Coursera Review (2021): The Only Review You Need to Read

This Coursera review tells you everything you need to know. It looks at the courses available, how much they cost, and Coursera alternatives.

9 Total Score
Best platform for online courses

Coursera courses are an amazing opportunity to study any subject with the top universities in the world. The platform offers top-notch free and paid courses in languages, as well as other fields like technology, engineering, and literature. The platform is easy to use, it’s safe and secure, and you study at the same time as thousands of other students. Coursera is definitely worth a try if you want professional and high-quality courses.

User Experience
9
Quality of Content
9
Features Available
8
Value for Money
10
PROS
  • High-quality courses from top universities
  • Structured lessons with clear goals
  • Projects allow you to interact with other students
  • You can obtain certificates and degrees
CONS
  • Courses may not be very fast-paced
  • Sometimes limited availability
  • Better for some topics than others
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Table of Contents

Main Features

Languages

Learning Experience

Price and Subscriptions

Alternatives

FAQ

I love testing and trying out language learning apps to see which ones help you learn languages quickly and effectively. While Coursera isn’t like most other traditional language apps (like Babbel or Pimsleur), it’s still an effective language learning tool. In fact, some of the top Coursera courses are language courses!

Coursera logo

Coursera is a massive open online course (MOOC) provider that has been around since 2012. Professors from Stanford University founded it and now Coursera partners with universities around the world to offer online classes, certificates, and even degrees. Coursera offers a huge variety of subjects, so you can study anything from engineering to Korean and everything in between. Some of the courses are free, too!

Coursera Review: Main Features

One way Coursera stands out from other online learning alternatives is the amount of courses it offers. It also has courses available in a wide variety of languages, which makes them accessible to people around the world. From closed captioning and subtitles to complete transcripts of all videos, Coursera is an excellent way to study what you love in the language you want. Here are some more features of Coursera.

Coursera Courses

When you choose to take a course with Coursera, you can choose between free courses, paid courses, and complete degrees.

Coursera paid vs free courses

Here’s a breakdown of what they are:

  • Free courses give you access to all of the materials, but you won’t receive a grade or certificate when you complete them
  • Paid courses include everything: Grades, instructor feedback, and a certificate
  • Degree courses are bachelor’s and master’s degree programs from established universities and you pay for them through Coursera

You can visit the website to see the complete list of Coursera courses. Some of the best Coursera courses have millions of learners. You can also read through student reviews to find which online course is best for you.

Coursera Certificate

If you want to earn an accredited or verified qualification from Coursera, you can pursue a certificate. Coursera certificates are the best way to show your achievement on your resume or CV. These are the different types of Coursera certificates:

  • Professional Certificates: Professional Certificates are for specific jobs you want and take less than a year to complete. You can earn career credentials, complete hands-on projects and activities, and even access career support services.
  • MasterTrack Certificates: MasterTrack Certificates are specific modules taken from more complete Master’s degree programs. These allow you to study graduate-level courses without paying for the whole program. If you want to study for a Master’s degree later, your MasterTrack certificate can count towards your degree.
  • University Certificates: University Certificates give you advanced training necessary for more senior roles in your chosen profession. Accredited universities issue these certificates directly, so you can share them with recruiters, employers, and hiring managers.

If you’re learning a language, certificates can be a great way to show what level you’re at. Other language apps like Busuu and Lingoda also offer certificates when you reach certain levels of fluency. These aren’t as widely-accepted as Coursera certificates though. If you want to learn Spanish, Baselang helps you prepare for the DELE certification, but doesn’t provide its own certificates.

Coursera Plus

Coursera Plus features

Coursera Plus is a subscription program that lets you access and enroll in over 3,000 online courses for one monthly price. More than 90% of classes are included in Coursera Plus, and you can also pursue specializations and Professional Certificates with a subscription. So instead of paying for each class individually, you can access almost every class you want for one price.

