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7 Questions With a Daring Innovator


In recent times, dedicated, progressive educators have explored incorporating on-line studying into their present curricula.

Adarsh Lathika is considered one of these changemakers. His ardour for engineering and administration has guided his work as a part of the Manipal International Schooling Providers (MaGE) core crew for over a decade. On this position, he has partnered with college leaders to implement numerous strategic applications—together with Coursera for Campus

With Adarsh’s management, the schools below the Manipal Schooling Framework (Manipal) noticed course enrollments on Coursera improve over threefold from 71,000 to greater than 250,000 in simply two years. To get extra college students enthusiastic about Coursera, Adarsh and his crew launched the Coursera for Campus Ambassador Program that engaged college students as brokers of change.

On this first installment of Coursera’s Daring Innovators weblog publish sequence, we talked to Adarsh about launching this system and his crew’s plans for the long run.

Q. Welcome Adarsh – Our readers would like to study extra about your journey with Coursera and the way you inspired pupil adoption of on-line studying.

From the beginning, we knew that getting extra college students enthusiastic about on-line studying would require contemporary approaches. To create a tradition of transdisciplinary studying, we partnered with Coursera to supply a broad-based studying expertise.

After we began with Coursera for Campus, we would have liked college students to really feel enthusiastic about this system. With inside champions, we may personally encourage college students to discover the complete advantages of Coursera’s content material. Assembling our inside champions meant aligning college students, college members, and the college’s management. Deep, cross-functional collaboration was the muse of our Coursera for Campus Ambassador Program. 

Trying to find our dynamic campus ambassadors, we carried out written assessments and cellphone interviews to seek out candidates with robust communication expertise. Finally, we recruited 99 campus ambassadors with the expertise and drive to create consciousness about the advantages Coursera brings to learners. 

Peer-to-peer engagement is significant, however we additionally needed college champions to assist college students’ onboarding into this system, so we reached out to Deans and division heads to advertise Coursera. With college students, college, and departmental management absolutely enthusiastic about Coursera, we noticed robust outcomes proper from its first yr. Manipal’s Coursera for Campus program is amongst Coursera’s prime three applications globally by way of enrollments and studying hours.

Q. With a program that concerned a number of stakeholders, how did you navigate the complicated cycle of change administration?

We’re proud to be the primary college to undertake Coursera for Campus again in 2018. However we all know that any huge change, nonetheless constructive, comes with challenges. Simply as any profitable journey begins one step at a time, we designed the Manipal – Coursera Campus Ambassador Program in phases. Our first step in change administration concerned boosting Coursera utilization charges amongst college students. 

Part 1: Creating Consciousness

In our first yr, we centered on enrollment. Every ambassador knew our core aim: Each pupil ought to have the ability to enroll in this system simply and full not less than one course. We empowered our ambassadors with clear descriptions of their duties and well-articulated KPIs, as they labored with communities of round 150 to 200 learners. Ambassadors had been tasked with sharing some great benefits of Coursera of their courses, freshmen introduction periods, webinars, and pupil golf equipment. We gauged ‘ambassadors’ success by measuring KPIs towards numerous milestones within the on-line dashboard, and made updates as we found new efficient approaches. 

To construct momentum as enrollments began rising, we started the #LearnASkill marketing campaign. Although we launched the marketing campaign throughout summer season break, it sparked large engagement. We maintained a #LearnASkill leaderboard and provided prizes and certificates to encourage wholesome competitors amongst taking part college students – some college students accomplished as much as 100 programs.

Part 2: Making Coursera a Studying Behavior

Energized by the success of Part 1, we moved the Coursera for Campus Ambassador Program into Part 2. Right here, we labored to maintain our learners’ enthusiasm for this system. 

We understood that college students would need to find out about the advantages of continuous with extra programs after finishing the preliminary necessities. Encouraging college students to succeed in the following stage with their studying prompted us to begin the #ShowYourSkill competitors. #ShowYourSkill went one step past course completions, compelling learners to point out off their newly acquired expertise.  

As we analyzed college students’ studying patterns, we labored with Coursera to curate particular course suggestions. By way of our campus ambassadors and pupil golf equipment, we shared these course curations to make studying a behavior.

To assist college students perceive how these programs would fast-track their careers, we linked them with alumni who had been Coursera learners. After listening to the private experiences of the alumni, college students deepened their investments in studying by means of Coursera. 

