MOOCs are often not as open as their name would suggest. For example, Coursera will soon remove hundreds of classes from its website, and many courses are not open for enrollment after the course is over.

Where can I obtain the content of closed MOOCs?

I am aware of http://academictorrents.com but it doesn't contain many MOOCs. Are there any more complete resources?

Disclaimer: this post does not advocate illegal or unethical behavior.

  • 1
    According to their TOS, redistributing material downloaded from Coursera is almost certainly a copyright violation, outside of the situation where the material can be obtained under an open license. Jun 15, 2016 at 16:59
  • 6
    What you're asking for seems illegal. (Mildly, but still.) I don't think StackExchange is the place for this kind of information.
    – user37208
    Jun 15, 2016 at 17:01
  • 4
    @FranckDernoncourt I said "seems" because I'm not a lawyer, but it's almost certainly a copyright violation in many jurisdictions. And simply on ethical grounds, if the owners of the content are purposely not making it freely available, seeking it out is dodgy at best.
    – user37208
    Jun 15, 2016 at 17:19
  • 2
    At risk of seeming pedantic, I feel like the only answer to this question is, "there isn't a way - else it wouldn't be a closed MOOC". Have you considered emailing the course instructors and asking for the material?
    – tonysdg
    Jun 15, 2016 at 21:25
  • 2
    Scalability was never specified in the question as a requirement ;-) Why are you looking for old/closed MOOC materials? For review? For distribution? For archiving? That might help us answer your question.
    – tonysdg
    Jun 15, 2016 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


I decided to post an answer since some people might have a similar question about MOOC downloads, albeit not in relation to Coursera courses that will be taken down. 3 [legal] solutions:

  1. The best way to obtain Coursera content is to download it when enrolled. Coursera does allow the download of videos: "You may download content from our Services only for your personal, non-commercial use[...]" see Coursera T&C. Edx T&C reads: "the [...] video [...] on this Site are for your personal use in connection with those courses only". Bulk download of content can sometimes be against the T&C- I would scan the T&C before making any such attempt.
  2. Sign up for future iterations of the course that you wish to obtain. I have oftentimes enrolled in a course, not actively taken (or downloaded) it, only to see that the course was subsequently closed and I could not revisit the content again. By signing up for future iterations, you will be notified as soon as the content will be provided again. In my personal experience of using MOOCs for 4 years now, this is a useful feature that I have benefited from myself. Example: "Advanced Data structures in Java" was previously offered, then taken down, now re-offered: Course enrolment page
  3. Email the course instructors and make your case why you would benefit from the course content. My intuition would be that instructors will be bound by their institution's and Coursera's policies, but it doesn't hurt to ask. They might be able to re-direct you to other (future) courses featuring the same material.

Lastly, I wonder (and this is pure conjecture) whether the soon-non-availability makes the previously uninteresting courses suddenly appealing and a must-have. As mentioned above, Coursera does have a track record of re-using material and re-enabling access and it is possible that much of what is taken down will re-appear in the new system of specializations.

  • 2
    "Coursera does have a track record of re-using material and re-enabling access" -> class-central.com/report/… seems to disagree: "Less than half of the 450+ courses currently hosted on the old platform are open to enrollment." Jun 16, 2016 at 15:07

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .