awesome.

Yes, thank you very much. That's exactly it!

Yup, in 20 days when the content becomes unavailable, people will trade them like they trade... well, pretty much anything that they can't get easily by following the law.

I was thinking that it didn't come to my mind to sit down and download as much content as I could from courses because it was freely available.

What I realized is that even on the internet nothing lasts forever, and that I should always download stuff I like, just in case...

Tested and successfully downloaded (about 30GB):

- recsys-001

- hwswinterface-002

- eefun-001

- experiments-001

- gametheory-003

- crypto-010

- pgm

- cariesmanagement-003

- algo2-003

- analyze-003

- audio-002

- ml-005

- sna-2012-001-staging

- spatialcomputing-001

- organalysis-003

- compilers-004

- modelthinking-006

- ggp-003

- algo-009

- intrologic-005

- automata

- linearopt-002

- matrix-002

Please add below this comment other coursed that can be downloaded.

Made a list of 220 courses that are still open for enrollment: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kaWxZG3krI83WfdzlExW...

I will work on figuring out the slugs next. For you now, you will need to signup for the course and figure it out. You can also find the same the list on Class Central where you can filter by subjects or sort by rating: https://www.class-central.com/collection/coursera-old-stack

If you go the page where all your archived courses are and run this code it'll give you a list of the slugs :)

//////////Grab archived urls

var archived = document.getElementsByClassName("link-button primary"); var archivedUrls = []; var slugs = []; for (var i = 0; i < archived.length; i++){ archivedUrls.push(document.getElementsByClassName("link-button primary")[i].href); } //////////////////////////////

  function getDatas(LLL){
      url: LLL,
      dataType: 'text',
      success: function (data) {
        var re = /F[a-zA-Z0-9-]*-0\d{2}/;
        var info = data.match(re)[0];
        var fixeInfo = info.substring(1);

var ii = 0; // set your counter to 1

function myLoop () { // create a loop function setTimeout(function () { // call a 3s setTimeout when the loop is called console.log(archivedUrls[ii]); getDatas(archivedUrls[ii]); ii++; // increment the counter if (ii < archivedUrls.length) { // if the counter < 10, call the loop function myLoop(); // .. again which will trigger another } else { console.log('Type "slugs" to view all slugs gathered'); } }, 1000) }

myLoop(); // start the loop

Here is a link to updated code to do this: https://github.com/RayBB/coursera-slug-extractor

Here's a list of slugs for almost all of the courses! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1W1PZEQbb1jnNh-EeFUoB...

Some I managed to download are missing:

audio-002 eefun-001 experiments-001 hci model-thinking-006 recsys-001

I only listed courses that haven't been moved to the new platform yet. So courses like Model Thinking and Recommender Systems have been ported over. I suspect its the same for other courses that you listed.

Ahh...just saw this. I already updated the original document with the slugs.


- neuralnets-2012-001

- scicomp-003

- mmds-002

- comparch-003

How are you finding out the course names?

It's part of the course URL when you're enrolled at the course home, e.g:

  https://class.coursera.org/algs4partI-010 -> algs4partI-010
  https://www.coursera.org/learn/machine-learning/home/welcome -> machine-learning
(see https://github.com/coursera-dl/coursera-dl/wiki)

I am getting a 404 for the algo2-003, but the others work fine.

Is there any chance of you uploading any of these to something like mega and allowing people do download them?

My downloads:

    - ac-005: Analytic Combinatorics
    - aofa-006: Analysis of Algorithms
    - neuralnets-2012-001: Neural Networks for Machine Learning
    - nlp: Natural Language Processing

Hey there,

I was enrolled in the 2013 edition of Analytic Combinatorics, but it seems that I am out of luck - no access to the materials either way. :-/

Does anyone happen to have the name of the 2013 edition? Or is it by design that these can no longer be accessed?




where can I get these and share? please let me know



list of available courses, in format: course_session_id, course_link

found that list contained closed for enrollment sessions, new list http://pastebin.com/1N8ijd7p

Can someone get the archive team on this?

I don't think that would be legal. Coursera ToS definitely prohibits something like this.

I can see a case for a torrent with the courses mysteriously appearing on some torrent site and someone linking it here, though. Man, those cheeky pirates! They can't leave anything alone.

(I don't personally have bandwidth for something like that, sadly. Of course I'm also not a pirate.)

A violation of the "Coursera ToS" doesn't imply that something illegal was done. But even if it did I doubt that it would carry any weight outside of the US.

> I don't think that would be legal. Coursera ToS definitely prohibits something like this.

Have some heart. This is completely Ethical. What about millions of people around the world who does not even have bank account to pay. Remember the authors does not get screwed. Their life will not get modified drastically. Only the undeserved people who are making money out of them.

I wouldn't be surprised if they already had it. It would (unfortunately) be surprising if they chose to redistribute it, though.

I would like to point out that I am only downloading such content for my personal use, and I am just helping other people do the same.

Thank you for using Python 3. :)

Can I do this with plural sight courses?

I found this useful https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-ways-to-download-videos-f.... Of course it works only if you have an account.

- algo-005

- nlp

- machlearning-001

- maththink-004

- mmds-002

- pgm-003

- gametheory-003

- compilers-003

Worthwhile to point out that edX is a non-profit [1] unlike Coursera [2] and Udacity [3].

[1] https://www.edx.org/about-us

[2] https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/coursera

[3] https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/udacity

One may find Introduction to Functional Programming [1] by Erik Meijer interesting.

[1] https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-functional-programmi...

