More than 900,000 students have signed up for the so-called massively open online courses offered by major universities through Coursera. The upstart company, which began operating earlier this year, held its first official meet-up on Saturday, in a park near its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Some 650 students attended. The Chronicle asked a sample of students at the event to explain their motivation for working through the courses, which carry no official credit. | Related Story

  • Kimberly Spillman

    38, San Diego

    "I was socializing with students way more than I ever had. We'd hang out in the pub."

    This audio feature is not available.
  • Charles Clark

    59, Washington, D.C.

    "I could have bought a book, but I think having a fixed deadline has a lot of value."

    This audio feature is not available.
  • Yichuan Cao

    23, Mountain View, Calif.

    "I probably wouldn't put that on my resumé, but I would say I know how to do it."

    This audio feature is not available.
  • Amy Tam

    42, Sunnyvale, Calif.

    "What I am hoping for is, if there are questions, the local study group will help."

    This audio feature is not available.