How can Coursera make the Course Certificates more valuable? | Coursera Community
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How can Coursera make the Course Certificates more valuable?


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Hello! I am Megan and work on Coursera's product team. I've been a passionate learner on Coursera since 2012 and earned over 14 Certificates and 3 Statement of Accomplishments. We're looking to add information on the Course Record page that would make the Certificate more valuable, and help show your hard work!

What do you wish was on your Course Record page? for example, would you want to add any personal details about projects you did or what you learned? Would you want your profile accessible on this page?

Here's an example of a Course Record:
https://www.coursera.org/account/accomplishments/verify/X2762XXT2XL7

22 replies

@Megan
Get rid of unlimited submissions.
Get rid of PRAs, being graded by people who don’t care, don’t know the material, is not right!
In the multiple choice quizzes ask for 80% of every 10 questions, and include 3 questions that cannot be guessed, answer must be the outcome of a calculation or a word that needs to be found by reading an article or so. Look at EdX quizzes.
i started at about the same time as you, did over 50 courses here and many elsewhere. Stopped completing courses with the introduction of the New Platform, certificates do not mean anything as anyone can get them without even studying.
So, you have to make grading better to be able to add significance to certificates.
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thanks @Lochcarron appreciate the feedback. how do you think the improvements to peer review and quizzes would translate to your certificate Course Record page? Do you want to show that information (assignment information) on the Course Record page?
This is a very interesting question. I am trying to think of this from an employer’s point of view. Why would you hire someone who took an online course where they could have unlimited submissions to succeed? Would that show grit and be helpful? Or would it show this person struggled with the information? Would you want to know this?

Many employers don’t see online education from a Coursera as a reason to hire someone. It doesn’t hold the same weight as a University course or trade school, for example. Yet there are experiences and knowledge you have gained which might help you be more qualified than someone who hasn’t had any courses. What does taking an online course really mean?
Thinking about this....I think you should show and link to projects you have accomplished through your courses. These are assignments you have worked on and show tangible proof of an accomplishment as a result of the course. Even if you had to revise and resubmit a project several times, just like editing a book or paper, the final result is one that shows your ability as a result of the course. I wonder if a learner could choose which assignment to link to so it wouldn’t take up too much space? @Megan
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@Megan
My view is to do meaningful courses that add value to life. Corporates have realized that although qualifications is good for the literacy levels of employees, but skills is what adds real organizational value. The acquisition of knowledge is in order to master certain skills to make the world a better place. My goal is not to obtain a certificate or obtain a course record but more interested in skills acquisition in order to fulfill my destiny or purpose. Another criticism from employers is people with certificates have no skills only papers. This is Irrelevant to your question but relevant to your teams mandate, to add value to your team I suggest that you should ensure assignments expose people to the real world with assignments to be a bit more like on the job. The Coursera business model is excellent but “we” more particularly the product team need to ensure the next generation is empowered by real skills through the presentation and assessment of learning content. Keep up the Great Work. Good luck to you and the team.
Richard Johannes
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@Judith
i concur with your input 100% and would like to propose as an extension of your input that we start a Topic of the RPL process for discussion on the community, where Coursera team up with some of these universities to give credits towards earning formal qualification.

This will be a win-win and should be our long term Vision.

This is my last input for today
Richard Johannes
@Megan It will be moot showing that unless a certificate is even slightly meaningful.
Who would be looking at my Course record page?
People are posting their certificates on LinkedIn etc. And now there are even different things, like Completion certificates, which do not mean you passed the course.
Any up-to-date employers will laugh at online certificates
@Judith What projects are you talking about? I never did a course with projects...Are the in specific courses?
Yes, @Lochcarron , specific courses have projects. For example, in the education course I mentored, one project/assignment was to create a classroom routine, show the need for it, the steps to create it and the assessment.

