Coursera, a company powered by the online education tools created by two Stanford professors, has received $16 million in funding from venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. They’ve also found partners in 4 major universities: Princeton, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, and of course, Stanford itself. Coursera is the latest in online learning from Stanford, and follows Sebastian Thrun’s and Peter Norvig’s online AI course experiment which more than 20,000 students completed last year (inspiring their new startup, Udacity). Then, there’s also MIT’s MITx (which started courses in March), Khan Academy, Minerva, and others. The difference with Coursera is that course offerings will range across topics, from computer science to poetry, and grading will occur through a Yelp-like system of comments from students, Coursera’s UPenn collaborator explained to NPR.
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