Coursera looks to Google and Instagram to up its credibility and cool factor


Who cares if stodgy old companies think you’re legit when you’ve got Google and Instagram on your side?

That’s the attitude Coursera, one of the nation’s largest providers of free online courses, is adopting.

On Wednesday, the MOOC – massive open online course – provider announced that tech giants Google and Instagram will help develop its capstone projects, the final task students face before they’re given a quasi-diploma.

While Coursera’s courses are free and many students take them ad hoc, the MOOC provider also works with more than a dozen colleges to offer formalized “specializations” that involve a series of MOOCs and a final capstone.

If they successfully complete a capstone, students can get a certificate verifying that they’ve mastered a particular course series for a nominal fee.

But then what? Many companies are still adamant that they want employees with a traditional college diploma. That’s bad news for Coursera…

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