September 20, 2021

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How KL deemed to be University is helping students acquire in-demand skills and job-ready credentials

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Helping students prepare for successful careers after graduation 

KL deemed to be University’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering wanted to give students more opportunities to prepare for successful careers. For students graduating with a Bachelor’s of technology degree in computer science and engineering (CSE), a specialization or a minor in a subject like business administration, artificial intelligence, or Internet of Things can set them apart in a crowded field of recent graduates. Earning an honors distinction can also help students land a good job. 

However, very few students were pursuing extra credits. Conducting additional classwork for the credits required for minor programs or honors was often challenging considering the logistics related to transportation and access of University resources, both physical and human resources, after hours. The options for elective courses were limited, and it was often difficult to fit the additional courses into their schedules. 

Offering flexible, online learning for credit

By partnering with Coursera, KL deemed to be University is enhancing its own curriculum to make it easier for CSE students to earn a minor or an honors distinction. Students now have access to Coursera’s large catalog of online courses, which gives them more elective courses to choose from and more flexibility for fitting those extra courses into their schedules. 

According to pre-COVID guidelines set by India’s Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) applicable to KL deemed to be University, up to 20% of credits applied to a degree could be earned online. That meant KL deemed to be University students could take up to 32 credits online, out of the 160 credits required for a degree. In response to the pandemic, the MHRD has raised the online limit to 40% of total credits.   

As part of the Coursera for Campus implementation, KL deemed to be University’s faculty mapped the Coursera catalog to their own curriculum. They identified all of the online courses that supported their CSE teaching goals and divided them into two categories:

  • Some Coursera courses were integrated into regular courses taught by faculty. This approach lets KL deemed to be University faculty members bring world-class content to their students. At the same time, faculty can use digital tools to improve the student experience through active learning methods, flipped learning pedagogy, innovative evaluation mechanisms, formative assessments, virtual labs, and online capstone projects.
  • Other Coursera courses were added to the curriculum as stand-alone, for-credit courses. CSE students can apply these fully online courses toward their major or minor requirements. And students who are on the cusp of graduating with honors can use Coursera to earn the extra credits they need to reach the threshold. 

Coursera also makes it easier for students to complete prerequisites before enrolling in advanced courses. For example, KL deemed to be University’s artificial intelligence and computer networks courses require a knowledge of the Python programming language, but the university doesn’t teach Python as a separate language as part of its academics structure. To bridge that gap, students interested in those courses must first complete the University of Michigan’s Python for Everybody specialization. 

Students who have fallen behind their peers in a particular subject area can take an online course to catch up. “Coursera is not just for the fast learners,” said Professor Hari Kiran Vege, Head of Computer Science and Engineering. “It’s also for students who are albeit slow in their learning. They can use Coursera to brush up their earlier courses and take the exam so that it’s easy for them. We are trying to touch upon all categories of students.” 

RESULTS

– More than 6,770 students enrolled in Coursera courses, completing more than 106,000 courses and 425,000 learning hours 
– Introduced for-credit online learning by offering standalone online courses for-credit and blending them with existing courses
– Equipped students with cutting-edge skills in fields including business administration, artificial intelligence, and data science

Increasing the number of students completing specializations, minors, and honors programs

KL deemed to be University’s Coursera for Campus partnership launched in January 2020. Since then, the number of CSE students choosing to do specializations, minors, and honors has increased dramatically. The number of students who took the honors program has increased by 100%. The number of students who took minor programs has increased to 36 in numbers compared to a zero earlier. The number of students who picked specializations that have courses from Coursera have increased in their intake by more than 50% compared to earlier batches. The most popular are business administration, artificial intelligence, renewable energy sources, and data science. 

“Coursera has a huge set of business-related courses,” said Professor Vege. “Students now have the flexibility to pick what they like from what we offer and do the minor programs. It’s more flexible and there’s a lot of variety.” 

Boosting student confidence with professional certifications 

Since many of the online courses available through Coursera were developed by leading universities and technology firms, KL deemed to be University’s CSE students can feel confident they’re getting high-quality instructional content. In some fields, they can even earn credentials from industry leaders, like a professional certificate in data science from IBM or a specialization in machine learning with TensorFlow from Google.

“If I have to pick one thing that’s the main benefit for students, I think they enjoy getting those certificates from various universities and various companies,” said Professor Vege. “Students add a lot of these certificates to their LinkedIn profiles, and it boosts their confidence.”

Professor Vege emphasized the value of Coursera’s analytics features, which show students’ progress in acquiring specific skills. “It brings in a lot of assurance to us of the kind of skills that are being imparted to the students. That assurance was difficult and unmeasurable before, because we didn’t have this mechanism to calculate the skill level of the students.”

Making it easy for faculty to keep up with continuing education

Faculty upskilling is another key benefit. Collectively, KL deemed to be University’s CSE faculty has to complete more than 38,000 hours of continuing education collectively per year to maintain their academic status. Before the Coursera implementation, the college put a lot of effort into scheduling faculty development programs. But now, Coursera has made it easy for faculty members to refresh their skills through self-directed learning. “They are able to upskill whatever they learned earlier, and it’s happening in a very seamless way,” said Professor Vege.

IMPACT, according to KL deemed to be University

100% increase in students pursuing an honors distinction to improve job-readiness
81% of learners completed 4+ Coursera courses
Attracted students into new minors programs specializing in cutting-edge career skills

Read the full case study here.

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