Coursera: The Platform

Viewing archived courses on Coursera

Today I wanted to review some materials from one of my favorite Coursera courses – Introduction to Forensic Science from Nanyang Technological University. In the past, I’ve been able to access materials from completed courses by going to my “past” or “archived” courses page on my dashboard and selecting the name of the desired course.

But today I was only able to access the course information page (linked above), not the actual curriculum. I went into my internet history  and looked up the direct address for the course materials, which was This got me a page that looked like the curriculum page, but was devoid of any content.

I’m pretty bummed. Had I known my access to these materials would be removed, I would have downloaded them to my computer.

I decided to check on Foundational Neuroscience for Perception and Action and was able to access those archives. So apparently it’s no a sitewide issue.

Has anyone else run into problems accessing archived materials? Is the removal of archived curricula determined by the schools that offer the courses, or by Coursera? In the past, I’ve received emails from universities when they were planning to shut off access to archives, so we could download any materials we wanted to save. This incident really threw me for a loop.

I went to the help section and found the notes below (you can access them here), but no answer from anyone identified as Coursera staff.

Very disappointed – archived courses stopped being available


I have been a very big user and a fan of Coursera over the past 1-and-a-half year.

I haven’t been able to follow the courses I was enrolled in recently but, given that am I here for the knowledge and not for the grades, I always knew I could resume the courses when I could, at any given time.

Today I am ready to work on all the courses I was enrolled in, and I can’t believe I can’t access any of my courses anymore. Students used to be able to keep the course material in their “archived course” section.

What was this change for ? I am extremely disappointed and can’t learn any of the things I decided to learn (and counted on learning). I don’t understand what this change was for and I don’t understand that students haven’t been advised of this. This decision was certainly not taken in the interest of the students.

Again, I was very grateful for what Coursera had to offer. To me, all this was about was learning things outside of a school framework, meaning being able to learn what you wanted to learn when you had a bit of time, for the sake of learning, and not for grades. Now it seems that “framework” and “grades” is all that counts here…

I’d really like to talk about this with the Coursera staff but I couldn’t find any contact email.

Thank you for any feedback

Sort: Date Votes


  • 0
    July 31, 2015 12:46


    I’m sorry that you’re unable to to access archived courses.  Could you please check the information in this link please:

    • Check the Current, Past, and Upcoming tabs on your My Coursespage. Course start and end dates are approximate; an active course may appear under Past or Upcoming

    If you still have problems then you can complete Coursera’s  Contact form.

    I hope this helps.

  • 0
    August 25, 2015 17:06

    Hi Coursera. I have taken many courses so far and enrolled in two more coming up this year. In my Profile listing the courses I have taken so far I se one missing. The very first one I took by Prof. Harrari titled, A Brief history of Humankind. I completed this course and obtained a certificate as well. Hope it will be added to my Profile soon. Thanks.

  • 0
    Tuesday at 14:46

    life interfered and I was unable to finish a class I started on Forensics but I wasn’t worried because I knew I could at least watch the videos when life slowed down again.

    They are gone.  Archived.  This is new.  Why are you doing that and how can I get access to those class videos.  The class is not offered again.

    The purpose of Coursera is for people to learn outside the standard university model.  Making the videos unavailable when class is over defeats that purpose.


5 thoughts on “Viewing archived courses on Coursera

  1. Hi Kathryn,
    it seems to me strange you haven’t noticed it so long. It has been always a feature, some courses are removed entirely some days or weeks after the last deadline. The fact that it isn’t always this way made me assume that it an instructor choice. The public contract between Universities and Coursera states that all the rights on material stand by the University, I haven’t seen the contract for the last specializations though, it may have changed, but theoretically Coursera is an Amazon for courses, they do not own the goods, providers go there because they know they’ll find students, students subscribe to Coursera because they know Coursera is supposed guarantee a standard of course quality, reliability and a vast offer.
    I have been downloading courses for a while, I now have a folder 350 gb large, for the rainy days when also auditing will not be free.
    Just in case, firefox has pretty good add-on for fast downloading like “down them all”.


    1. I guess most of the courses I’ve wanted to revisit have been of the “keep the materials up” philosophy, or they’d given us a clear deadline about when they would close. Because of the weird look of that one link, I wonder if the creators of the forensics course intended to keep it up and they’re just going through some course maintenance right now.

      Speaking of downloads, have you figured out anyway to download the self-paced course videos to one phone? I have Android in the Coursera app won’t allow me to do this, so the only work around I figured out of downloading the videos on the computer and then uploading them to my phone, which is a bit of a workaround compared to the non self paced courses.


      1. On the android app there is the “save for offline” option that makes you download all. I usually download on the app but then I go to the folder, and I watch them with the smartphone videoplayer, I cannot watch anything under 1.5x, usually I need a 1.75x.
        For the same reason I do not you the edx app, I stay directly in the browser and download videos, watch them and aswer their quiz.
        The link is not weird, every course has the number of iteration in the url.


      2. Thanks! I’ll look for that option.

        That’s a good tip to watch using the smartphone video player. I prefer to watch things speeded up as well.

        (Clarification: I meant the weird look of the web page at the link, not the link address)


      3. Actually several courses that were up after the class all now give 404s or some other notice of not being present. Every single one of mine give this notice now. So either they inadvertently broke this or took it down on purpose. In any case the complaints in the forum are not getting answered except for a generic link that itself is giving a 404.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s