Kinda. They act more like a for-profit than like a non-profit.

How so? All of their classes are available for free, the only thing you have to pay for is the certificate. Non profit =/= no profit.

Taking a page out of the nonprofit university playbook.

I feel Coursera's pricing strategy is located at two opposite extremes and misses out an entire range of options in the middle. They either make an entire course completely free with no option to pay even if the student wants to, or they put it behind a paywall where one can't even start without paying.

They along with their institutional partners are missing out revenue from people like me who'd like to pay some amount, but not the amount they fix. I'm happy to pay some amount without a certificate. They should consider giving a pay-what-you-like option for all their courses.

Are there any successful ventures with such "pay-what-you-like" pricing strategy?

Having unsuccessfully tried such a pricing model myself, I have serious doubt about it's viability. Majority will not pay anything, very few will pay reasonable amount, and some will pay very little but will be very high maintenance.

Payer: God dammit, I paid for your service and I want one hour of your support time. Company: How much did this payer paid? 50 cents! We need to hire someone who will take 30 cents to support this payer for an hour.

This is one of those pricing strategy that sounds good and people will claim to support but in reality wouldn't.

It probably depends on what the product or service is, and how it's sold. Coursera already provides some courses for free, and even those attract some high maintenance types from what I've seen in the forums. Does providing a pay-what-you-want option increase the number of nasties or the degree of nastiness, for example, inviting legal risks? I don't really know. But I feel Coursera should atleast experiment and gather the data before deciding, instead of missing out on all that data.

Leanpub and Gumroad are two services that follow this strategy. I don't know if they are successful ventures, but I notice they have maintained this pricing strategy since their inception and never changed or stopped it.

Leanpub says "...the pattern we have seen with multiple books, about a third of people will pay the suggested price, a third will pay the minimum price and a third will pay somewhere in between. Finally, the odd person will pay more than the suggested price" [1]. Some anecdotal experiences of individual authors [2],[3],[4] support it.

[1]: https://leanpub.com/help/author_faq [2]: http://blather.michaelwlucas.com/archives/1626 [3]: http://blog.ppenev.com/2013/07/16/what-i-have-learned-from-l... [4]: http://blog.gumroad.com/post/75707736685/is-pay-what-you-wan...

Leanpub co-founder here. We're really happy with our minimum price + suggested price strategy, and have no plans to change it.

When coupled with our sliders which clearly show the (very high, 90% minus 50 cents) royalties that are earned by the author(s), and with our free update distribution, we get a lot of benefits for our authors, including:

1. When there is a low or a free minimum price, readers who otherwise could not afford a book can get it legitimately. This can help build a community around the book. For example, https://leanpub.com/rprogramming has over 80,000 readers (free + paid), and while it has a free minimum price, it is also our top book by lifetime revenue.

2. Quite often, there is so much extra income earned by readers paying above the minimum price that it entirely offsets refunds. (We have a 45-day 100% refund policy.)

3. Because of the royalty transparency, variable pricing, 45-day refunds and the fact that readers are supporting authors by buying in-progress books, there's a very, very low amount of nastiness. I really like seeing author and reader email; quite often "I love Leanpub" is part of the sentiment, regardless of whatever issue is occurring. (We also sell completed books, but much of what Leanpub is based on is our writing workflow and our focus on selling in-progress books...)

I'm really happy to find out that a business model based on a sense of goodness and fairness is working out well for you at LeanPub. I feel cynicism and pessimism about people should not stop us from trying out different models.


Your page for Roger Peng's R Programming book also contains a link to Lulu for those who prefer print.

Does following that link bypass your system or are you collecting some kind of fee for that? I'm assuming Dr Peng gets a reasonable chunk of coffee money from Lulu directly as usual.


It completely bypasses our system: we earn $0 from Lulu sales. (It was added by Dr. Peng. Leanpub authors own the copyright to their work, and can sell it wherever they want.)

That said, having used Lulu myself in the past (back in 2006), Lulu pays good royalty rates on print books and ebooks, and we recommend that all our authors consider using Lulu or Amazon CreateSpace to produce a print book once their book is done. If you search "Leanpub" on Lulu, you'll see a handful of Leanpub books there.

To help our authors produce print books, we have two features:

1. Print-ready PDF export. Click a button, get a PDF with proper page numbering (alternating sides), chapters always starting on the right page, no cover image (since Lulu and CreateSpace have wraparound cover upload features), etc. I think that most of our authors who have print books, including Dr. Peng, went this route since it's a lot easier than the second choice.

2. InDesign export. Click a different button, get InCopy (ICML) files. These can be given to a designer who is good at InDesign, and he or she can make a beautiful custom-designed book. Our InDesign export is pretty basic compared to the print-ready PDF export, but our hope is that it's a better starting point for a designer than a Word document with a bunch of formatting that they need to throw out.

For us, making the print book production process as easy as possible just adds to the value created by using Leanpub. We want to create more value than we capture, and this helps with that...


Thanks for sharing examples. These along with music related examples appear to be of one quick transaction of a fixed specification product with no commitment of ongoing support unlike 'longer duration' courses from Coursera or a subscription based ongoing relationship. Also these examples seem to avoid the free option and offer a broad pricing range.

A quick 'back of the envelope' estimate of revenue and cost of BandCamp service (enough public info available) seem to suggest this pricing model might have low profitability.

Well the "humble indie bundle" is doing well with this pricing strategy.

Not sure if it's applicable outside that market, but it might.


I think it works well because there are incentives: pay more than the average to unlock a few additional games, and pay more than X to unlock everything.

