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Coursera launches private Guided Projects

Private Guided Projects are likely to appeal to enterprises looking to help employees upskill and gain more hands-on institutional knowledge.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on
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Coursera is taking its Guided Projects, the education platform's fastest-growing product line, private in a move that is likely to expand enterprise and education reach.

Guided Projects on Coursera launched in April as a way to bring real-world education to broader coursework. Guided Projects, which came to Coursera via the acquisition of Rhyme Software a year ago, has hit one million enrollments with short two-hour courses on topics like Tensorflow, Python, and HTML.

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Coursera Chief Product Officer Shravan Goli said private Guided Projects will enable educational institutions and enterprises to provide hands-on instruction, do technical assessments, and upskill.

The general idea behind Guided Courses is that foundational knowledge of topics like machine learning doesn't change, but what changes frequently is the application and versions of tools.

"Guided Projects launched with 100 projects and now we have 380 projects and plan to grow to 1,000," said Goli. "Fundamentally, Guided Projects are designed to be stackable extensions of courses." Coursera has more than 45 customers interested private authoring with 10 enterprise customers pursuing private Guided Projects.

An individual can take a public Guided Project, for $9.99. Corporate customers have free access to Guided Projects through their enterprise license. Private authoring of Guided Projects including courses and assessments is included in the enterprise offering.

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Private Guided Projects will have three main use cases including institutional knowledge sharing, adding projects relative to needs, and ensuring employees acquire key skills, said Goli.

Another key use case will be ensuring that employees use tools available to them to give the enterprise better ROI, added Goli.

Namit Yadav, general manager of Rhyme at Coursera, said private Guided Projects will also have some unique characteristics. For instance, Guided Projects that are public need to follow best practices and meet Coursera guidelines. Technology tools used in the projects and data also need to be widely available.

"Private Guided Projects can use any software even applications that are custom," said Yadav. "The private projects will also be only visible to the organization and data can be private."

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