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Free Online Courses (MOOC)

Updated on July 4, 2013
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In today's fast paced world students and professionals alike are seeking quick and easy-to-adapt learning opportunities. The upcoming trend of attending courses in virtual classrooms is an answer to that. What's more: we can extend our knowledge and skills for FREE by enrolling to online courses offered by the top universities from the comfort of our homes.

Have you tried online courses before?

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Why Take a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)?

I have happened to find a great course and my 6 weeks learning experience was very beneficial, so I highly recommend it to others as well. The advantages of MOOC's are:

  • The best professors offer to share their wisdom and expertise with you
  • Have I mentioned that it is all free of charge?
  • Flexibility in location and time so participants can easily organise study sessions around their busy days
  • Clear outline of the course and deadlines, making planning easy for students
  • Online forums where teachers and participants can connect, discuss topics and raise questions

It Sounds Great, but will I get a Certificate?

Some of the courses do offer certificates to those completing the required coursework, but the majority will not. The main purpose of these courses is to allow anyone from any part of the globe to have access to amazing study and development opportunities. Though participants usually don't receive accreditation, they gain new knowledge and skills that could have a positive impact on their studies/careers.

discuss classes with friends and other students around the world
discuss classes with friends and other students around the world | Source
Enjoy a cappuccino and today's online class in comfort
Enjoy a cappuccino and today's online class in comfort | Source

What are the Most Popular MOOC Sites?

I am listing some of the top websites here that I know are 100% free of charge...Be aware that other sites may advertise free courses but often there are additional charges for the second part of the course or for accreditation.

Coursera.org

By today nearly 4 million people have become courserian, ie. registered on the site. The portfolio is impressive with over 300 courses organised with the help of 62 universities from 16 countries. And this list is continuously expanding. The majority of topics come from the following fields of study: humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science.

OpenLearning.com

The company provides educational opportunities in fields that are not yet available on other platforms, such as Marketing. Moreover they are determined to bring excellent quality courses by 'making online learning more effective than face-to-face' and enabling teachers to fit the course to the students' needs.

Edx.org

The site was co-founded by Harvard University and MIT, soon joined by other universities, such as Berkeley, Boston, Peking Uni, Hong Kong Uni, and Cornell - definitely an eye-catching group for potential students! The portfolio is smaller compared to Coursera, however the topics are just as interesting, and through the interactive online courses, the founders are determined to bring the best of higher education to the whole world. Studies are offered in the following subjects: law, history, science, engineering, business, social sciences, computer science, public health, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Udacity.com

A true gem for students in the real science fields. New joiners may choose from classes at beginner, intermediate and advanced level in business, computer science, mathematics, physics, psychology.

What if I Want to Take Courses at my Own Pace?

The following websites are also great learning sources. The difference compared to the aboves is that all materials are available, the courses are not organised in time meaning no deadlines for sign up and the date of completion is up to the individual.

KhanAcademy.org
This non-profit program provides advanced features on the website. Students can not only develop knowledge in math, science and economics, computer science, humanities with over 4200 video lectures (!) but can also track their progress through statistics, challenge themselves on the 'Knowledge Map' and prepare for tests, such as SAT Math or IIT JEE.

Alison.com
This organisation has made a wide range of learning resources public for those wanting to work on their workplace skills. There is also an option to purchase a certificate or diploma on completion of most courses. The portfolio is very rich: business and enterprise skills, financial and economic literacy, health&safety and compliance, health literacy, soft skills, and IT skills. Additionally there are language course materials open to anyone, such as Irish, Arabic, French, German, English, Swedish. Simply amazing!

CodeAcademy.com
This site has been joined by over half a million people who are interested in computer programming. As the name suggests, you may find various tools and lectures related to coding and languages: from web fundamentals, through programming essentials to projects.

Keep Learning

With these amazing opportunities available we can continuously develop and grow ourselves. So register today and enroll to classes that interest you!

© 2013 Zsuzsi @ hubpages.com

© 2013 Zsuzsi

Comments

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    • Zsuzsi profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsi 

      5 years ago from London

      Hi Deb, I haven't found a catch in it, but I think this a great opportunity for universities and professors to build their reputation worldwide and possibly attract new students to their undergraduate and graduate programmes. It's almost better than paid-advertisement.

      You can register by entering your name and email address or in some cases with facebook profile too.

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 

      5 years ago

      Useful info. Thanks. Does the website download your personal profile as the course is free? There must be a catch somewhere - nothing is totally free. Up.

    • Zsuzsi profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsi 

      5 years ago from London

      Hi Pstraubie48, actually a friend recommended it to me too and I've been an enthusiastic online student ever since. Glad you found it informative too.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Very informative. I really did not know there were so many avenues to find free classes. Thanks for sharing. I will be passing this info along to my friends and family.

      Angels are on the way ps

    • Zsuzsi profile imageAUTHOR

      Zsuzsi 

      5 years ago from London

      Hi Paul, thanks for the review. If you are interested in IT, I can also recommend two other sites . I will add the links to the hub later today.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      zsuzsi,

      Thank you for sharing this information about free online courses. I have been taking some courses from Alison.com which are very good for IT skills. I will definitely check out your suggested websites. Voted up and sharing with followers.

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