Online Learning Pioneer Talks about the Power of Technology

October 28, 2013 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

On October 22, Coursera cofounder Daphne Koller spoke to a capacity crowd in Elmhurst College’s Illinois Hall about the potential of technology to improve learning outcomes.

Koller is a professor of computer science at Stanford University and a founder of Coursera, the company that since 2012 has enrolled more than 4 million students in its massive open online courses, or MOOCs. She is a passionate advocate for technology’s potential to improve learning outcomes while lowering costs, and to “open doors that otherwise would remain closed for the millions here and abroad who lack access to good, in-person education.”

Koller’s lecture, Technology: The Passport to Personalized Education, was part of the College’s Education in Crisis lecture series, a yearlong look at the significant challenges facing American education. Prior to her lecture at Elmhurst, Koller was a featured guest on WBEZ’s Afternoon Shift.

As cofounder and co-CEO of Coursera, Koller has helped to link some of the world’s top universities and organizations to millions of students, rather than hundreds. Coursera is an education company that partners with select universities and organizations to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. The courses include lectures and interactive exercises, as well as feedback and mastery learning techniques on subjects ranging from mathematics and business to the humanities, medicine and the social sciences.

Koller is currently the Rajeev Motwani Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. In addition to her career in the classroom, Koller has given several Ted Talks and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the ACM/Infosys award and the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

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