By Andrew Ng, Coursera Chairman and Co-Founder
As Chairman and Co-founder of Coursera, I was thrilled to present Coursera’s 2021 Outstanding Achievement Awards at our 9th annual Coursera Conference on April 19th and recognize the partners, course teams, and customers demonstrating a deep commitment to partnering with us to build a world where anyone, anywhere can transform their life through learning.
Coursera has come a long way since we launched our first courses in 2012, and none of the progress would have been possible without our partners. By examining data on the Coursera platform, we are able to identify content that launched in the last year with the highest enrollments, top learner ratings, and greatest career transformation. Now, we are excited to recognize the course teams, partners and customers that make these learning experiences a reality.
Let’s announce our 2021 award winners:
The Innovation Award goes to the partner and course that best exemplifies innovation in the service of learning and demonstrates how the agility, adaptivity, and flexibility of online learning can be harnessed to create content that meets the world’s most pressing needs. We are pleased to present the 2021 Innovation Award to Johns Hopkins University for their timely and incredibly impactful COVID-19 Contact Tracing course. This course had launched on May 10, as the whole world was still in the early phases of stay at home orders and figuring out how to deal with the pandemic. I’d enrolled in this too. Created with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, it helped people learn about how contact tracing is done, including how to build rapport with covid patients, identify their contacts, and support both patients and their contacts to stop transmission in their communities. It received more than half a million enrollments in the first 6 months and has earned a satisfaction of 4.9 out of 5 stars with 80,000+ ratings.
From Dr. Emily Gurley, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: “The real innovators have been students of the course… who took the course and then took action in their own communities.”
Congratulations John Hopkins University!
Campus Transformation Award
The Campus Transformation Award goes to the educational institution doing the most to extend access to world-class education through digital transformation.
This year’s Campus Transformation Award goes to Manipal Global Education Services. Manipal is a leading, private university with over 42,000 students and campuses in India, Dubai, Malaysia, Nepal, and Antigua that provides degrees in a range of disciplines including Engineering, Management, and Healthcare.
Manipal partnered with Coursera in 2017 to inculcate a culture of multidisciplinary and lifelong learning among its students. In 2019, Manipal’s engineering and management schools mapped Coursera courses to their curriculum and offered credit for completion. This led to an increase in course enrollments from 71,000 in 2018 to nearly 265,000 in 2020. 12,000 of these enrollments were in courses that were integrated into academic programs and had an average completion rate of 80%. Ravi Panchanadan, Chief Executive Officer of Manipal Global Education Services, reminded us all of how online courses can help “to augment skills and human capital” around the world.
Congratulations Manipal Global Education Services!
Talent Transformation Award
The Talent Transformation Award recognizes a company that has helped its employees achieve extraordinary success through online learning. I was delighted to present this to Novartis. Novartis is a global healthcare company headquartered in Switzerland with 110,000 employees across 140 countries.
Novartis wanted to nurture employee curiosity to retain talent in a highly competitive pharma talent industry and continue to develop creative solutions to the world’s biggest healthcare challenges. They chose Coursera as a partner in 2018 to help establish a culture of learning that delivers critical data science, digital, business, and soft skills. In 2019, they expanded their partnership and added free tuition reimbursement for online Degrees as well as MasterTracks in data science. In 2020, due to positive learner feedback and increasing demand for online learning, Novartis’ expanded its program yet again to provide employee-wide access as well as a new “Friends and Family” program.
Today, over 23,000 Novartis employees have logged 80,000+ enrollments in 3,600+ distinct courses and guided projects, developing skills across data, technology, business, human skills, and health domains. From Simon Brown, Chief Learning Officer at Novartis: “we’ve doubled the amount of time our employees spend learning.”
Learners First Award
The Learners First Award goes to the course that maintains the highest learner rating on the platform launched in the last calendar year. This year’s winner is Facebook Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate by Facebook and Aptly. This is the first social media marketing certificate on the Coursera platform. It ranked in the top 5 for new content enrollments across all of 2020 and achieved an exceptional average learner rating of 4.9 out of 5 across ALL 6 courses in the certificate.
“Facebook is committed to providing tools and skills to support job seekers who need it the most. To help us achieve the latter at scale – and as we strive to improve economic equity — we are thrilled to offer the Facebook Social Media Marketing Certificate to job seekers looking to enter the digital marketing space while providing a pathway to employment.” – Judy Toland, VP, Head of Scaled Solutions, Global Business Marketing
Congratulations Facebook and Aptly!
Career Transformation Award
The Career Transformation Award recognizes the instructor, course team, or partner whose career-focused learners are experiencing the highest rates of success for achieving their goals. This year’s recipient is UniAndes for Introducción a la programación orientada a objetos en Java.
Early signals are demonstrating the value of this course to learners: 50% of course completers who completed our learner outcome survey this year have received a promotion or pay increase and one-third have started a new career after completing this course. This open content is a leveling MOOC for Universidad de Los Andes’ Maestría en Ingeniería de Software (Masters in Software Engineering), Coursera’s first Spanish-language degree. This degree launched in 2020 as the first non-English degree on the Coursera platform and has been truly transformational for Coursera learners in Latin America!
As UniAndes continues to make more content, the online learning team reports: “we are excited to keep changing the world through the power of education.”
Thank you to all of the partners and customers who continue to serve the world through learning and a special congratulations to our award winners. I am honored, proud and humbled to be working with you on the education mission.
Chairman and Co-Founder
Andrew Ng is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Coursera and an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University. As a pioneer both in machine learning and online education, Dr. Ng has changed countless lives through his work in AI, authoring or co-authoring over 100 research papers in machine learning, robotics and related fields. Dr. Ng now focuses his time primarily on his entrepreneurial ventures, looking for the best ways to accelerate responsible AI adoption in the larger global economy.