Monday, January 14, 2013

Free online courses by top-notch universities

I would like to spread the word about a great initiative by some of the most prestigious universities in the world (thanks to Judy&Dagmar at Translation Times for the info!). It’s an open-source online education platform called edX, founded by Harvard University and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and now expanding to include more world-class institutions, where anyone with an internet connection can enrol for free and take MOOCs (massive online open classes) on a series of different subjects. Upon successful completion, students get a certificate from the university that offered that course.
The program aims at reaching a very wide audience, so there are no admission tests, but some courses are highly technical and there is a list of prerequisites for them. As for class schedule, some are fixed, others allow for more flexibility; the estimated effort (hours per week) varies for each course. Also, free online textbooks and sources are available, and there is a chance for group discussion. Check the website for more info.
Among the courses currently offered for the Spring, I am especially interested in Human Health and Global Environmental Change, and The Ancient Greek Hero. Both good for my professional development and personal interest too! Let’s see when more info are available for them.
Another popular platform is Coursera, which partners with 33 top-class universities to offer more than 200 online courses in a wide range of categories, including sci-tech, humanities, business, economy, law, social sciences, music, film and audioengineering etc. Just browse through the list and see what sparks your interest.
If anyone of you has some experience with these platforms or some tips/comments, please share them here!

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