Coursera strikes deal with publishers on textbooks

One of the largest US massive open online course providers has announced a deal with publishers that will allow students free access to relevant excerpts from text books for the duration of their studies.

May 8, 2013

As part of a pilot programme, Coursera students on certain Moocs will be able to access materials from Oxford University Press, Cengage Learning, Macmillan Higher Education, SAGE and Wiley. The process will be facilitated by Chegg, a company that offers students online access to learning resources.

It means that academics teaching courses on the Coursera platform will now be able to curate teaching and learning materials from recognised publishers without students having to pay to get their hands on them.

The publishers will make relevant chapters from e-textbooks available free of charge, although students who wish to read the books in full, or read them once their course has ended, will have to purchase them.

“We recognise the importance of forging partnerships with other stakeholders in the education space in order to help students overcome barriers and evolve the way they access education,” said Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera.

“By collaborating with publishers, we are able to provide access to some of the world’s best resources to Coursera students.”

Coursera is also actively discussing pilot agreements and related alliances with Springer and other established publishers.

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