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Coursera.org - 100 Free Massive Open Online Courses
Coursera.org offers college and university courses online for free. Courses are taught through videos from top professors from around 16 of the world’s best universities. There are 16 different subject areas offered on topics such as Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Business and Computer Science.
Taking college courses at some of the world’s top colleges and universities is not always in the budget, so Coursera
offers them for free. Courses are taught through videos from top professors from around 16 of the world’s best universities. There are 16 different subject areas offered.
Finding a Course
Once you sign up for Coursera, you have the ability to sign up for any of the over 100 courses offered. You have the option of browsing courses by category or viewing courses by start date, duration and name. Each course comes with a description, many of which include an intro video where the actual professor of the course explains the purpose and contents of the course to prospective students.
You are also given a written description of the course, an overview of the professor and a list of any textbooks or special software needed to complete the course. A Frequently Asked Questions section provides other information, such as skills you need before taking the course, the format of the course and whether a statement of accomplishment is provided after completing the course.
Sample Course Description
Taking a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
When you find a course you like, you can sign up to take the course. However, once you sign up for a course, you may not be able to start it right away. Instead, you must wait for the course start date to begin.
Once you have gone through the process of selecting a course, it can be a bit of letdown to learn you have to wait a few months until the course start date to begin taking the course. A few courses offer a preview option which allows you to being watching videos and accessing a portion of course content before the course begins.
Course Signup Confirmation
While it may be frustrating to wait for a course to begin, Coursera is designed to give you an actual college experience online, which requires taking courses on a set schedule. Coursera is not just videos of already given college lectures. You are taking an actual course, completing actual assignments and receiving grades for them. Once a course begins, you are also given access to course forums where you can ask questions of the professor or other students taking the course, giving the course an interactive component that motivates users to participate.
Benefits of Coursera
Coursera encourages users to signup for as many courses as desired and to gain as much information as possible. The experience of taking an actual online course and the time commitment involved with each course, however, will limit you to a few courses at a time, requiring you to really focus on learning the content. The incentive of getting grades for the assignments and receiving a signed statement of accomplishment at the end of the course sets it apart from other websites offering free videos of college courses.
To learn more about free online university courses, visit http://diyscholar.wordpress.com/
August 7, 2012 by Tracy Zeiger
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