Free Online Courses (MOOC)
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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