How to Audit Coursera Courses

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Did you know that Coursera offers you the chance to access all of the courses for free without paying the subscription?

Yes, that’s right – you can watch all the videos and access all the content for FREE. This is called auditing the course. It allows you to smash through the course and watch the videos when you want so you can still learn a lot with this method.

Here, we’ll discuss how to audit a course on Coursera to get the most out of the course without paying a dime.

What is a Course Audit?

Coursera is one of the rare e-learning platforms that offer you the chance to access to sign up for free, and access all the courses, no matter if they are paid or free.

There are two ways you can access a course for free:

  • With a 7-day free trial that you get when you sign up
  • By auditing the course

The first method is nice, but you only get 7 days for free, which is not enough for many students to get a lot out of a course. In this period, you get access to all of the contents, including quizzes and certifications.

The second method is to audit a course. Now, this method is very popular as it allows you to watch the videos of the course for free. That way, you can learn a lot from the videos, but there is a catch to auditing courses.

Namely, you won’t have access to assignments for most courses, and you also won’t get a certification upon course completion. To get that, you’d have to pay for the full price of the course.

Let’s take a closer look at how to audit a course on Coursera and get the most out of it.

How to Audit a Course on Coursera: A Step-by-Step Guide

Auditing a course on Coursera it’s easy. Let me show you how to do it.

Step 1: Choose a Course You Like

The first and most obvious step is to select a course that you find helpful or useful or the one that looks interesting to you.

Let’s say that for example, we’re looking at how to learn to program in Python. The obvious thing to do would be to type “Python” in the search bar at the top:

Then we can take a look at all the courses available for Python.

As you can see, the top-most course instantly catches my eye as it has the most students out of the results, it has the highest rating, and it has the most ratings, too, which is an indicator that this course is indeed, quality.

As it turns out, this is a specialization instead of a course, so it’s comprised of several courses that will take you from being a beginner to an intermediate or even advanced Python programmer.

Step 2: Select “Audit the Course”

If we click on this particular course, we’ll see that it’s comprised of several courses; we cannot audit complete specializations – instead, we’d have to audit each course within the specialization, one by one.

NOTE: You can audit an individual course straight from the course’s page. Keep following this post to see how you can audit an individual course.

If we try to audit the specialization by clicking on the “Enroll for Free” button, this is what we see:

As you can see, there is no option to audit the course, as it should be there when you try to audit an individual course.

What you have to do instead is go to the “Courses” section of the specialization and select the course you’d like to audit from there:

This is what pops up when we click on “Courses”. Now we can choose our preferred course from the specialization, and audit each course from here on.

Let’s select the first course as it looks like a great course for beginners. Once you’re on the course’s page, you have to select the “Enroll for Free” button.

When you click on that button, a pop-up window will prompt you to select the 7-day free trial and then, later on, pay for the course in full. That’s neat if you’re sure you will need the certification from the course, but if you just want to access the course’s content and watch the videos without taking assignments or certifications, you can do so by auditing it.

To audit the course, simply select the “Audit the course” button on the pop-up window asking you to take a 7-day trial of the course:

Just click on this button and congratulations, you’re now auditing the course!

Read on if you want to learn what you can do if you decide to audit a course on Coursera.

Step 3: Audit the Course

Now you’re in the auditing mode of the course. You can view all the video materials of the course, which is how most of the courses are constructed on Coursera.

You can also read the materials in the course, make notes, and even read the forum of the course.

You can watch the videos and makes notes for yourself, and you can still learn a lot from the course this way. However, there are certain things that you won’t be able to do if you don’t purchase the course in full. This includes:

  • Completing assignments and quizzes
  • Getting certifications
  • Accessing external tools
  • Accessing certain parts of the course

For example, you can see that certain parts of the course appear to be locked and inaccessible.

You can only access that if you purchase the course.

Step 4: Purchase the Course if You Like It or Need a Certification

Auditing the course is very neat as you can get a lot out of it for free. You can make notes on your own and still learn a lot.

But some courses or skills are hard to learn without doing exercises. This is why it might make sense to purchase the course at a later date once you see fit or if you recognize the value of the course.

You’ll also be able to get a certification if you decide to purchase the course in full.

The Bottom Line

Coursera offers a course auditing function where you can access a course’s materials and contents without paying for the course. While you won’t get certifications for the course, you’ll still be able to follow the course’s content and learn a lot with this method.

In this article, we’ve reviewed how you can audit a course on Coursera and what are the benefits of doing so. So, get auditing and start learning now!

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About the author: Hey there! I’m Vince. I’m a trained and practicing teacher with experience in e-learning and course design, along with having an extensive background in building and maintaining websites. I started EduTest Labs to help course creators and students find the best resources (without the BS).