Whether you’ve always wanted to go to a Yale lecture or try out a University of Michigan course before applying to grad school, online learning is a convenient method to pursue your passions or develop new skills.
You can also take thousands of online courses conducted by qualified colleges on e-learning platforms like edX, Coursera, and FutureLearn, many of which are absolutely free. Most also provide optional paid certificates of completion that you can add to your CV or LinkedIn profile, or are part of longer programs that may be less expensive than on-campus instruction.
To help you sort through all of the free possibilities, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 best free online courses from the best world universities.
Why Online Courses?
Taking online courses, whether you’re a child or an adult, is a good move. As a student, this might be a useful approach to increase your knowledge of a difficult subject or learn a new talent.
Individuals who, for a number of reasons, are unable to attend classes at a traditional brick and mortar college prefer online education.
It also gives the teacher and student the freedom to choose their own learning pace, as well as the added flexibility of setting a schedule that works for everyone. Important time management skills are taught through online learning, making it easier to establish a good work-study balance.
How To Take An Online Course
If you’re thinking about taking college or university courses online, the advice and suggestions below can help you overcome your specific problems and get the most out of your program.
1. Set your goals
Set goals at the start of the semester and keep track of your progress on a weekly basis. You will frequently receive vocal or visual reminders of a task’s next due date in a regular classroom.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have been given adequate time to accomplish the work. You can get the most of your online education by being organized, proactive, and self-aware.
2. Manage your time well
One of the most appealing aspects of taking classes online is the ability to build your own schedule. However, if you don’t have good time management abilities, such freedom can be damaging. You may be congested before class or turn in substandard tasks if you don’t have them.
3. Create a fixed study space
Create a separate study area. You will develop a routine by consistently finishing your tasks there. It’s crucial to figure out what kind of setting will benefit you the most. Maintaining a regular workplace or workspace will also assist you in being organized. Make sure to include the following items while planning your study space:
- A high-speed internet connection is required.
- Have all of the course’s required books, resources, and software.
- If you want to listen to lectures or conversations, you should wear headphones (especially important in shared spaces).
4. Treat an online course with the right attitude
You must have the discipline to sit down and focus on online classes, as well as the drive to finish the course. You can be flexible about when you finish your work during the week, but you cannot put it off indefinitely. Treat your online classes as if they were a traditional class.
5. Get rid of distractions
You will be bombarded with numerous distractions, particularly from social media, which can easily derail your study. The most successful online students are able to minimize distractions and set aside time to concentrate. The degree to which these distractions present difficulty will be determined by your personality and situation.
Some people may feel that listening to music helps them disconnect from a noisy environment. Others may prefer to work at a nearby coffee shop or library instead of at home, eliminating the need to multitask.
What Are The Benefits Of Online Courses?
Most people who are unable to attend traditional classes for a variety of reasons prefer to take online courses.
As a result, here are some of the advantages of enrolling in this engaging online course.
Students have the freedom to manage their employment and study because they are not restricted by a predefined schedule.
Class meeting times are set in a traditional classroom, and students have little control over them, requiring them to schedule their lives around them.
Most people who enroll in online education courses have other obligations, and they prefer this method of studying because it allows them to manage how they allocate their time to other projects.
#2. It Reduces Cost
Online education can save money for a variety of reasons. For instance, commuting is absolutely free.
Various transportation costs, such as fuel, parking, automotive maintenance, and public transportation, have no bearing on the online student.
#3. An Increased Instructor – Student Time
This online education program offers a platform for online guided discussions and one-on-one interaction with professors and lecturers, which is a hallmark of online classes.
Furthermore, due to the time their lecturers devote to them, a student’s chances of succeeding are increased. This helps them develop their problem-solving and communication abilities, as well as their capacity to defend their ideas in front of higher-ups.
All of the information you’ll need is stored in a secure online database. This contains, among other things, documents from live discussions, training materials, and emails.
This implies that if anything has to be clarified, the student will be able to access these documents quickly, saving time.
#5. Networking Opportunities
Through online learning, students can connect with peers from different nations or even continents.
This typically leads to further opportunities for collaboration with other people working on the project. Their exposure to various cultures, on the other hand, makes them culturally sensitive and able to easily assimilate into a variety of scenarios.
#6. Have Access to Expertise
Students with an online college education may be able to enroll in specialized degree classes that aren’t offered at a nearby or easily accessible university.
Online courses facilitate information exchange, allowing more people to obtain access to education that is not readily available in some locations.
15 Best Free Online Courses From The Best Universities In The World
#1. Harvard University — CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science
Length: 12 weeks
This introductory computer science course, which has approximately 3 million students enrolled, teaches the fundamentals of problem-solving and algorithmic thinking, including abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development.