I don't know if unlocking everything by default would work that well.

AFAIR it used to work well that way. I.e. I don't recall the first bundles to have "pay more than average" and "pay more than X"; as far as I can tell, it was clean "pay what you want". I don't know why they decided to include those tiers.

Also, funny thing, looking at payment logs you can clearly tell the average is often purposefully inflated by some people (I guess the dev studios).

As far as I remember, edX used to follow this 'pay-what-you-like' strategy for honor-code certificate, along with fixed pricing for verified certificate.


Humble Bundle. Their pricing idea is great and can be applicable to a lot of different businesses.

I had been using such platforms (coursera, edX) since their inception, and they were delightfully helpful to me. They were free of cost at that time and I really appreciated that as a student.

I feel a more apt pricing strategy would be to provide free/low-cost yearly access to students and a free basic course + paid advanced courses to non-students.

I would be more than happy to pay up to $200-$250 (note: close to half of my monthly salary) to get a yearly access to Coursera courses and not having to pay any additional money to them what so ever.

Now that I think about it, I would like to see that as an option.

https://class.coursera.org/ml-005/lecture Machine Learning, Andrew Ng

https://class.coursera.org/algo-003/lecture Algorithms 1, Tim Roughgarden

https://class.coursera.org/algo2-003/lecture Algorithms 2, Tim Roughgarden

Edit: https://class.coursera.org/compilers/lecture/preview Compilers, Alex Aiken

What else?

I also found




but I think the first one is newer.

There's also


So I guess yours is newer.

Found as well:




And others. I just did a Google site search:


And click around. Some are not available though.


Speaking of this, I got an email about the following issue:

The Coursera boneheads decide to do this. What does this mean for the crypto II class?

DELAYED AGAIN! It's been delayed for YEARS. YEARS I say. Another delay because of asinine greed.

Professor Boneh is pretty busy... I've been waiting for a while for this too. This has been the never-starting tease course.

I can't get to download the "C++ for C programmers" course via coursera-dl... anyone had some luck ?

Unfortunately with coursera-dl it didn't work.

Try c-plus-plus-a

c-plus-plus-a works, thanks mate.

https://class.coursera.org/nlp/lecture Natural Language Processing (Stanford). Class name for coursera-dl is "nlp".

They will be removed on 30th June. I guess I should have made that clear in my post.

That's why I posted them, so that people can download them before end of this month.

I was about to suggest coordinating a bit to make a torrent for each course and avoid generating too much trafic downloading them, but it seems to be prohibited by the ToS ("You may download content from our Services only for your personal, non-commercial use, unless you obtain Coursera's written permission to otherwise use the content".)

Thanks mate :)

Maybe a shared spreadsheet ?


ps: First time I create and share a google sheet, so far I added the 3 that asked, sorry for the delay.

You haven't made that spreadsheet public.

Ah right, I didn't see the global share option. Let's see how it fares.

Well, they brought it on themselves. If the only way to download courses they allow in ToS is to DDoS them with download requests, so be it.

It will be no problem as all filed are served via Amazon CloudFront CDN...

... But they're gonna get a hell of a bill this month, I guess.

https://class.coursera.org/machlearning-001/lecture Machine Leraning, Pedro Domingos

Is anybody else able to download the compilers course? I'm having trouble.

I am also having problems. It seems the lecture id to download from the API is incorrect.

I don't have any problems. I used the standard options with `coursera-dl`. It's all been downloaded without a hitch now.

    cd /D/Videos/Courses/
    ./coursera-dl/coursera-dl -u <<email>> -p <<password>> compilers-004

With 'compilers' only there's an issue in the video URLs, thanks for the suffix tip.

ps: 004 didn't work, only 003


tested these: - progfun1 - proglang-002 almost worked.

progfun1 failed for me.

proglang-002 didn't even begin downloading.

The ML course has quite some time ago been made available as an untimed "always-on" course at


Are the quizzes etc free still? My impression from the post was that the new site has stripped access to the exercises unless you pay up.

I don't know about this course, in general you now have courses where the quizzes are no longer accessible unless you pay and courses where they still are.

Coursera actually converted a course I was enrolled in to paid-quizzes-only, while I was actively enrolled in the course and on the second to last week of eight. They finally converted it back after 2 days of many of us contacting support but never gave me a straight answer as to whether it was accidentally or intentional :-/ Definitely lost my faith in Coursera as a platform over these recent changes.

I never liked Coursera because they offered classes only sometimes... I know a "real classroom" experience is what they were going after but it sucks finding a great looking course that will be offered a year later or worse, no upcoming dates.

Sad to see they're going to downhill though.

It's really the worst combination of features from the online and offline worlds: the strict synchrony of offline classes combined with the lack of in-person contact.

Indeed. I feel a gamefication theme to some of it. Think of the opposite:

Socrates had his teachings and live lectures online, with recorded classroom, and feedback, for all to comment on, with his replies. It may have only been 'live' for 20/40 years of his life/teaching life/sharing life, but it would be amazing today.

MOOCs offer this opportunity for humanity, to record teachings in increasingly diverse formats that are free for others to use and experiment with.

What MOOCs need is deep understanding of human learning, as it relates to specific fields. In other words they need to keep track on a per-user-basis of the level of mastery they have on all the relevant concepts. They need to map out how relevant concepts rely on each other, and be able to make recommendations.

It often feels like an avalanche of books, courses, materials - we need simple paths through this mess. We need to keep people right in the sweetspot - not giving them too difficult material, but also not too easy, just right enough to maximize learning. And this perfect gradation of difficulty can be reverse engineered through machine learning over student activity logs.