Coursera Language Courses

There are a lot of courses available on Coursera, and I decided to take a closer look at its language courses. The most popular language courses available on Coursera are English, French, Korean, and Spanish. Here’s a breakdown of the courses you can complete for each language (or you can see for yourself here).

Coursera English Courses

English is the most learned language in the world and Coursera offers a lot of different courses to help you study it. Some of the most popular courses for learning English on Coursera are:

  • Improve Your English Communication Skills (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • English for Career Development (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Business English Communication Skills (University of Washington)
  • IELTS Preparation (University of California)

Based on student reviews, the best English course on Coursera is English for Career Development from the University of Pennsylvania. The course has over 1.5 million students enrolled and its rating is 4.8/5.

Coursera Spanish Courses

There are some in-depth Spanish courses on Coursera, but they are mostly for beginners. They include topics like Basic Spanish Vocabulary, Medical Spanish, and Public Speaking. If you’re looking for more intermediate or advanced material, you may be better off taking a regular course that’s in Spanish. There are over 4,000 courses taught in Spanish on Coursera, and the topics include everything from data science to social media marketing.

Coursera Spanish courses

If you’re not quite ready to take a course entirely in Spanish, you can check out these Spanish apps to learn more of the language quickly.

Coursera Korean Courses

If you want to study the Korean language, Coursera could be a great place to do it. There are quite a few Korean language courses available for beginners through advanced learners. You can also take courses in related topics, like Korean Philosophy and Culture and the Korean Alphabet. Korean universities created most of the courses, so you’ll also be learning from qualified professors who are native speakers. That’s a huge advantage!

Coursera Korean courses

If you want some extra practice outside of class, you can also check out these Korean apps to learn the language more quickly.

Other Languages

Coursera can be a useful tool to include in your language learning resources. It won’t necessarily help you become fluent though. If you’re looking to learn a different language or just want to see what other options are out there for language learning, these language guides show you the best apps for learning each language.

Coursera Review: Overall Learning Experience

In general, Coursera is a very simple platform to use. It’s easy to navigate and find everything you need. The videos and lesson notes are also all on the Coursera website.

Coursera course dashboard

One thing I really like about Coursera is that it has very high standards for courses. Other sites that are similar to Coursera, like Udemy, let anyone publish a course and sell it. When you take a course on Coursera, you know that you’re learning from the best universities in the world or top private companies like Google and Facebook.

Most classes have a forum that lets you interact with other students, too. This can be really useful because you can read through the questions other students are asking. The forums are also a great place to work on group projects with other students or review homework assignments together.

Coursera Review: Areas of Improvement

While Coursera is definitely one of the best places to take online courses, there are still some areas of improvement. The main one is the interaction between students. The forums are great for general discussions, but the platform has limitations when it comes to peer reviewing other students’ assignments.

The formatting can easily get messed up if you copy and paste your work into the Coursera platform. Even worse, there’s no way to resubmit. This can be really frustrating if you worked hard to complete an assignment correctly.

Coursera platform screenshot

Overall, the Coursera platform could also use some more general updates. It’s a solid platform, but it’s not the most attractive and the features could be improved.

Still though, Coursera is an excellent online learning platform and it’s worth a try. If anything, you can take a free course to get a feel for the website before enrolling in any paid options.

Coursera Cost

The cost of Coursera is between $49 and $79 if you buy courses individually. You can also subscribe to Coursera Plus, which gives you access to all courses and certificates, for between $32 and $59 per month.

Coursera Free Trial

Coursera Free Trial

Before signing up for Coursera Plus, you can take advantage of a free 7-day trial. This trial gives you access to all of the courses and lets you participate in the forums and complete assignments. It’s a great way to see if Coursera is a good fit for you.

Coursera Course Prices | Cost Per Course

Coursera costs between $49 and $79 if you buy courses individually. When you buy a course, you get complete access to all lectures, you can submit assignments and questions, and you receive a certificate when you complete the course.

