Online courses free for the taking

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    Jul 24, 2012 1:33 AM GMT
    Depending on your outlook, these are scary or breathtakingly amazing times for educators.

    http://www.ajc.com/opinion/online-courses-free-for-1482927.html

    A dozen major research universities, including Georgia Tech, Princeton, Duke, Johns Hopkins and the University of Virginia, announced plans last week to offer 100 free online courses that will enable millions worldwide to take the same classes as students at elite U.S. campuses.

    The announcement by Coursera, a year-old company founded by two Stanford professors, represents a giant leap forward in the expanding inventory of what has become known as MOOCs — massive open online courses.

    “I think this is the most remarkable social development certainly of the last few years,” said Eric D. Fingerhut at a Brookings Institution panel last week. The former chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, Fingerhut is vice president of education and STEM learning for the research firm Batelle. [...]

    Thrun refined the online version of the class, spending as much as 10 to 15 hours recording a single lesson. Two thousand volunteer translators translated the class into 44 languages. Discussion groups sprang up at Facebook.

    Thrun was teaching more people online than attended all of Stanford. At the same time that he was teaching artificial intelligence online, he was also teaching the course to his usual 200 Stanford students. But within a few weeks, attendance had dwindled to 30 students.

    He asked students why they were missing class. The Stanford students told Thrun they preferred him on video where they could rewind him.

    Stunned by the appetite around the world and at Stanford for quality online classes, Thrun launched Udacity, an online university that now offers 11 free computer science courses.

    While higher education has been the leader in online education, Fingerhut said there are efforts under way to entice high school students to take online college-level courses, including those offered at Udacity.

    A decade ago, 50,000 students in k-12 schools were enrolled in distance learning. Today, the number is at a million, but the research thus far suggests that online courses are not as effective with younger learners.

    “Is it perfect? It is not perfect yet. This is the stone age of this development,” Fingerhut said. “But it is an exciting development and it is changing the world.”
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    Jul 24, 2012 1:35 AM GMT
    Don't forget Rice University.
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    Jul 24, 2012 1:41 AM GMT
    Before I go into my little meltdown of how I wound up in redneckville, I need to ask- it's just learning right? You can't get a degree from these courses like the universities mentioned in the last thread Riddler started about something like this right?
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    Jul 24, 2012 1:45 AM GMT
    Bullwinklemoos saidBefore I go into my little meltdown of how I wound up in redneckville, I need to ask- it's just learning right? You can't get a degree from these courses like the universities mentioned in the last thread Riddler started about something like this right?


    No credits will be awarded.
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    Jul 24, 2012 1:45 AM GMT
    And MIT
    http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/
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    Jul 24, 2012 1:48 AM GMT
    How do I google search this: Audit Online? Online College Courses? I want to take as few steps as possible to achieve my college goals!
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    Jul 24, 2012 2:04 AM GMT
    Every once in a while I'll watch a university lecture on YouTube (Yale has several).

    The idea of taking an entire course online for free is very enticing. I love learning new shit, but already have enough college for my desired career. Paying for continued education would be financially irresponsible.
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    Jul 24, 2012 2:05 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidEvery once in a while I'll watch a university lecture on YouTube (Yale has several).

    The idea of taking an entire course online for free is very enticing. I love learning new shit, but already have enough college for my desired career. Paying for continued education would be financially irresponsible.


    I prefer Wikipedia compared to Yale icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 24, 2012 2:06 AM GMT
    JR_RJ saidHow do I google search this: Audit Online? Online College Courses? I want to take as few steps as possible to achieve my college goals!
    First you need to know exactly what career path you want to take. Then you can be more specific with your searches.
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    Jul 24, 2012 2:07 AM GMT
    msuNtx said
    paulflexes saidEvery once in a while I'll watch a university lecture on YouTube (Yale has several).

    The idea of taking an entire course online for free is very enticing. I love learning new shit, but already have enough college for my desired career. Paying for continued education would be financially irresponsible.


    I prefer Wikipedia compared to Yale icon_smile.gif
    I prefer a variety of sources...Wiki, Yale, University of Arizona (great for geology and astronomy stuff), etc. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 24, 2012 2:29 AM GMT
    The free online courses offered my MIT are great.

    You might also look at Khan Academy. www.khanacademy,com

  • O5vx

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    Jul 24, 2012 6:09 AM GMT
    What is the point of taking a course that does not confer merit on the students? I have taken a lot of online course in my days.
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    Jul 24, 2012 6:14 AM GMT
    BiBoston saidThe free online courses offered my MIT are great.

    You might also look at Khan Academy. www.khanacademy,com



    I second this. Khan Academy helped me a lot in General Chemistry I. It didn't do jack for Organic Chemistry I & II though. It also helped a bit in Physics.