Another area they need to invest in is the practical side. Course takers need more examples, tests, problems and projects. Only by applying the concepts in reality will students gain firm confidence in their abilities.

I don't think the "short course" format is the best. It might be better to have a graph of concept nodes, each equipped with its own instructional materials, problems and tests. The graph can be expanded gradually to include more concepts and to reduce the gradient of difficulty for the more problematic ones.

People who bang their heads against difficult material and don't grock it might feel discouraged and give up. But if they can build confidence that everything is taught gradually and without too violent jumps in difficulty, they might improve the dropout rate.

Yeah, it did suck when a course you wanted wasn't available any time soon, but I have to say their model did make sense. I took part in a timed/dated course (however you want to call it) and it did actually give one something approaching a "classroom feeling", as compared to doing a course completely on your own.

Holding people off from enlisting in a course is only useful if you're going to offer the course eventually, and sooner rather than later. Otherwise, it just doesn't make sense to keep it locked.

Agree they have been acting too greedy recently.

If anyone else is wondering, MOOC is Massive Open Online Courses.

It really gets on my nerves when people don't expand their acronyms when introducing a topic. Of course there are exceptions, but is MOOC really that common an acronym?! I just find it a bit inconsiderate.</rant>

It's a pretty common acronym for those of us in education, of course. But it is also known among the startup/hacker crowd because of the well-funded startups in the space.

Also, it's beginning to be big in public policy. A couple of years ago, the California state senate was debating a bill to allow students to use MOOC courses for actual state college credit. That bill has since been shelved: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/08/01/controversial...

In defense of the submitter, expanding the acronym may have pushed the title over the character limit.

This post is venting about the state of that industry. If you don't know what MOOC stands for, it probably won't matter to you much anyway.

It's sort of like expecting a post about a web framework to explain HTTP.

just googled MOOC and the top 3 results all explained it

Thanks, I got grizzly too.

Script to save course materials: https://github.com/coursera-dl/coursera-dl

I haven't tried it yet. Just was asking around how to save course materials (videos, slides, notes, etc) of an old platform course I want to return to sometimes. Got this advice:

    > app which can help you download all the
    > materials at one go.
    > https://github.com/coursera-dl/coursera-dl
    > Doesn't work all the time, but for old
    > courses should work.

Coursera and Udacity have both been going downhill almost from their inception with every single change.

I've used coursera-dl to archive courses I've taken part in for some time now.

I was considering deleting my archive recently but now I'm really glad I didn't.

However, it doesn't download the quizzes or exams though. You still have to make a local copy of the html pages (easy, but time consuming in firefox for example) or take screenshots.

Thanks for the hint. I've downloaded about 4 courses. Time to put that 1 TB of online storage to good use :-)

don't forget to share the links

This will only get the videos and the slides. No assignments, quizzes or helpful Forum Discussions.

A good friend of mine who works at Coursera attributes their descent to the brain drain they've had over the past year.

Apparently, management is sweeping the problem under the rug, and forcing a false rhetoric that the departures were good. Even their Glassdoor page[1] seems doctored now. Sad times.

[1] https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Coursera-Reviews-E654749.h...

Disappointed by Coursera and Udacity (they positioned for free MOOCs and now they are taking everything back they offered).

More power to KhanAcademy and MIT Open Courseware! For staying true to their mission of providing Free Courses...

> Disappointed by Udacity (they positioned for free MOOCs and now they are taking everything back they offered).

Nonsense. Udacity now have paid "Nanodegree" courses alongside their free ones. They haven't removed their free courses, and in fact continue to release new free ones.

Also, their paid courses come with grading and code feedback from humans, so it's not like it was scalable as a free option.

Further, they guarantee you'll get a job based on the Nanodegree courses or you get your money back.

Thank you for the correction. I edit my comment about Udacity. Sorry looks like It cannot bed edited anymore. But thanks to your comment, users will not be mislead by comment about udacity. I was browsing from my mobile and could not find free courses easily like it used to be so thought it was gone, but now I see we can still access we just have to look further. Thank you!

I haven't used Coursera recently but Udacity still has free courses and anyone can sign up for them. They even keep releasing free courses such as the new Deep Learning course by Google.

Also, I'm taking their Android nanodegree course on a scholarship and I can say that even that uses their existing free courses for teaching purposes and nanodegree mostly just provides you with projects and deadlines.

I agree that removing/limiting access is lousy by Coursera and Udacity, for courses that used to be free and contain valuable fundamentals.

I don't agree that the golden age is necessarily over though. The MOOC space is getting crowded, just look at all the offerings at https://www.class-central.com

MOOCs by government-backed traditional universities from Europe / Asia is taking over a large chunk of the "market" meaning that Coursera, Udacity, etc. is finding it difficult to get any returns.

> The MOOC space is getting crowded, just look at all the offerings at https://www.class-central.com

Never heard of that site, but I browsed through the first page of CS videos[0], and all but two courses were just links to Coursera courses. The other two were links to edX.

[0] https://www.class-central.com/subject/cs

Founder of Class Central here. Our default sorting order is by start dates and Coursera courses now have new sessions starting monthly or bi-monthly here. We will be updating our algorithm soon to rank the courses based on our data.

You can see all the providers we aggregate here: https://www.class-central.com/providers

And universities here: https://www.class-central.com/universities

I'll probably get shot down for being that typical negative HN comment, but do MOOCs like Coursera actually do much in the way of making education more accessible or society fairer? All the content offered on Coursera already exists on the internet. Really motivated people will aggressively look for study materials, and they generally don't have a problem finding it.

