The online education company known as Coursera has racked up gaudy numbers within a year of its launch: 3.1 million users from around the world have signed up for an ever-expanding menu of courses offered for free from 62 leading colleges and universities.
On Friday, hundreds of educators from those schools gathered at the University of Pennsylvania to take stock of a movement that is transforming higher education. Some participants in the massive open online courses, known as MOOCs, wonder whether the phenomenon is oversold. Some said it is improving teaching on campus. And many marveled at the sudden global reach of their work.