    I didn't know about the free university classes though. I'll definitely have to check that out. Thanks for the great post, OP!
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    Jul 28, 2012 6:50 PM GMT
    Bullwinklemoos saidBefore I go into my little meltdown of how I wound up in redneckville, I need to ask- it's just learning right? You can't get a degree from these courses like the universities mentioned in the last thread Riddler started about something like this right?


    There are ways around it:
    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/15/earning-college-credit-moocs-through-prior-learning-assessment
    or here: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/15/earning-college-credit-moocs-through-prior-learning-assessment

    IHE_June2012_moocCourses.jpg

    There are also alternatives that are developing with affordable options like
    http://www.straighterline.com/ that has something of an all you can eat model of courses that are certified and generally transferable (and far far cheaper than taking them at university) - "For just $99 a month plus a $39 per course registration fee, you can take as many for-credit college courses as you want in nearly 40 online courses, in Science, Humanities, English, Math and Business." They've had a lot of venture funding and they also have a number of articles in the press if you want to look them up.
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    Jul 28, 2012 6:51 PM GMT
    O5vx saidWhat is the point of taking a course that does not confer merit on the students? I have taken a lot of online course in my days.


    I would guess there is a significant number of people who are taking these courses who are already in the work force and more interested in the learning. But as just noted in previous post, there are ways around it.
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    Jul 28, 2012 7:21 PM GMT
    This looks interesting to me...

    The Modern World: Global History since 1760

    Philip Zelikow

    This is a survey of modern world history, from a global perspective, beginning with the economic and political revolutions of the late 18th century and ending with contemporary conditions.

    logo-uva-course.png
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    Jul 28, 2012 7:29 PM GMT
    And the texts for the online courses are free as well?

  • O5vx

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    Jul 28, 2012 7:33 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    O5vx saidWhat is the point of taking a course that does not confer merit on the students? I have taken a lot of online course in my days.


    I would guess there is a significant number of people who are taking these courses who are already in the work force and more interested in the learning. But as just noted in previous post, there are ways around it.


    what do you mean there are ways around it.
  • O5vx

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    Jul 28, 2012 7:40 PM GMT
    http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses

    This is a really good website for any courses of choice.
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    Jul 28, 2012 7:49 PM GMT
    I'm trying a couple of Coursera courses through Univ. of Michigan right now:

    1. "Internet History, Technology, and Security." Nontechnical, online lectures and videos the professor produced. I'm not a major computer person, but my brother's in the internet security industry, and I'm generally interested. Thought it'd help our conversations.

    2. "Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World." I've never been a huge sci-fi fan, but English was one of my majors in college. Most of the books are online. We're starting with Grimm's fairy tales, which I would never read on my own. Later, Dracula, Frankenstein, some Wells and Bradbury. We'll see how it goes.

    I'm also signed up for "Learn to Program: The Fundamentals," which starts in late September, and "Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention," which starts in January.



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    Jul 29, 2012 12:26 AM GMT
    O5vx said
    riddler78 said
    O5vx saidWhat is the point of taking a course that does not confer merit on the students? I have taken a lot of online course in my days.


    I would guess there is a significant number of people who are taking these courses who are already in the work force and more interested in the learning. But as just noted in previous post, there are ways around it.


    what do you mean there are ways around it.


    ie challenge for credit - (see post @ Jul 28, 2012 2:50 PM) /
    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/15/earning-college-credit-moocs-through-prior-learning-assessment
    or here: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/15/earning-college-credit-moocs-through-prior-learning-assessment

    or business models like http://www.straighterline.com/
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    Jul 25, 2013 10:54 PM GMT
    We live in an amazing time for those who seek opportunity...

    "20 Places to Educate Yourself Online for Free"

    http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/20-places-educate-yourself-online-for-free.html
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    Jul 25, 2013 11:38 PM GMT
    I "audited" a couple of those courses using iTunes U, while doing indoor cardio last winter/spring. The ones I watched were pretty worthless. Bad delivery, bad production, and very little information contained in the lectures. Just reading a book would be far more efficient.

    But, hey, it was cardio time. Beats staring at the wall. Barely.
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    Jul 25, 2013 11:52 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidI "audited" a couple of those courses using iTunes U, while doing indoor cardio last winter/spring. The ones I watched were pretty worthless. Bad delivery, bad production, and very little information contained in the lectures. Just reading a book would be far more efficient.

    But, hey, it was cardio time. Beats staring at the wall. Barely.


    I've done one now - about startups by Steve Blank - it was pretty useful given how the vc/startup world has shifted away from standard business plans.

    It all depends on the course... am sure there will be ratings services that pop up soon enough on the value/content of courses out there.