Plan Your Free Online Education at Lifehacker U: Summer Semester 2012

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    May 16, 2012 6:28 PM GMT
    A nice compilation of free college level courses. Click on the link to see the listing. On my to do's is to learn to code in probably ruby on rails.

    Your education doesn't have to stop once you get out of school—being free of the classroom just means you have more control over what you learn and when you learn it. We've put together a curriculum of some of the best free online classes available on the web this summer for our second term of Lifehacker U, our regularly-updating guide to improving your life with free, online college-level classes.
  • bishop65

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    May 16, 2012 9:36 PM GMT
    this is very cool! Thanks for the link.
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    Jun 16, 2012 5:50 AM GMT
    How to get credit for the courses you take... this is extremely disruptive... and could save dedicated students tens of thousands of dollars.

    Massively open online courses, or MOOCs, are not credit-bearing. But a pathway to college credit for the courses already exists -- one that experts say many students may soon take.

    That scenario combines the courses with prior learning assessment -- a less-hyped potential “disruption” to traditional higher education -- which is the granting of credit for college-level learning gained outside the traditional academic setting.

    Here’s how the process could work: A student successfully completes a MOOC, like Coursera’s Social Network Analysis, which will be taught this fall by Lada Adamic, an associate professor at the University of Michigan. The student then describes what he or she learned in that course, backing it up with proof, in a portfolio developed with the help of or another service, perhaps offered by a college.

    Generally those portfolios contain a broad array of demonstrated learning, like work experience and training, volunteering or even the voracious reading of a history buff. But MOOCs, such as those from Coursera, EdX, Udacity and Udemy, likely will be part of portfolios in the near future.

    “It’s just a matter of time," said Chari Leader Kelley, vice president for, which is a subsidiary of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). And Kelley said CAEL will be ready to handle those submissions. “We are set up to do that. The infrastructure is there.”
    Building a prior-learning portfolio isn’t easy. But if the final product passes muster with a CAEL-affiliated faculty member with discipline-specific expertise, the student could qualify for a credit recommendation that matches up with an equivalent course from a regionally accredited college. That credit recommendation, say for three credits in a course on social media, would have the backing of the American Council on Education (ACE), which runs the most established credit recommendation service.

    With that document in hand, the student could then enroll in one of the many colleges that accept ACE’s recommendations, or the scores of colleges that have agreed to participate in That means the student, having taken a free online course, taught by a professor from the University of Michigan and taken by tens of thousands of people around the world, could walk away with three credits from Argosy University, the University of Maryland University College or George Washington University, to pick a few partner institutions.

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    Jun 17, 2012 3:57 AM GMT
    Thanks for this!
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    Jun 21, 2012 1:40 AM GMT
    An indication that there are some institutions that get it... which is great news for students and prospective students.

    E-mail messages were flying among leaders of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia in the weeks leading up to the ouster of Teresa A. Sullivan as president of the university. The e-mail messages show that one reason board leaders wanted to move quickly was the belief that UVa needed to get involved in a serious way with online education.

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