How setting — and being reminded of — goals are moving the needle for learners

The very first moments of a course are a crucial point to engage learners for the long haul, and many learners need a nudge to get started — especially those who have yet to invest their time and resources in their learning journey.

The literature has consistently shown that having specific goals in mind helps learners build motivation and stay focused, resulting in more positive learning outcomes. We decided to test that hypothesis in the Coursera context, enabling learners to choose short- and long-term goals right when they enroll.

The implementation is simple: when the learner enrolls in a course…


How we built a feedback loop to optimize learning nudges

Learning isn’t easy. To make it a little easier, we launched In-Course Help, delivering behavioral and pedagogical nudges as learners move through course material. In this post, we cover our process and learnings in implementing a machine learning feedback loop for personalizing and optimizing these nudges.

In the first implementation of In-Course Help, all learners at a given point in a given course — for example, completing Lecture 9 of Course A, or failing Quiz 3 of Course B — received the same message. …

Marianne Sorba

Data Science Intern @ Coursera, M.S in Data Science at Columbia University

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