UF’s Levin College of Law is leading the state in course offerings on a free, virtual platform.
Coursera is a website that allows people to take college courses through universities at no charge. While students can’t receive degrees from the classes, which are often run by college professors, they can receive certificates. UF currently offers 12 courses.
Pedro Malavet, a UF law professor, said he teaches The Global Student’s Introduction to U.S. Law on the website. He put the course together with seven other professors, he said.
He gets a lot of international students taking his course, which he has taught twice. Some of his students have also received at least one university degree.
But the dropout rate for the course is high, he said. Because the course is free, students register without considering the time commitment.
“They’re not investing money,” Malavet said. “They are investing only time.”
Despite this, he said he loves how many students he can reach through it.
“For me, the opportunity to reach thousands of international students at the same time was just too good to be true,” he said.
Thais Arianne hadn’t heard of Gainesville before taking Malavet’s class in 2015. But after taking it, the 27-year-old who lives in Brazil said she’s decided to come to UF this July for a master of laws degree.
“I just watched the classes, I really liked the content,” she said. “And I’m like, ‘I’m going to try,’ and it worked.”