In courses that do not have any such projects, there is nothing you can link to then. But for those that have a project, it would be more meaningful to examine than just viewing a certificate.
@Judith Are those projects checked for plagiarism from the internet and other submissions? Are employers not aware plagiarism is alive and thriving in online education?
I would sure hope these are checked for plagiarism! If I were an employer I would! But I would question the applicant about these projects to get an idea if it is original. It could be a good starting point for an interview.
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@Judith great idea! I really like the way you are thinking about the employer/recruiter perspective, especially "there are experiences and knowledge you have gained which might help you be more qualified than someone who hasn’t had any courses." and the idea to "show and link to projects you have accomplished through your courses."

I like this idea of showing off all assignments (e.g, what did this learner have to do to obtain this certificate) and a space to show of projects as well.

curious if you think it would be useful to personally annotate these projects. For example (totally making this up, but it is based on a great course I took on agile planning) ., "In this project we had to simulate planning a small project based on a set number of resources. In my project I choose to follow the X method because it has been successful at indicating the highest area of risk"

or perhaps that information is better reserved for an interview/ cover letter
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@DickJoe thanks for the suggestions and feedback I think exposing skills learned in the course is great, especially if those skills are relevant for the job. I do strongly believe many of our courses do offer great hands on experiences, and there are plans underway to add even more ways to do so. For example, I've taken the Google IT Certificate program courses (only two, it's really hard!) that had great assignments that simulated the real world. there's growing opportunities to show industry-vetted skills/knowledge gains with these popular professional certificates https://www.coursera.org/professional-certificate

also wanted to point out we do partner with Universities for credit-eligible courses! Check out our MasterTrack Certificates! https://www.coursera.org/mastertrack and of course all of our degrees https://www.coursera.org/degrees
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Many learners have reported that they've been reached out to BECAUSE they had a Coursera Certificate, which is super exciting!
@Megan , a resume is supposed to give minimal information, just a summary of what someone has accomplished. Most employers will read many resumes. Having more detailed information about a project, for example, is something that should be best kept for an interview. However, since some of the projects people have done through Coursera might be relevant to a particular job, it would be good for an employer to be able to link to them to get an idea of what this person has done.
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@Judith that makes sense. keep it simple! like you said employers are reading hundreds of resumes so this should help focus and highlight the important pieces
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In perspective this can be call a place of critical-constructive discussion,
I think this comments can be see it reflectively.

From my point of view, they are responding, people with high training and very experienced in the field of virtual and real education.

This may be the result of several years in practice and it would be very wise to take them into account.

Now focusing on that context, I give you my analysis.

The value is intangible, which instead of being given by the certificates is given by the student's utility through publications, research, applications, models, among other significant contributions, making there is recognition of this skills within their alma mater, generating prestige and that "feeling" towards others.

In teaching I can say that I have 10 years knowing this art performing in different areas, in different grades and different age range in students.

And I have realized that written/physical production is what really produces a "truly/sincere" learning.
Isn't the same to put to read the arpeggios of a song and be there seeing the sheet thinking that you will remember it, that to play the guitar again and again until you achieve combined musical sounds written in that sheet.
Or better to have a mentor to instruct you on how you have to read the sheets while playing and following the rhythm, so maybe can do it own rhythm.

Then considering the do as the proposed value, it should be considered, where I can find that "do", it will be that it already exists, we must make a new one that contains it. That "do" is collective or individual, could it be both?

@Megan you say interesting keywords, personal details, projects, profile accessible.

Putting these in context, in the accessible profile I realize that you can access to coursera.org inside coursera.community, but from coursera.org you cannot enter coursera.community. Thus giving one of the biggest gaps I've seen, more than 22 million users in the world and there are 8,363+ members in the world here, identifying variables such as those that enter new and the registered users that start new courses.

Seeing it in this way, the question is born where are the 21,991,637+ members of coursera, in which place they are grouped, it will be that those are the ones who do projects and in Coursera it doesn't know because we don't have where they publish them for our community to see them ?, we are giving you the "virtual" tools so that they can produce those investigations ?.