#2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python
Length: 9 weeks
Over 1 million students have registered in MIT’s introductory computer science course, which is aimed at persons with no prior computer science training. The principles of computer science and Python programming, as well as some rudimentary algorithms, are taught to students.
#3. Stanford University — Machine Learning
Length: 11 weeks
This introductory machine learning course, which has over 4 million enrollments, provides a thorough overview of the topic, including machine learning foundations, datamining, and statistical pattern identification.
#4. University of California, Berkeley — The Science of Happiness
Length: 11 weeks
This positive psychology course not only explains what it means to be happy but also gives students activities and strategies for achieving and maintaining long-term happiness and wellness.
#5. Yale University – Understanding Medical Research: Your Facebook Friend is Wrong
Length: 7 weeks long, 16 hours worth of material
Understanding Medical Studies will give you the knowledge and abilities you’ll need to critically assess medical studies and tell the difference between good and bad science for yourself.
The study design, research methods, and statistical interpretation are all covered in this course. It also covers the dark side of medical research, such as fraud, bias, and common data misinterpretations. Each course will feature case studies taken from real-life journal publications.
By the end of this course, you’ll know how to assess the scientific information you’re reading and, of course, whether or not your Facebook friend is correct.
#6. University of Oxford — From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development
Length: 6 weeks
This course looks at how societies might succeed financially by examining the political, social, and economic aspects that influence how a country develops, such as national identity, scale, and international trade.
#7. Columbia University — Financial Engineering and Risk Management Part I
Length: 8 weeks
This course will introduce you to financial modeling while also offering adequate context if you are interested in financial engineering, a topic that blends economics, math, statistics, and computer science (such as the 2008 financial crisis).
#8. California Institute of Technology — The Evolving Universe
Length: 10 weeks
The basic astronomy course at Caltech covers planetary systems, stars, galaxies, black holes, quasars, and larger structures in order to assist students gain a better grasp of the physical universe in general.
#10. University of Washington — Machine Learning Foundations: A Case Study Approach
Length: 6 weeks
Whatever you want to do with machine learning, this course will help you get started by providing real case studies and exercises that teach Python programming, data analysis, and more.
#11. The University of Cambridge — Teaching English Online
Length: 4 weeks
This course, led by Cambridge English Assessment (a division of the University of Cambridge), is for experienced English teachers who wish to begin practicing online, and it covers everything from virtual classroom communication to professional development.
#12. Princeton University — Algorithms, Part 1
Length: 6 weeks
This course covers all of the fundamental knowledge about algorithms and data structures that anyone interested in a programming profession will need to know, including basic data structures, sorting, and searching algorithms.
#13. University of Tasmania Understanding Dementia
Length: 7 weeks long, 3 hours a week
The seven-week program is broken into three sections: “the brain,” “diseases,” and “the person.” Basic brain anatomy, pathology, dementia research, risk factors, the difference between normal aging and dementia, diagnosis, medical management, living with dementia, progression and staging, palliation, behavioral and psychological symptoms, therapeutic approaches, dementia-friendly communities, and more are among the topics covered.
18 dementia experts, including neuroscientists, health scientists, clinicians, dementia care providers, and people living with dementia, offer the content. Video clips, exercises, games, situations, and quizzes will allow participants to interact with the topic. They will also have the option to connect with an international network of peers online to debate the most pressing dementia challenges.
#14. Georgetown University| Quantum Mechanics for Everyone
Length: 6 weeks long, 7-10 hours a week
Quantum Mechanics for Everyone is a six-week MOOC that teaches the fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics using a technique that does not require sophisticated arithmetic beyond square roots (and you can use a calculator for that). Quantum theory is taught without “dumbing down” any of the information, so you’ll learn the identical version that scientists utilize in their present studies. We’ll go through the two-slit experiment’s quantum enigma as well as advanced topics like how to see something without shining a light on it (quantum seeing in the dark) and photon bunching effects (Hong-Ou-Mandel effect).
Watch “Let’s get small,” which demonstrates how poorly you were taught what an atom looks like, and “The fallacy of physics fear” to get a feel for the course and determine if it’s suitable for you.
#15. Santa Fe Institute| Introduction to Complexity
Length: 10 weeks long, 3-6 hours a week
You’ll learn about the techniques scientists use to analyze complicated systems in this course. Dynamics, chaos, fractals, information theory, self-organization, agent-based modeling, and networks are just a few of the topics you’ll study about. You’ll also acquire a feel of how these themes relate to one another, which will help you understand how complexity develops and evolves in nature, society, and technology. There are no qualifications to participate in this activity. This beginning course does not require any prior knowledge of science or mathematics; all that is required is an interest in the subject and a desire to participate in a hands-on approach.
These online courses provide a cost-effective and flexible method to learn new skills, advance your career, and provide high-quality educational experiences to a large number of people.
Obtaining a certificate of completion at the conclusion of a free online course offered by any university will help you save money while also improving your resume.