Published On: Thu, May 1st, 2014

Richard Levin makes significant changes in education giants Coursera

Dr. Levin, former President of Yale University plans to form a Global Translating Community that will offer students increased content in new languages.

Dr. Richard Levin, who recently retired after serving twenty years as president of Yale University, has not taken too long to begin making some sweeping changes at online education giants, Coursera who he joined as chief executive in mid-April.

Coursera was formed in 2012 by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, already have an online student list numbering more than seven million people, from around the world, teaching in twelve languages. The Coursera platform enjoys working relationships with no less than one hundred  universities worldwide, including such prestigious institutions as  Yale, Harvard, and Princeton, although around 40 percent of the platform’s users are residents of  non-English speaking countries

Now with Dr. Levin leading the company,  plans are reportedly already in place  to generate  increased learning  content, as well as to expand the number of languages that Coursear will handle through a new initiative, to be entitled  the “Global Translating Community” (GTC).

One of the first steps to institute the GTC initiative , according to information recently published by Coursera in their blog, is to institute a crowdsourcing program that will allow for printing of translated subtitles in a variety of languages  on to existing online video courses.

According to the blog, Coursera teachers  throughout the World  have been  reporting back to the back in increasing numbers the phenomena where students are busily taking copious notes during lectures, which they discovered were in fact instant translations for the benefit of their classmates, whose were unable to follow the course because their particular language skills were insufficient.

Now Dr Levin will oversee  the founding of GTC members in the form of a  private translators’ portal which will allow those who want to help or want to learn  tocommunicate directly with Coursera staff and with other volunteers from around the world.

One of the areas where Dr. Levin is expected to have considerable influence, is in the Coursera’s  presence in China, already the second largest  market for the company’s services. In a recent interview, Dr  Levin stressed how large  a  potential market can be for Courseara,  one which the company will be better placed to take advantage of thanks to his almost unique knowledge of how the Chinese educational system operates, coupled with  a willingness and understanding in the vast nation to take advantage of  interactive forms of instruction.

Levin forged in depth ties within China’s higher education system during his years   at Yale., during which time he made serious inroads in promoting the University’s  relationships  within the country, as well as across  Asia.

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Dr. Richard Levin graduated from Stanford University in 1968 with a B.A. in history, later going on to earn a Bachelor of Letters in politics and philosophy from Merton College, Oxford later going on to  round up his studies with a  Ph.D. in economics from Yale in 1974.

That very same year Dr. Levin  began his professional career as an Assistant Professor of Economics at Yale in 1974, being elevated to Associate Professor five years later.

Dr. Levin  was promoted to Professor of Economics and Management at the Yale School of Management in 1982, later going on to become chairman of the Economics Department and dean of Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

In 1993 Levin  was appointed Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Economics at the university , a post that he held for twenty years before stepping down in  June 2013. Shortly before retiring  as President of Yale University, Dr Levin published a book entitled “The Worth of the University”, which was  a sequel to his first , “The Work of the University”.

Daphne Koller  was born and raised in Israel. After completing  high school, she commenced her higher education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem , gaining her bachelor’s degree at the age of  just 17 going on to complete her  master’s degree the following year,

Ms. Koller  went on to complete her Ph.D. at Stanford University  in 1993 at the age of just 25, going on to conduct postdoctoral research at  the University of California, Berkeley during the years 1993 to 1995, after which she  joined the faculty of the Stanford University Computer Science Department, before forming Coursera in 2012. Daphne  has succeeded in raising more than $85 million in funding for the company, from a broad spectrum of  investors, including three universities, the World Bank, as well as  GSV Capital, Yuri Milner and Learn Capital.

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