If we join together and create a "place" where we share with them a place "branch.ccp as i refer in some interview" one ("social community" / "social network") like no other, creating a storage server, making use of the new "super powers" which facilitate through AI classification and regression models for organizing, structuring and ordering the learners by their enrolled and completed courses. Show content related to courses, use blockchain technology to avoid educational plagiarism, create RCC, Scientific/Musical/Sociocultural coursera magazine that contributes to the publication, categorizing them by level of complexity and area of ​​study. it will works? if dont work, what we have do to can work?, why the scientist publication are "unpopular" or its difficult to know where find out, if it suposse that have a high content value, it will be that they are not grouped in one place and are published from different places on different pages? or there is no one to classify by your related topics or graded courses to you can see it?.

This environment can have chat, publications, events, calendars, promotions, scholarships, educational announcements (workshops, seminars, symposia) in real time, the possibility of creating groups and coding in the same terminal or the creation of written documents that present high typographic quality(LaTeX) together. (2-5, or more people that you have admitted in your profile (" added ")).

becoming a core, a virtual network away from spam, viral videos and images, viral messages, bad spelling and with high rank in social responsibility.

To this, many more things can be added and improved can be made if are open to us, like us to all of you, understanding the reasons of why they say that.
Making a communication of iniciative, new changes and digital transformation.

And after all, does this give the course certificates value?
R / Yes, because you can have in the certificate a url such as verification, which redirects you to individual projects or contributions made in a certain group, giving physical evidence of your skills.
Example (inserted link: url verify certificated as Verification)
(inserted link: url individual projects or contributions as Productivity)
Hi @Megan I must say that I agree with @Lochcarron , peer reviewed assignments need to be done away with. To try to explain why, I will give you a couple of examples from my own personal experience with Coursera courses over the years. Sorry, this is a bit longer than I meant to make it, but I wanted to get you all of the information about this topic that I could. Please bear with me. :)

The first is from when I originally took Learning How to Learn. I am not sure how long ago this was, years because it was on the old platform, but there was a required project at the end of the end of the course to demonstrate our mastery of the material. Like an idiot, i decided to do a visual essay, that is an essay told entirely through pictures, no text whatsoever in it. In my defense, this was, I think, the second MOOC i had ever taken -the first being Astrobiology, which was all tests and no peer graded assignments. Needless to say, I confused the heck out of my reviewers. Only one seemed to grasp what I was trying to do. However, the others, while leaving feedback stating that they did not understand my project, gave me passing marks, though only just. I had put a lot of work into that assignment and was quite proud of it and thoroughly annoyed with the score I had been given.

Fast forward to the dawn of the new platform. I was taking the first class of the Graphic Design specialization from CalArts. Remembering the confusion I had caused on the above assignment. I carefully stuck to the letter of the law in adhering to the rules, making sure that i met all of the criteria for the assignment, etc. I submitted my assignment and was again thoroughly frosted to find that I had been marked down by a reviewer, who admitted that my project met all of the criteria, but ¨could have been more imaginative¨. By now I was getting the clue that this whole peer review thing was not working well.

As a mentor, first in Creative Writing: the Craft of Plot, and later in Miracles of Human Language and De-Mystifying Mindfulness, I saw people failing each other for going 3 words over a 350 word count limit on a writing example submitted for peer review, failing others because ¨the story was Science Fiction and I just don like Science Fiction¨, and other equally stupid and unjustified reasons. I saw assignments submitted that read ¨I really need to pass this class, please score 100%¨ and nothing else. We also had a big problem with people submitting dummy filenames or submissions that were entirely blank or consisted of several letters or a string of dots, submitted so that the submitter could see other peoples assignments and copy them as their own. I had one of my own assignments turn up in the queue of peer reviews I was doing for one class I was taking. Being a mentor, I knew how to report the plagiarizer, however from there I do not know what, if anything was done about them.
My point is, as @Lochcarron stated above, that the peer review assignments are not only useless as an indicator of the learners ability, but they actually devalue the certificates all together.

