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?
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.
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.
Well, let me introduce you to: MOOCs — Massive Open Online Courses
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.
It’s not the only online education program with no cost, iTunesUniversity, offers free access to professor lectures across many topics. But there’s no real accountability. No questions. No lessons laid out. It’s still great. But for me, the MOOCs take it a step further.
Generally speaking, there are no “credits” given (although apparently some of them do offer a credit option 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”)
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. Which free online education courses do you want to take?