Want to learn a new subject this new year? Head online and sign up for a MOOC. MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are free, open access courses, designed for unlimited participation. Traditional course instruction like filmed lectures, reading, website links, exercises, assignments, and final projects are provided in an online environment. These courses were first started in 2008 and have gained popularity in the past few years. Topics vary widely from computer science to English composition and everything in between.
There are a variety of MOOC providers and most include courses from major universities. To access some you may need to create an online account which will just take a few minutes. A few of the more popular providers are:
Coursera (available as an app on iOS and Android) – This is a for-profit company that offers free courses with a pay for a certificate model. It offers subjects such as mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, and data science taught by universities like University of Michigan, Standford, Duke, and our very own UVA.
Khan Academy (available as an app on iOS and Android) – This is a nonprofit site that is primarily videos, but does now offer accompanying exercises for some subjects. It is an excellent resource for high school students as it covers a lot of subjects they are studying.
edX (available as an app on iOS and Android) – This is a non-profit site created by MIT and Harvard which now includes other contributing universities like UC Berkeley and the University of Texas. It hosts university level courses on subjects from sciences to humanities.
If these don’t have what you’re looking for, search around for another that might.