We additionally invited college to find the probabilities by means of Coursera by way of on-line periods and emails. As extra college adopted Coursera, we noticed a big spike in pupil engagement. With pupil curiosity on the rise, we streamlined the campus ambassador program to 30 crew members. 

Q. What processes did you set into place to make sure the long-term success of Coursera for Campus at Manipal?

To maintain ourselves organized, we created a dashboard to trace our actions as we developed this system:  

  • E-mail IDs of contributors
  • License standing
  • Variety of programs accomplished
  • Share of programs accomplished
  • Quantity of people that accomplished the course, and a number of other different particulars
KPIs and campus ambassador leaderboard statistics

Initially, we noticed round 20-25% of scholars full programs. Quickly, that price reached 60%. Because the crew chief, I shared this information month-to-month with the campus ambassadors. Over two years, we additionally onboarded college champions in disciplines starting from IT to Pharmacy,  driving additional adoption amongst college students.   

Q. Are you able to share any anecdotes or tales that convey the affect of the Campus Ambassador Program?

Our college students and college have heartwarming tales about their success with Coursera. One story from a learner, Urvashi Pathak, notably stands out:

Coursera was an amazing assist through the pandemic in 2020. I took the chance to enroll in a number of programs to upskill and enhance my data base. I’m at the moment working for an IoT and Automation firm. The programs I took from Coursera had been associated to my job and offered me with a really detailed understanding of the IoT area, which additional enabled me to use this information in my office. 

Ramaprasad Poojary, a college member at SOEIT MAHE Dubai, additionally has excessive reward for Coursera: 

For my part, Coursera is likely one of the finest initiatives by Manipal International. As a college member of SOEIT MAHE Dubai, it helped me replace my technical expertise in machine studying. It additionally helped me information college students throughout their mission work and different programs. I’ve subscribed for 3 consecutive years and lately accomplished a specialization in ML utilizing TensorFlow on Google Cloud. All 5 programs below this specialization had been properly designed.

These highly effective testimonies emphasize how Coursera empowers our college students and college.

Q. The Campus Ambassador program was undoubtedly an incredible success. What have been a few of your private learnings from this system, and the way do you envision the expansion of this system from right here?

By way of the Coursera for Campus Ambassador Program, we found a lot in regards to the minds of our younger learners. Utilizing casual platforms, akin to WhatsApp teams, we gained solutions to important questions: How are our college students studying? Why are they studying? What do they should enhance their studying? 

With our new data, we may higher reply platform- and course-related queries, which elevated exponentially towards the top of a semester. A few of our insights contributed to new Coursera product options, akin to including course ID in grade reviews, together with certificates URLs in utilization reviews, and eradicating share choices for peer assignments.

The Coursera for Campus Ambassador Program is now an built-in a part of Manipal’s motion plan, which is very outcome-driven. 

Q. Do you may have any suggestions for fellow educators attempting to advertise adoption of Coursera at their universities?

As educators, we’re normally asking our college students questions to assist them study and develop. After we applied Coursera for Campus at Manipal, we posed some elementary inquiries to ourselves. These questions are extremely related to all establishments: 

  • What are you attempting to attain with Coursera?
  • What would be the advantages to your learners? What issues are you attempting to deal with?
  • Which metrics will you monitor, and the way typically will you evaluation them?
  • How can stakeholders akin to college students, alumni, and college function driving forces on this program? How will you customise your strategy to satisfy every ‘ ‘stakeholder’s distinctive wants? 

Reflecting on these questions can assist educators create profitable roadmaps for creating learner applications by means of Coursera for Campus. 

Q. Based mostly in your expertise, how do on-line programs and platforms like Coursera assist put together college students for his or her skilled life? 

Know-how has been altering how we stay for the final 25 years, and the tempo of change has accelerated with the arrival of good applied sciences. Within the job market, new graduates will compete not solely towards their classmates but additionally with graduates from the remainder of the world. The abilities and competencies they want will proceed to vary all through their careers. In such a fluid state, the basics stay essential.  Together with tender expertise, an understanding of how you can study repeatedly, and the flexibility to work with these from different cultures.

Making certain our learners have the talents and competencies to compete within the international workforce is our accountability as educators. With Coursera, we’ve given our learners entry to data that prepares them to reach a world the place evolving know-how modifications the methods we stay day by day. 

On-line studying by means of Coursera for Campus helps college students study from content material developed by the brightest minds in trade and academia, and empowers them to be future leaders and innovators within the international workforce.

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