It seems to me that it's actually the internet that improves accessibility and fairness, through which curated collections of study materials are then delivered as MOOCs. Which is terrific, but then it's hardly shocking that they'd eventually have to monetize themselves. We've seen worse attempts to crack down on the internet.

As someone has taken a lot of MOOCs, I have no idea if Coursera makes education more accessible but they certainly make certain teachers and professors more accessible and those professors have a lot of knowledge to offer. A lot of universities don't have open courseware and even if they do the recordings are beyond terrible.

I can personally vouch for this having taken Algorithmic Thinking course by Rice Univ.

> Really motivated people will [...]

I'm not a big fan of this argument, which I see here too often. Really, truly motivated people don't need the Internet either. For any obstacle to learning, you can always say that it's not a problem because somebody, somewhere makes through.

I took exactly one Coursera course, Odersky's Scala course. But it was a great experience. Going through the material on a schedule with a bunch of other people got me to work harder than I would have on my own. I learned way more than I would have without the structure. Does that mean I wasn't "really motivated"? Sure, I guess. But the point of having educational institutions, rather than just giving everybody library cards and turning them loose, is to make it easy for a large number of people to learn.

So if it's suddenly harder for people to learn, even if they aren't judged truly worthy, I'm willing to call that a bad thing.

Additionally, I think it's a misleading thought pattern to divide the world into motivated/unmotivated individuals since motivation can vary within a person.

I've successfully learned quite a few difficult things without Coursera etc that I was highly motivated to learn. And I've learned more things via Coursera that I was less motivated to learn (or didn't even know I wanted to learn).

Also motivation can vary heavily by conditions. In some cases, the difference between strong motivation and utter lack of it can be structure that lets you start and maintain a feedback loop of positive feelings.

I started out thinking this way some years ago (which is also why I never went for higher degrees in college). But after taking a couple of MOOCs every year from last 4 years, I've realized that a good (or even somewhat good) instructor can inject thoughts and ideas in a way that reading books, blogs and presentations cannot. Something as simple as the way the content is organized also gives some insights; for example, what concepts are closely related. Andrew Ng's treatment of Machine Learning and Sedgewick's treatment of Algorithmic thinking stand out in my mind. But it's not just them; even the relatively unknown instructors of courses I'm taking right now have always given some insight that books or blogs haven't - and I do read a lot of them too.

Maybe I haven't looked hard enough, but I've found no place other than Coursera/EdX offering high quality quizzes and assignments, with feedback, even if just automated. Texts and videos explaining all kinds of topics are abundant, but the most valuable learning experience comes from practice, and that is rare.

I think that coursera is moving away from quizzes with feedback. I'm currently doing the ML course by Andrew Ng and the quizzes do not have feedback when you answered correctly or incorrectly. The archived ML course (with the old coursera interface) still shows the feedback for quizzes.

Some people learn by being taught, some people learn by doing. MOOCs cater to the first.

I know this, because I am in the second (you may be too). I'll dig around looking for the information because I am using it right at that moment and NEED to understand it.

I did a Coursera Machine Learning course, my first University level class after being out of school since the early 90s. I learned how about matrices (had very little math experience before), I learned about transforms, I tried to figure out what all the cryptic symbols meant, but MOSTLY, I learned how to answer the test questions.

I don't feel I really have any more understanding of machine learning today than I did before the course. Different strokes...

Personally I think both needs are met by moocs. If you want to be taught watch the lectures. If you want a more practical self directed approach do the exercises. Most people will do both

Disclosure, I work for Dataquest.io but prior to getting the job was a student and a massive fan.

I believe we offer an awesome alternative for learning DS with a 'learn by doing' approach.

Founder of https://www.CourseBuffet.com here. I would say it is a mixed bag. There are without a doubt people getting real value out of MOOCs who otherwise would not be able to take these courses. This being said I talk to a lot of people about MOOCs and I am still surprised how many people don't know about them. Actually one of the first questions I am often asked is why do they offer free courses!

Edit: to add to my comment and agree with others in this thread "MOOC" confuses people. Sometimes I have to remind myself and say free online courses (even though some are not free).

I've googled seemingly tons of different combinations of keywords to find out if a product like yours existed before starting to build it myself. Which search keywords most often lead users to coursebuffet? (and how did I miss them!)

I have to say it's super quick and I like the interface (just signed up), what does the stack look like if you don't mind?

Edit: Now that I think about it, I have tons of questions, I'll stick to "Will you monetize it / Will it remain free"

2nd Edit: I realize now that my google kungfu is weak.

1.I will say it for sure isn't MOOCs That being said our SEO leaves a lot to be desired. Something we are still trying to figure out. Not sure why we are not ranked higher.

2. Rails/mysql

3. yes will remain free.

4. Monetization and an other questions just email me bruce@coursebuffet.com

What we do that is different than others is examine each course we list. We then classify it by assigning it a subject and number that roughly reflects what level it would be at a US university . Is it a first year 101 course then say for intro to micro economics it is Econ 101. This is incredibly time consuming but we think it enables us to give users results that are more informative and they can see like choices clustered together.

The other major benefit is we can offer the CourseBuffet Degree Paths (https://www.coursebuffet.com/degree) that replicated a Bachelor's degree using free MOOCs. These paths are platform independent so one is not locked in to Coursera, edX, etc. We also now have Minors that replicate academic minors for Econ and Philosophy.

