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Class Central’s Help Center: Here to Address Your Queries

Pat Bowden

Every month, hundreds of people from all around the world ask Class Central questions about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and online learning. Since early 2018, I have answered these in my role as Help and Support Lead.

My Story

I discovered MOOCs in late 2012 after retiring from my paid job in a credit union (similar to a bank). Instead of spending my retirement hours gardening and sewing, I found myself in front of the computer avidly watching videos and learning about a range of subjects. Soon, I had completed dozens of MOOCs. In my search for more, I found Class Central in 2015 and wrote some course reviews. Dhawal Shah, the founder and CEO of Class Central, liked my writing style and asked if I would be willing to write a few articles for Class Central, which I did while continuing to take more MOOCs.

Pat is Class Central's Help Center and Support Lead

In 2017, I set up a blog to help others succeed at online learning. Later, Dhawal offered me a role in Class Central Help and Support. Having completed more than 100 MOOCs, I am in a great position to help those new to the field.

P.S. Might you be one of us? Check out our open positions. Most of us have never previously done the jobs we are currently doing. What we share in common is that our lives have been affected by online learning.

Help Center

We set up the Help Center to answer common questions without learners having to wait for a reply.

Some questions appear often:

How do I enroll?
How do courses work?
How do I enroll for free?
Can I use online courses for credit?

The Beginner’s Guide to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) covers many questions about MOOCs and how they work.

We also have guides to four large course providers (Coursera, edX, Udacity and FutureLearn) in the Help Center, to help with common questions specific to these providers. Plus how to make the most of your Class Central account.

Some Requests from Learners

People new to Class Central often don’t realize that Class Central is a search engine and is not involved in making, running, or distributing the courses. I will direct learners with course-specific questions to the Help, Support, or Contact Us pages of the course provider or the course discussion forum.

Occasionally, emails arrive in languages other than English. Here is where Google Translate can help. I translate the message into English, frame my response, then translate it into the original language. Not perfect, I know, but I hope it helps. If you can write in English, please do so.

As well as questions about online learning, we receive requests to publish articles, to add fully paid online courses into our database, and requests to form marketing partnerships. Most of these are not a great fit for us, as our focus is on university-level free (or mostly free) courses, usually from established course providers. If you are a course instructor, you can read some information here. If you want to join the Class Central team, check our Careers page for current opportunities.

As with any communication, feedback is helpful, and a thank you is always welcome! Alternatively, if my answer did not help you, letting me know could be useful. Perhaps I misunderstood your question. Perhaps Class Central doesn’t offer the answer your situation needs. We are constantly looking for ways to help the online learning community.

I answer Help questions almost every day of the year. Sometimes I check just once during the day, other times I’ll pop back later to answer more questions. Occasionally I need to take some time to think before sending a reply. Here at Class Central, we do not offer telephone or live chat support, but feel free to email your MOOC related questions.

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Pat Bowden

Online learning specialist, still learning after 100+ MOOCs completed since 2012. Class Central customer support and help since 2018. I am keen to help others make the most of online learning, so I set up a website:  www.onlinelearningsuccess.org