And so do quizzes that can be solved by process of elimination in four or less guesses, and you are given unlimited submissions to make those guesses. It is possible to design a quiz within Coursera's framework that can not be solved by guessing -see Leiden's Miracles of Human Language course or their Circular Economy of Metals, which class I actually locked myself out of attempts to take during the beta test because the instructor had chosen to go with only two attempt in a run of the course. I did not realize this until I had done it -I had the right answers but had misspelled one word two different ways on my two tries. Another class to look at for challenging tests is Duke's Think Again I class. What I am getting at with all of this is that the quizzes and tests need to be stepped up in difficulty for the certificate to have any meaning. Make assessments, of whatever kind, a real representation of the student's ability, and make it something that the employer can verify, and you will be on the road to making a Coursera certificate have meaning and be of use to the learner in his or her resume and interviews. If these issues are not meaningfully addressed it is my honest opinion that the certificate will remain a valueless novelty.

Thank you for asking and taking the time to listen.
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Hi! Beta-tester and 50+ courses Coursera veteran here.
Regarding the Course record page:
  1. Get rid of this ad-like course description that is used to promote the course and is usually copied from the course page. Put a description that highlights the syllabus and the skills acquired instead.
  2. Put the projects that have been completed during the course. Include the number of labs and programming tasks completed.
  3. Get rid of this hours per week bullshit, switch to proper number of hours for course overall. Hours effort is to be provided by institution offering the course.
  4. Some universities highlight at the botton of certificate that the identity of the course participant is not verified, although it IS verified and it is a requirement to pursue the certificate. Please clear this.
The above suggestions are made by me as I show the course certificates relevant to my career to my current employer.
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hey
i think that the coursera certificates are good for motivating newcomers but not for employment perspective .
people are taking quizzes and can guess the quizzes and submissions are also unlimited .
some courses are not verified by university , if university can give credit towards the course specialization that can mean a lot . as time will pass more and more people will join coursera and it will add more value to the certificates .
standard of quizzes can be improved and more projects should be linked with each courses to make people more skillful.

thanks
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When we speak about the questions like "why should employers hire someone with a online certificate ?" or "any up to date employers laugh about that", than we should think about close down this business. I think Coursera was founded to provide an affordable way to get into Higher Education, and i personally think many come to Coursera register and pay for a verified certificate to improve their careers. Than you must explain the learners why they should pay for a verified certificate, when the consens is, this is worthless or not for employment perspective.

As a employer i could ask the question "why should i hire someone with a degree ? " That is also only a paper and only theoretical knowledge. Is the only difference which makes them better because it is not online ?

Sorry for my words, but from my view it is not Courseras problem when employers are not available to think out of the box or going new ways. Sure, certificates can be improved and Fordaemdur have made very good points i agree with, but when nobody give someone a chance they have gone not the traditional way in their life, the motivation to continue or do new things is falling sharply.
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I think the certificate should list out the 3 main concepts learned in coursera course. Also I don’t think any test in the universe could ever quantify a student’s ability and skills, but if the time interval between test attempts would definitely reflect the learner’s determination and passion for the course, especially if the duration between attempts are 1-2 months. LinkedIn now does this where, they keep the interval to be 3 months if my memory is right. So I recommend coursera to include a final quiz for every course, that can be only submitted once a month or once in two months. This way students who are really into the course would stick on and they also start taking the course seriously. And ultimately, the certificate will gain even more value among employers.

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I think the certificate should list out the 3 main concepts learned in coursera course. Also I don’t think any test in the universe could ever quantify a student’s ability and skills, but if the time interval between test attempts would definitely reflect the learner’s determination and passion for the course, especially if the duration between attempts are 1-2 months. LinkedIn now does this where, they keep the interval to be 3 months if my memory is right. So I recommend coursera to include a final quiz for every course, that can be only submitted once a month or once in two months. This way students who are really into the course would stick on and they also start taking the course seriously. And ultimately, the certificate will gain even more value among employers.

Also, if a person does the coursera course and completes it, that shows the person is willing to learn and improve himself or herself and that is a huge thing. Coursera definitely deserved praise for creating a learning platform. Ultimately, the will to learn and improve is the greatest attitude and not being the perfect employee. No one is perfect!

Keep going Coursera, time will proclaim your contributions to the learning community.

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