Yes, they do make education accessible. Consider courses on AI for Robotics, Probabilistic Graphical Models. Learning these topics directly with the books and without the forum support is at least 3-4x tougher in my opinion. And for people who believe that everything is available on the internet - you are wrong! There is material from grad courses in AI that is very difficult to approach directly from the papers or the books. An example is the Reinforcement Learning Course on Udacity.

Khan Academy started out with Youtube videos and grew into a web site with quizes and tests. I don’t know if you can call it a MOOC but it teaches subjects well enough.

I guess they rely on donations, and advertising on Youtube?

According to Wikipedia it's a non-profit. I believe Google donated ad-free YouTube for the channel. Income is indeed donations.

"The project is funded by donations. Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,[8] now with significant backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Broad Foundation, Google, the O’Sullivan Foundation, Skoll Foundation, and other philanthropic organizations."

Thank you, I learned that it is a non-profit now and had donations go to keep them going.

After reading the replies, I now think my first assumption was wrong, and that Coursera does in fact offer substantially more than raw stacks of torrented pdfs.

But that's just my second point. MOOCs are a substantial service built on top of the free internet. Surely that costs money? And surely the fact that MOOCs are increasingly charging for stuff (and taking measures to make sure users pay) is not a sign that "social fairness" is deteriorating, but simply the usual costs of building anything at all?

some MOOCs are free. Some or not. That beats "nothing is available for free"

I've found courses valuable but depends on the instructer and my own level of motivation.

It doesn't make it fairer - studies have shown that overwhelmingly those already privileged take online courses (no, individual examples to the contrary don't count - this is about numbers, statistics, not the edges of the distribution). Especially for the better courses you should really already have had quite an education. And you need time and fast Internet access.

But it certainly makes it more accessible!

Myself for example, as a CS degree holder and IT consultant, over the last few years I received quite an education in anatomy, physiology, statistics (focus on medicine, biology and public health), chemistry, org. chemistry, medicinal chemistry (drug development), neuroscience, etc. Several hundreds of hours of lectures. Plus lots of others like history of architecture, "first nights" from Harvard (classical music, several courses), equine care, equine nutrition, Apacher Spark (Berkeley courses), and a lot more.

There is no way on earth I could have learned much esp. about the medical subjects any other way. You have to be really, really dedicated to try to put the pieces together just from random sites Google gives you - that's more for when you already are deep(er) into a subject and need something specific. You can of course, but since I have a life effort/benefit analysis would prevent one from doing so.

>studies have shown that overwhelmingly those already privileged take online courses

Why does the percentage matter? If 100 million people take MOOCs, and only 1% of them are poor and actually need them, then they still helped a million people! That's nothing to sneer at.

Second, what is your source, because I'm skeptical of that. And just because someone is "privileged" doesn't necessarily mean the courses have no value to them. They may have an education, but probably not in the thing they are studying on MOOCs. A bunch of people have learned about machine learning through MOOCs, for example.

Percentage matters only if you care about the rest of humanity. If you are happy with having a prosperous minority you are fine. It's a matter of choice, you are right, there is no hard line set by the universe.

Percentage matters only if you care about the rest of humanity. If you are happy with having a prosperous minority you are fine. It's a matter of choice, you are right, there is no hard line set by the universe.

I have been feeling more and more disappointed with their step-by-step implementation of paywalling learners, and a general decline in community engagement. This decision to cut access to the old material is very short-sighted, and it would do more harm than good to their "business".

The old content would have been perceived as having a historical value, as being among the first courses published in the first actual MOOC platform, not to mention the tremendous value those courses contributed by successfully reaching wide audiences around the world, changing many lives. Now they are making a bad image out of themselves.

Coursera has been getting progressively worse. There is no community engagement. I cannot be surprised or engaged by non-discussion going on, which is also the case with edX, by the way. I have done mentorship in one of the paid courses at Coursera and all I could do was to mechanically answer technical questions. Nobody cared about the critical aspects, nobody cared about generating interesting and thought-provoking discussions, even when some mentors have encouraged it. As mentors, what we were doing was just free technical support for the course providers.

Further, the recent content is at best feels like "best seller" stuff for whatever trending industry anyway. Even the UI has been getting slower.

This example provides the meaning of backing up (and further sharing) data stored in the cloud. Mostly we do not think it would be necessary to backup since the data is going to stay there "forever", right?

As a final note, I was surprised that nobody mentioned FutureLearn (https://www.futurelearn.com). It is a new MOOC platform with somewhat "European" feeling to it. I have surprisingly had the best community experience with quality discussions in one of the courses provided there. The overall content is very diverse and interesting. And yes, the UI is faster!

I just got a somewhat confusing email canceling my enrollment in the ever elusive Cryptography II course. I guess this is what that's about. If so, it's too bad, I had a great experience in the Crypto I but it wouldn't have been nearly as good without the quizzes and assignments.

I have also received such an email, yet reading it states that in the fall the course will be started (finally) on a new backend.

We are really excited to have you in the course Cryptography II! We’re reaching out because this course is being moved to our new platform which is why your enrollment in the June 13th session of this course has been cancelled. That said, you’ll be able to take the course soon on our new platform in Fall 2016. Our entire team is working hard to create the best learning experience possible for you and we really appreciate your patience with this small delay.

I've given up waiting for that now, will find another way.

If I was a prof, I'd have every one of my lectures recorded and put online for free. I wish I had recorded the lectures I attended in college. Not recalling the lectures means the notes I took in class don't make much sense.

