Top free online courses to learn something new
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Key Takeaways: Learning never stops and now thanks to free online courses, you can learn subjects as diverse as AI or art, Shakespeare or Spanish, philosophy or physics. You can take courses to upgrade your skills, pursue your passion or to learn something new. The best part? These courses come to you from some of the most prestigious names in the world of education.
Maybe you love Bach and Beethoven but are never quite able to appreciate the finer nuances of their music. Well, then consider taking a western classical music appreciation course. Perhaps you are a frequent traveller and want to hone your skills in a new language. How about learning some French or German or Spanish? Distinguished universities including Harvard, Yale and MIT are offering free online courses in a wide range of subjects. Pick one and learn at your own pace.
What you never learnt at Harvard, you now can! The university has teamed with edX, an online learning portal, to provide free access to its vast catalogue of courses.
These courses range from mathematics and sciences to art and humanities. Just search or browse the neatly organised catalogue to pick and enrol. The classes are in the form of self-paced video lessons, interspersed with quizzes and tests.
Each of these courses has different time commitments. Some of the short courses can be completed in a week whereas the more detailed ones can take you about fifteen weeks to finish. While the courses themselves are free, you can get a certification by paying a fee.
A few courses to get you started:
- Fundamentals of Neuroscience (3 Parts)
- The Art of Persuasive Writing & Public Speaking
- Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies
- Shakespeare’s Life and Works
- CitiesX: The Past, Present and Future of Urban Life
Yale is renowned for its excellent drama and music programs along with courses for other humanities. It offers an online catalogue of over a thousand courses to all learners through The Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning.
Yale has also partnered with Coursera, an online education platform, to offer online courses to students around the world.
Some of the courses taught by top instructors are:
- The Science of Well-Being by Laurie Santos
- Introduction to Negotiation by Barry Nalebuff
- Introduction to Classical Music by Craig Wright
- Everyday Parenting: The ABCs of Child Rearing by Alan Kazdin
- The Global Financial Crisis by Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner and Professor Andrew Metrick
Most courses are self-paced with free lectures and course materials.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT, known for its massive open online courses (MOCC), offers its programs through the EDx platform. The prestigious university’s courses are free, self-paced and accessible to learners, educators and organisations around the world. It offers diverse options across subjects in the life sciences, arts, humanities and technology.
Here are some cherry-picked for you:
- Shaping Work of the Future
- The Iterative Innovation Process
- The Analytics Edge
- Minds & Machines
Berklee College of Music
It’s one of the most sought after colleges of music and one of the hardest to get into. Thankfully, the college has put some of its shorter courses online and you can access them for free on Coursera.
Here’s what we liked:
The college has a much more comprehensive catalogue of courses on its own website but these are fee-based degrees and have more stringent admission requirements.
Final Note: As they say, there is no age for learning! We have introduced just a few universities to get the ball rolling for you. These courses are just about etching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning online. There is plenty to look forward to!
*Disclaimer: This article has been shared purely from an information perspective and we do not necessarily endorse any of the above mentioned courses.