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The massive open online course provider Coursera is taking a more active role in shaping the content produced by its university partners. In an email to universities creating content for Coursera, the MOOC provider is asking for volunteers to create career-focused Specializations -- a sequence of courses meant to serve as continuing education. Some of the subject areas Coursera wants to expand include business fundamentals and iOS development, but also English language skills. To boost development, Coursera is offering universities funds in the form of a loan repaid with revenue from certificate-seeking students.

"We have been becoming more active over time as we have learned more about who are learners are and what they want," said Daphne Koller, who co-founded Coursera. "We see an increased demand for the kind of courses that give people the kind of skills they need to succeed in the workplace."