Heck, I record all of the presentations I do, and they get posted for free on the intarnets. I put a fair amount of work into them - why hide them?

A bit tangential, but do you mind to share what equipment do you use to record your presentations?

I don't do the recording, whoever sets up the conference does it. Sometimes it's just a consumer video camera. The quality varies a lot :-) but for a lecture, the quality is not that important.

You will want to use a lapel microphone with a wireless transmitter/receiver, though.

There is no point of calling them MOOC , if they are not 'O'pen anymore.

And since it's not 'O'pen, it's most likely much less 'M'assive. Now it's more like a traditional distance learning offering. Nothing wrong with being that, but I wish we could also have MOOCs.

Great point! So MOOCs have become now OCs (Online Courses), Massive & Open stays honor badge of Open Source Software :)

Educators tried to use "OPEN" word from OPEN Source World, but could not keep it that way... Coursera and Udacity guys should stop using OPEN word please...

This sort of thing would obviously happen as Coursera is a high-value, VC-backed firm. This sort of thing is best done open and nonprofit. One I know like that is EDX: non-profit with open source software with courses from MIT, Harvard, etc. Check it out people.


Thanks to the author for the heads up, would be real shame if these courses are removed without someone downloading all the material first (I don't care if it's against the ToS, I still think a torrent is the way to go, free education has a greater value than copyright protection).

I'm a bit confused about which courses will be removed and which ones will stay. Is there a list of courses that are present on the old platform but not on the new platform? Also, I don't know where I'd access the old platform and where I'd access the new platform. Am I right in thinking this is a course on the new platform?


If so, where do I go to see the old platform?

This seems very sad. I was just considering taking the neuralnets-2012-001 class from 2012 and so although I can download I won't have access to any of the discussion forums etc. Is there an official position statement from Coursera on this decision?

I'd be happy to pay a bit for it if that's what they want. Or is their view that Geoffrey Hinton teaching neural networks in 2012 is just kind of cruft cluttering up the internet?

Hi everyone - I work at Coursera and wanted to share a blog post that should help clear up some misunderstandings about where courses from our old platform will go after June 30th:


The most important thing to know is that hundreds of courses will NOT disappear from Coursera. The vast majority of courses have already or will be updated and transitioned to our new platform in the coming months. Please read the blog post for more detailed information.

I'd also like to address questions around the payment model on our new platform. Coursera is 100% committed to our mission of providing universal access to education, and the move to our new platform does not in any way affect our mission. Anyone who demonstrates that they are unable to afford the cost of a course or Specialization can apply for financial aid. You can learn more about our financial aid program here:


Thank you very much for the clarification. Would it be possible for you to share with us the list of the few dozen courses that will not migrate to the new platform?

Isn't it more costly to administer and provide financial aid rather than set n courses as free?

They should implement per region pricing depending on GDP PPP or similar. Paying for a course means commitment; while it's no big deal for me to shelve $50-100 on their course, it's a big deal for Eastern Europe, Africa, majority of Asia etc. If they adjusted prices to locally reasonable levels, they could increase both profit and completion rate.

It would be great if you guys made a torrent out of the downloaded courses

Please teach a highly complex technical subject free for one month. Then write these kind of blogs.

Otherwise keep calm and mind your own business ;)

I always wanted to work through the algorithms MOOCs from Princeton but I kept putting it off. Profs Sedgewick and Wayne are phenomenal teachers. Anyone know if this course will be available in the future?

(probably not, since they had no certificates etc, and I don't see them going along with paid-for-quizzes courses, but it doesn't hurt to ask)

I'm in the same boat. Found https://github.com/coursera-dl/coursera-dl and was able to download part 1 and 2.

What course names did you use? I could not find the ones from Prof. Sedgewick, only the one from Prof. Roughgarden

try algs4partI-010 and algs4partII-007

Well... I guess it's too late... they probably noticed already because I can't download any more courses :(

You might have to enroll in them first

you have to enroll in them and accept their honor rolls first. Does that work?

Not really. I was already enrolled and it didn't work, so not sure what happened.

new folks: use https://drive.google.com/a/hugomelo.com/folderview?id=0B_H50... and https://drive.google.com/a/hugomelo.com/folderview?id=0B_H50... so it doesn't ask me for permissions, did not anticipate how many folks would ask :)

Google Drive says you need to grant access to download this. Clicked on the 'ask owner for permission' button. Hope you grant it.


Got permission thanks. Will download to local storage tomorrow ish.

They are currently on the old platform. Officially the old platform shuts down on June 30th.

Maybe they will be moved to the new platform. A lot of courses on the old platform have moved to the new platform over the past year.

They are available, I have doubts about OP's post.

Dear Coursera,

Thanks for all the free courses for the last couple of years. I understand the need to be profitable and make this a real business so you don't have to fire all your good employees who have helped provide free education for so long.

I for one welcome what you are doing - as I understand that's is impossible to sustain a free model forever.

All the best!

Shame! I've done courses on both Udacity and Coursera in the past. Not very many, but they did shape me and taught me stuff I either couldn't have learned any other way or could not have learnt as well.

I understand that they are both businesses that need to take care of their finances if they want to survive. Nonetheless, I am still disappointed - when they started out some years back they were all full of vigour and idealism about free education, and somewhere along the line they have been quietly dropping that idealism. They didn't even try to explain why they were doing what they were doing and why they were changing. In essence, they betrayed who they were at the beginning, and that's what makes me sad.

So thank you, Udacity and Coursera, for who you were and what you gave me, but I fear our roads shall part here...

