Erika Wassall, the Jersey Farm Scribe here, with a big, “Did you know????” Did you know that there are free online education courses, put out by really big colleges all over the world, that are available online… for free? I didn’t. Real quick, let me make this clear. No one asked me to write this in any way. There is no bias here. I’m just a random person who came across the topic, found the websites, and thought it was worth sharing these free courses.
Free Online Education Courses For Those That Love Learning
Personally, I’m a learner. I love new topics, the minutia of a real course. It’s those intricate details of a topic that make them really interesting to me. But the cost of a college class, even our local community college, is really just astronomical, for me. Especially because often I want to take classes that have nothing to do with each other. They wouldn’t form together as a “degree” and my interest isn’t even necessarily related to wanting to do something for a living. I think a lot of people fall into this category.
MOOCs — Massive Open Online Courses
Well, let me introduce you to MOOCs! Basically the idea is to allow anyone, anywhere, at any time, (with internet access) to take free online education courses at the college level/style . There are quizzes, exams, assignments, and sometimes even larger projects that get reviewed by an instructor, or your peers. Free education!!
There are different platforms, and course styles. Some classes are self-paced, you just log in and pick up where you left off. Others are more scheduled, assignments and exams have a deadline that are aligned with your other classmates.
Generally speaking, there are no “credits” given (although apparently some of them do offer a credit option or certificate of some sort) it’s purely for the purpose of learning. And what greater purpose is there??
Examples of Free Online Education Courses:
Course examples you ask? You name it, it’s basically there:
- Introduction to Classical Music (from Yale University)
- Introduction to Power Electronics (from the University of Colorado Boulder)
- Science at the Polls: Biology for Voters (part 1) (from Berkeley)
- Early Renaissance Architecture in Italy: from Alberti to Bramante (from Sapienze university of Rome)
- Statistical Molecular Thermodynamics (from the University of Minnesota)
- …..the list is almost endless…
So this week, I started my first course: Macronutrients and Overnutrition (Part 1) from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
I was pleasantly surprised. Signing up was simple and took about five minutes. I’ve only completed the first week of topics, basically an introduction, and it’s more in-depth than I anticipated. I’ve learned a lot, and only barely passed my first exam!
For those of you interested in more information about free online education courses, here’s a few links to get you started:
http://knowledgelover.com/best-mooc-massive-open-online-course-providers-list/ – an article on a list of top MOOC “providers”
https://www.coursera.org/ — a source of free courses (a “provider”)
https://www.edx.org/ — a source of free courses (a “provider”)
http://academicearth.org — a source of free courses (a “provider”)
Free Online Courses With Certifications
FutureLearn.com — They work with leading universities and organizations around the world to offer learners relevant, high quality courses across a huge range of topics. In some instances they work with partners to sponsor courses, so that all learners can receive a free certificate and access for as long as it’s on FutureLearn.
I was so excited to learn about the availability of free education. I couldn’t help but share my experience with all of you. This is obviously not a substitution for college. There’s no degree. There’s no one-on-one interaction with a teacher. It’s not perfect. But with all the negativity out there; all the ways our lives, thoughts or experiences may separate us; I thought it was fantastic that there was something so… connective. Something that gives everyone, no matter who you are or where you come from, a chance to enrich their lives, widen their knowledge and get access to life-long learning, for FREE!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, one of my upcoming lessons is in Energy Homeostasis, and I have to get cracking!
I hope you enjoyed learning about free online education courses as much as I did. It is pretty darn cool to take free classes! Which free online education courses do you want to take?