Coursera closes courses on the old platform. Materials can be downloaded until June 30 (there is a script)

Published on June 11, 2016

Coursera closes courses on the old platform. Materials can be downloaded until June 30 (there is a script)

    Nothing personal just business


    If you think that the most important thing brought the Internet into our life? What has changed the society most of all, what is most valuable? It is difficult to answer, it is difficult to choose among everything, too many options come to mind. One of these options is mass open online education , free and affordable education for all people on Earth, using e-learning technologies and open access via the Internet. Regardless of the place of residence and financial prosperity, everyone in the world can now receive education at the highest level, listen to lectures by the world's best specialists in effective curricula, which previously were available only in elite universities.

    Coursera , a project opened in 2012 by computer science professors at Stanford University Andrew Eun and Daphne Koller , has become an advanced platform for mass online education .



    Coursera quickly gained crazy popularity. Tens of millions of users, 1,563 training courses from 140 universities from 28 countries (as of January 2016). By the way, the most popular of all one and a half thousand courses in all languages ​​of the world , according to Coursera statistics, is the course in Russian “ We build robots and other devices on the Arduino. From traffic lights to a 3D printer". The course is taught by teachers from the laboratory of innovative educational technologies of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology: Alexey Perepelkin, head of the robotics department, and Dmitry Savitsky, researcher. Even this fact shows how popular the Coursera is with the Russian audience.



    Free and affordable education for all. The best training programs in the most relevant subjects - lectures, practical exercises, online check, support for mobile applications for the iPhone and Android ... What else can a resident of some Russian hinterland want for whom online education in programming, robotics, machine learning , artificial intelligence? - the only hope is to somehow improve your life in the future. What can I say, many people alreadychanged their lives thanks to Coursera. But all good things end sooner or later.

    Unfortunately, even on the Sun there are spots. With regret we have to admit that our beloved “Curser” has become increasingly greedy in recent years , almost like Udacity.

    Like some other projects that have declared “accessible public education for all the inhabitants of the Earth,” Coursera is also gradually commercializing. Like Udacity, in Coursera, money gradually becomes a top priority, and for this the company sacrifices the interests of its users. Of course, this is a private project (unlike edX), the company has the full right to earn money and use different business models, but given such a vector of development, it will be some hypocrisy to declare that the company “provides universal access to the best education in the world”. Earlier they declared universal access to "free education" ( "is commited to the-making: best education in the world freely available to the any name person the who seeks IT"), but now the word "free" thoroughly removed from all pages of the site .


    Old screenshot

    For Coursera, the business model envisaged at the first stage massive user engagementwith further commercialization. In principle, there is nothing surprising in this; according to this cynical business model, many Internet companies operate that offer free services to users.

    Having received an audience of tens of millions of people, Coursera began to gradually tighten the screws.

    It all started with the fact that Coursera, like everyone else, refused to issue free certificates. Only paid remained. It is clear that they are beautiful - they are sent in paper form, with stamps, etc. But many people had enough of a free certificate in digital form and a pdf file (amendment 06/13/2016: apparently, paper certificates are no longer being sent, now digital certificates have become paid).

    Well, no big deal, many thought. What is the difference, whether they give a free certificate in digital form or not, because the main thing is knowledge, curriculum, which remained here of the highest quality.

    Then they turned off free access to questionnaires and assignments. It was already strange. Everyone knows that completing assignments is an important part of the learning process. How to study algorithms, if you do not check the knowledge gained in real problems? In the end, the job still remained available, but it was impossible to send and check the answer. Well, this is at least something, it could be worse, many thought.

    And now Coursera has undertaken another (last?) Reform - they generally remove all courses from the old platform! This decision caused a natural outrage among some users.

    “The golden era of mass open online education is coming to an end,” said one of the past students of Coursera, an Indian student Tarun Wangani (Tarun Vangani), who studies programming.

    The problem is that on the new platform, not all courses available on the old one are available. “On the old platform, the courses contain practical tasks — it seems that this material [of the Coursera] is troubling,” writes Tarun Wangani. He states that as a result of this decision, a huge amount of material from public use will be lost, both on forums and in problem books.

    "And they were obviously very generous, sending out e-mails with a reminder to back up our data so that they would not be lost." For this Coursera recommends such a wonderful method:



    To save course materials from the old platform:

    • Download all lecture slides or videos that you would like to keep for reference.
    • Keep a record of your answers to questions and other assignments by taking screenshots .

    Screenshots? Thank you very much!

    The text of the letter is fully published in the comments .

    Text of the letter
    We wanted to inform you of an update to our technology platform that will affect access to some courses you previously joined.

    In 2014, Coursera began developing a new technology platform to improve your learning experience, and to allow courses to run more frequently. The majority of our courses are now offered on the new platform.

    This month, we are closing the old platform. One or more courses you joined are on the old platform.

    Effective June 30, 2016, courses on the old platform will no longer be available. You should use this opportunity to save any relevant course materials or assignments.

    How does this affect my courses?
    Any courses and course materials on our old platform will no longer be accessible after June 30. Until that date, we encourage you to save any content you need for personal use and reference.

    Any courses on the new platform will not be affected by this change.

    Will this affect earned Certificates?
    All Statements of Accomplishment (SoA) and Verified Certificates will remain accessible in your Accomplishments page, as long as you do not unenroll from courses you have completed on the old platform. You are also welcome to download a copy for your records at any time. Statements and Certificates that you have shared to LinkedIn will also be maintained on your LinkedIn profile after June 30.

    How do I know if a course is on the «old platform»?
    If you aren’t sure which platform a course is on currently, navigate to the course and check the URL in the browser bar — courses on the old platform have URLs that begin with class.coursera.org (rather than then new platform, which uses the URL coursera.org/learn.)

    How do I save course materials?
    To save course materials from the old platform for reference:
    • Download any lecture slides or videos that you would like to save for reference
    • Save a record of your quizzes and other assignments by taking screenshots

    More questions?
    If you have a technical issue with your account, please visit our Help Center.
    Thank you for being a part of our learning community, and for your patience and understanding through this product transition! We are excited to continue to improve the learning experience on Coursera, and we look forward to bringing you more great courses on the new platform.

    Coursera gives everyone the time until June 30th to download courses. Here are some courses that will delete after this date.


    PS Instructions for automatically downloading Coursera courses (using the coursera-dl script ) with video files, slides, etc. For practical tasks, as indicated above, there are only screenshots.

    UPD 12.06. For clarification: now Coursera does not always require payment for solving problems on free courses on a new platform. Some courses are still completely free, along with tasks, you only need to pay for the certificate. The comments say that some courses from the old platform can also be found on the new platform.