Coursera Certificate Price

Coursera has three different types of certificates and each type has a different price. Here’s what each Coursera certificate costs:

Coursera Certificate TypeCost
Professional Certificate$39-$99
MasterTrack Certificate$2,000-$5,000
University Certificate$1,000-$3,000

Coursera Specialization Cost

Coursera uses a subscription model for most of its specializations, and each specialization costs between $39 and $89 per month. There’s no long-term commitment, so you can cancel anytime. It’s important to note that each specialization requires its own subscription though. If you want to study more than one specialization, you’ll need to pay for each one separately.

Coursera Plus Price | Membership Cost

Coursera Plus Price

A Coursera Plus membership costs $59 per month or $399 per year. If you choose the monthly option, you can take advantage of a 7-day free trial. If you pay yearly, Coursera offers a 14-day money-back guarantee. You’ll also save $309 per year if you choose to pay yearly instead of monthly.

Coursera Discounts

Coursera offers some discounts, coupons, and promo codes for its courses and subscriptions throughout the year. These usually take place around major holidays. However, there are also some discounts you can take advantage of anytime if you meet certain requirements. There are the discounts Coursera currently offers:

  • Coursera for Students: If you register for an account with your school email, you receive unlimited Guided Projects and 1 free course per year.
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships: If you can’t afford to pay for a Certificate, you can apply for financial assistance through the Coursera website. Each course requires its own financial aid application. If accepted, you can receive a partial or full scholarship to certain courses.

Coursera Alternatives and Competitors

Coursera is definitely one of the biggest online course platforms on the internet, but there are a lot of other sites like Coursera you may not have heard of. Some online learning platforms like Coursera are Udemy, EdX and Udacity. Each website or app offers something different, so it’s a good idea to check out websites like these that are similar to Coursera before purchasing a course.

Coursera vs Udemy

Udemy Homepage

Coursera and Udemy are two popular online learning platforms. They may seem pretty similar at first glance, but there are some major differences you should know when choosing between the two. Coursera has a broader range of courses in multiple languages. It also has strict quality standards. Udemy has courses in a lot of different areas, too. Anyone can create a course and sell it though, which means quality may not always be the best. Udemy offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all courses, so it’s definitely worth checking out!

Or read this Udemy review to learn more

Coursera vs EdX

EdX Homepage

EdX and Coursera both offer top-notch online courses, so choosing between the two can be difficult. It’s important to know that EdX specializes in computer and data science courses though. Coursera partners with institutions that offer courses in a huge variety of subjects. Both platforms offer free trials, so try each of them and decide for yourself which best suits your needs.

Coursera Review FAQ

Is Coursera trustworthy?

Coursera is definitely a trustworthy online learning platform. It partners with leading institutions and companies around the world to provide high-quality online courses. Coursera is also safe and secure to use.

Does a Coursera certificate have value?

Coursera certificates can be very valuable. Even though you complete courses through the Coursera website, your certificates are issued by top universities around the world. Receiving a certificate from one of these schools can be very valuable in your professional life.

Are Coursera courses free?

You can audit Coursera courses for free, which means you can watch the lectures and read through the course materials. However, you will not receive a certificate for completing a course if you only audit it. To receive a certificate, you need to pay for the course.

Which is better, EdX or Coursera?

If you want to study computers or data science, EdX is the better choice. The platform specializes in these topics. For all other topics though, Coursera is the better choice. It offers a large number of courses in a wide variety of languages.

Can you put Coursera on your resume?

Yes, you can put Coursera on your resume. However, it’s best to do this only if you’ve received a Certificate for completing the course. This way, you can show your Certificate to any future employers. If you audited a course for free, you don’t receive a Certificate.

Coursera Review Methodology

To write this Coursera review, I enrolled in First Step Korean from Yonsei University. I explored the course as well as the entire Coursera platform to understand everything it offers. Reading through other user reviews on websites like Trustpilot and the Google Play Store and Apple App Store also helped me construct this review. I am not an employee of Coursera and Coursera did not sponsor this review in any way.

Chad started Langoly to help others learn and teach languages more effectively. He's a language enthusiast, and loves reviewing language learning and teaching resources.

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