I hope edx does not follow coursera way.

I believe they did in a way, certificates are now available only if you pay, rather than for anyone taking the class. That doesn't bother me but it's the first step coursera took before ending up where it is now.

I guess it makes the certificate itself seem more valuable as a means of expressing that you accomplished something. My view of edX is biased though by how awesome CS50 is, it feels more like a movement than a class.

indeed, and I am sure there is a percentage of people that will likely pay for a certificate that was not paying before.

It's not a bad move, and it's totally legit, _but_ it hints at a stronger effort to get money.

Regarding the "movement" thing, I had the same feeling with my first 3 large MOOC (AI which begat udacity, ML & DBs which begat coursera). But not anymore :/

Please don't compare. I don't give a damn about certificates, and I think it's totally fair for them to be paid. Actually, as I think it's only normal to not give a damn about certificates, I'd say even some kind of "full track" with exams is ok to be paid for. They still provide good learning material for free.

And, by the way, the quality of the course material on edx is arguably better. It's a shame that coursera's got way more recognition somehow, apparently.

If I remember correctly edX is a non-profit. So I guess at least the content will be freely available even if they charge for the certification. I think both Coursera and edX have some financing schemes for those who can't afford the price, although I haven't found out how it actually works.

edX is a non-profit, and the majority of our code is open source. However, course content belongs to the course creators—professors and universities. We have agreements in place to keep most content public, and re-run courses, for multiple years in some cases.

Learners who want a verified certificate but need financial assistance can learn more at https://support.edx.org/hc/en-us/sections/203392988-Financia....

Would anyone be kind enough to provide a script for downloading assignments and quizzes?

It's been posted a few times in this thread:


He said "assignments and quizzes", not "videos and slides".


I don't know about the old Udacity, but I love the new Udacity the way I use it. I load up on topics that might interest me, and run thru them at top speed. I get a quick (and very useful) overview by what appear to be very skilled communicators. I don't think I'll ever go for the project based learning model, too much potential for copy, paste, get reward like Codeacademy. Re Coursera, I've never found a class that held my attention till the end. I don't think they are challenging enough, but good information.

I confess I didn't get the point about shutting down the old platform. The new platform still allows you to enroll to a course for free and the content of several of them were updated. Some courses weren't offered a second time since 2012 or 2013 due to massive dropouts and very few students that finished the courses. Nowadays I'm taking some courses for free at Coursera, such as 'More Chinese for beginners'. I chose to pay for several and other ones I attend for free.

The only thing I hate about the new platform is that you can't access the info until a week after you enrolled into self-paced courses. It is fucking stupid. Beyond retarded.

Does anyone here know of an automated solution to get a faithful save of a whole course? As I recall it coursera-dl doesn't capture quizzes and forum, for instance.

This is bad to hear. I never managed to do a single course in the past due to other commitments. Only thing I did manage was to enroll with them. What can I do now? I wanted to learn to code and become good at it and land a job or atleast get involved in local software development companies. Is this still possible with coursera shutting down? I'm getting a little stressed in being 'late to the party'.

I thank Coursera for everything they've done to me. It's totally life changing. Without it I wouldn't be at where I am, wouldn't have chance to learn these great courses from top universities and as a result, got a dream job.

I don't mind paying a small fee (still much cheaper than going to any other school) seriously. I understand that's not the topic people are arguing about here, but anyway.

I liked their first offerings a lot, very very well done too and very capable platform compared to some others. It's sad that the model couldn't sustain.

ps: about downloading the courses pdf and videos... it's really the low hanging part, in the sense that lots of universities have open pages with lectures and sometimes videos too. What MOOCs brought were exercices + auto graders (+ student group).

I understand that they need to make money. However, something like this provides so much value to society that we as a society have a large interest in keeping it as available to everyone as possible. Therefore I think that we need to have a publicly funded platform like this or one run by a non-profit like Wikimedia Foundation. The lower the barrier for everyone to take classes the better.

I published a guide on which courses are part of the old platform and how to batch download them before the June 30th Deadline. You can find it here: https://www.class-central.com/report/coursera-old-platform-s...

I wonder what would have happened with a flat subscription model... Like "Pay 19.99 monthly and take whatever class you want".

I have to blame my procrastination and never having the habit to complete or start any of the courses I had 'enrolled' in. Now coursera shutting down, I'm leaving all my hopes to the knight of the internet to archive these. Will download and hopefully get back.

The author of this blog post has taken to a soap box to shout out, "The Golden Age of MOOCs is over" and that he hates Coursera.

Wow. Really? Do I want to even read what this is about? Fine.

"Of late we have seen MOOC providers caring less about the students and more about the $$$".

Oh boy, here comes the assault on reason.

"they should stop the game of telling people that they care for students and are here to “provides universal access to the world’s best education”."

Yeah, that's enough for me. Tarun Vangani needs a reality check.

Coursera has brought much good to the world. It has to provide good to the world in an economically sustainable way.

It would be great if the Macarthur Foundation gave its $100 Million grant to Coursera so that it could continue to focus on its mission. Hopefully, Coursera qualifies and applies for it.

Personally, I'd much rather see the money go to the Khan Academy.

This is opportunity for free courses.

Freemium doesn't just entice customers; it also denies oxygen to competitors.

The specific difficulty for courses is reputation - but wikipedia has managed it, so it's possible.

I can not see how Arab Spring made the society fairer. Internet helped the Arab Spring develop, but the Arab Spring is not such a good thing, because look what it left to middle east.

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