Coursera - Catalog Synchronization

The learning management system (LMS) course catalog is synchronized on a daily basis. New courses and course updates are communicated from Coursera to the LMS using oAuth 2.0 as the authentication protocol. Coursera courses are available within 24 hours of enabling the integration, and are classified as online content in the LMS.

Content delivered to the system via the Coursera integration is categorized as the online content training type. Because online content is updated via automatic synchronization, any manual changes made to online content metadata may be overridden in the Course Catalog and Course Console. For more information about how the online content training type behaves in the Course Catalog and Course Console, see the following:

Note: Only purchased courses are synchronized to the LMS catalog.

Note: All courses are automatically defined as available for mobile consumption and can be used on the Cornerstone Learn app.

Training Data

The Cornerstone OnDemand and Coursera for Business integration can communicate the following metadata fields to the LMS catalog:




The unique ID of the course

Title The course title
URL The course URL (used to redirect users to the provider’s course)
IsActive Specifies whether the course is available in the Coursera catalog. When a course is no longer available, it is defined as inactive in the LMS catalog

The description of the course

Thumbnail The course thumbnail image
Languages The list of available languages for the course
LastModifiedUTC The time of the last modification made to a course (UTC)
Duration The course duration
Subjects The list of subjects, mapped to the LMS subject taxonomy

Subjects Mapping

Coursera’s subjects are mapped to Cornerstone’s Subject Taxonomy. See the table below for the list of subjects communicated to the LMS catalog as part of the integration.


Coursera Domains

Business Skills Business
Technology Computer-science, Data-science, Information-technology, Physical-science-and-engineering
Continuing Education & Certifications Language-learning, Social-sciences, Math-and-logic
Health & Wellness Life-sciences
Personal Development Personal-development
Creative Arts-and-humanities

View Courses Loaded to the Course Catalog

To view courses which have been loaded to the Course Catalog using the integration:

  1. Navigate to Admin > Tools > Learning > Catalog Management and click the Course Catalog link.
  2. Click the Refine your search link on the Course Catalog search page.
  3. Click the Provider filter and choose the Coursera provider as the filter.
  4. Click the Search button. The courses that are returned in the search are courses that were loaded via the integration.

Learner Progress Data

When a learner completes a training item, their training completion is automatically recorded on their LMS transcript. Training progress data is communicated by the User Progress API, protected by the oAuth 2.0 protocol.

The following data is communicated to Coursera when learners launch Coursera courses:



userGuid The user’s identifier in the LMS
sessionToken The current session token that is used to authenticate the call to the LMS when Basic Access Authentication is used
callbackUrl The Progress API callback path
subdomain Cornerstone’s portal name. Example:
registrationNumber The current user registration number

The following data is communicated back from Coursera:

JSON Value


userGuid The userGuid the LMS communicated when launching the course
courseId The unique ID of the course
status Shows whether the course is in a status of In Progress or Completed
userScore Shows the course score between 0 and 100
totalTime The total time the user spent viewing the course (HHHH:MM:SS)
timesAccessed The number of times accessed (total). Minimum value: 1
completionDate The date and time the course was completed
lastTimeAccessed The last date and time the user accessed the course
successStatus Indicates whether the user passed or failed the course
bookmark The last location the user reached in the content file
suspendData Additional user experience data
progress The percentage of a course the user completed (integer between 0 and 100)
registrationDate The date and time the user was registered for the course

Online content metadata can be edited via the Course Catalog. The following fields may be overridden when Coursera sends course updates:

  • Course Title
  • Course Description
  • Duration
  • Available Languages
  • Thumbnail
  • Subjects (Only Coursera subjects are overridden. Subjects added by the administrator are not affected)


  • Only courses launched from the LMS can be tracked by the integration.
  • Custom fields are defined with an empty value for Coursera courses.
  • A notification appears at the top of Coursera courses on the Course Console page, alerting the administrator that it is external content which may be updated via automatic synchronization, and manual changes may be overridden.
  • The Active button is disabled for Coursera courses and can be only edited by Coursera via catalog synchronization
  • This integration supports SMAL SSO implementation (IDP). No additional integration is required to enable the Cornerstone and Coursera for Business integration, because the following process is implemented:
    • Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) metadata is exchanged and set up in advance to establish the trust relationship between the LMS and Coursera.
    • The learner launches the course from their LMS portal.
    • The learner is then redirected to either the course URL or the LMS’s outbound SSO endpoint.