The cost of education has become so high that many high school students are facing putting off college or not going at all. The thing is they need to work to be able to generate the revenue to go to school and they need to have skills to do the work. Many of the more elite universities around the world are now offering FREE online courses in a wide variety of subjects as well as discounted tuition for attending their fee-based courses online. MOOC stands for massive open online course. Wikipedia defines a MOOC as:
A massive open online course (MOOC /muːk/) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings, and problem sets, many MOOCs provide interactive user forums to support community interactions between students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent and widely researched development in distance education which was first introduced in 2008 and emerged as a popular mode of learning in 2012.
Here is a list of some of the MOOC programs offered by popular universities as of 2015:
- Free online courses offered by Stanford University – This link will open to a directory of the online courses offered by Stanford. Search on topics of interest to find free courses available at this time or try this link to Stanford OpenEdX courses. One free course of particular interest to me as a write was their Adventures in Writing course. The downside to taking the free Stanford online courses is that students get no completion certificate or other validation for taking the course.
- UC Berkeley Webcasts – Most of the free courses offered by UC Berkeley can also be found on YouTube.
- Through the Duke Digital Initiative, Duke University offers a variety of free online courses through iTunes U.
- The Opening Learning initiative at Harvard University offers free and fee-based online courses.
- UCLA also offers several courses for free through UCLA Extension.
- Yale offers an extensive array of online courses for free through Open Yale Courses.
- The Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative offers a wide range of free courses for students and teachers who want to teach online.
- Free online courses are offered by MIT through edX. The MIT program sets itself apart from the others by offering a verified certificate of completion for a small fee.
Note: Here is an interesting article on the state of MOOCs as of April 2015. Personally, I think that the approach Arizona State University (ASU) is taking in launching its “Global Freshman Academy” in partnership with edX starting with 2015 Fall semester is the best one so far.