Online School Offers Specialization Courses

March 7, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. leading /ˈlidɪŋ/ (adj.) – best known among its competitors
Example: Harvard is one of the leading research universities in the world.

2. reputable /ˈrɛpyətəbəl/ (adj.) – known and trusted by many
Example: Many students aim to study in reputable schools.

3. conclude /kənˈklud/ (v.) – to be finished
Example: The lesson concluded with an interesting quote.

4. incentive /ɪnˈsɛntɪv/ (n.) – something that can encourage or inspire
Example: The teacher gives additional grades as incentives for good performing students.

5. demand /dɪˈmænd, -ˈmɑnd/ (n.) – desire or need for something
Example: The demand for cheaper education is high.


Read the text below.
Online educational company Coursera [kohr-se-ra] will now offer a “Specializations” certificate program in which students can take a series of courses under a specific topic.

Coursera has been the leading massive open online courses (MOOC) provider since the company launched in 2012. Interested students can take various courses electronically and pay cheaper fees through the company’s website.

In partnership with reputable universities, Coursera offers decent education in an innovative way. The introduction of Specializations certificate program widens the scope of learning for the students. It enables students to specialize in a particular area of study by taking a series of courses.

Like previous courses, the Specializations program requires no formal enrollment process. Anyone can sign up and be certified as long as they finish the required classes from different courses. Before the program concludes, the professor will assign a final project to the students. The student can include the certificate and the project in his résumé [REZ-oo-mey].

Coursera hopes the Specializations program will serve as an incentive for students. Before, users just sign up and attend their desired classes without finishing them. The new program, on the other hand, provides a list of courses to take for each area of expertise. This setup gives students an easy time to choose courses from the thousands available. With this clear path, Coursera hopes that most students will be encouraged to complete their courses.

Coursera said that the new program focuses on careers with technical skills and high demand from employers. Two of the programs include Programming Android Applications and Data Analysis. Ten more programs from different schools will be added in the next few months.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you be interested to take a class in Coursera? Why or why not?
·         What is the advantage of Coursera over traditional education?

Discussion B

·         What are the problems of the current educational system in your country?
·         What do you think the future of education in your country will be? Kindly explain.


March 7, 2014