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Old 02-15-2011, 03:56 PM   #1
Angst
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Free online college courses by big name Universities

I'm amazed at the number of universities that offer free online courses. Of course you don't get credit towards a degree, but the knowledge is free.

Berkeley
Stanford (via iTunes)
Carnegie Mellon
MIT
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
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I've been following the MIT material on engineering, it's very good.

I'd also add the UK Open University to the list - http://www.open.ac.uk/openlearn/
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:51 PM   #3
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drug dealers. Offering free stuff to get free addicts who'll come back and pay for more to get their diploma...
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:22 PM   #4
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I know what I'll be doing tomorrow, after reading this thread (instead of studying for my exam...)

Last edited by Latinandgreek; 02-15-2011 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:31 AM   #5
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If anyone asked to sit in my class, I would let them. I'm always amazed that more folks don't sit in on evening courses at their local universities.

Even if you can't sit in on a course, there are tons of resources available. For one, just download one of the trillion or so syllabi posted online and follow the readings for the course. Second, there are tons of lectures posted on youtube. Last semester, my students found lectures that covered the exact textbook that I had assigned. Furthermore, there are scads of textbooks and audio courses floating around on the internet (although many may be pirated.)

In short, just dig a little bit and you can educate yourself on whatever interests you, at your own pace, for free.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:32 AM   #6
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Yup, I started taking advantage of such free courses several years ago, because of this guy:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/19/ed...4c9&ei=5087%0A

I don't need another degree, but I've continued to take college courses on-campus, sometimes at employer expense, sometimes when profs have let me sit in for free. Learning for learning's sake is very satisfying.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:03 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Angst View Post
I'm amazed at the number of universities that offer free online courses. Of course you don't get credit towards a degree, but the knowledge is free.
Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Maggie Leung View Post
Learning for learning's sake is very satisfying.
It is! I've found that I've enjoyed myself the most in courses that haven't counted towards a degree. I plan on taking a few this spring / summer, as well.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:44 AM   #9
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If you don't mind paying for the courses, The Great Courses has some first rate offerings. The course on astronomy is amazing. The courses are all designed for the layman, with the technical details removed. So a course on particle physics will have minimal math.
Warning: Never buy at full price, only on sale. Every course will go on sale at least once a year, usually at 60-75% savings.
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angst View Post
I'm amazed at the number of universities that offer free online courses. Of course you don't get credit towards a degree, but the knowledge is free.

Berkeley
Stanford (via iTunes)
Carnegie Mellon
MIT
Thanks. Here's another one: http://oyc.yale.edu/. The one on music appreciation is excellent.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:50 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by v1k1ng1001 View Post
If anyone asked to sit in my class, I would let them. I'm always amazed that more folks don't sit in on evening courses at their local universities.

Even if you can't sit in on a course, there are tons of resources available.
...
In short, just dig a little bit and you can educate yourself on whatever interests you, at your own pace, for free.
You are very generous v1k1ng1001. My local university used to run Adult Ed day & evening courses but has now dropped all of them them, the campus is dark in the evening ... such a waste of facilities.

I have found some courses locally but there are very, very few in the less softer topics such as engineering and science so I'm having to rely on the internet as you suggest. This doesn't address the problem of access to equipment and materials though which is where a University or college would come in handy.
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:33 AM   #12
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I have often thought that the potential of universal free education, now technologically feasible, is still sadly unexploited. Forums like this are the prototype of what is needed and possible, but the challenge is focus and organization. For example, how to go from here, where we see the potential, to forums on specific subjects that would really "capitalize" (not literally!) on the technology. It's much harder than it sounds, as we all know from our experience with forums. The trick is getting people into discussions that would take place over a period of time but have the same "holding power" of a real face-to-face discussion. Some of those free university courses (e.g., Open University) have forums attached, but I have looked at a couple and they do not have this holding power that I am talking about (actually, imagining since I have never seen it). Please reply if you know what I am talking about!
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:22 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by dapriuk View Post
You are very generous v1k1ng1001. My local university used to run Adult Ed day & evening courses but has now dropped all of them them, the campus is dark in the evening ... such a waste of facilities.

I have found some courses locally but there are very, very few in the less softer topics such as engineering and science so I'm having to rely on the internet as you suggest. This doesn't address the problem of access to equipment and materials though which is where a University or college would come in handy.
Good point. Also, the do-it-yourself model doesn't address the need to dialogue with an expert which is often important when you are beginning study in an unfamiliar field.
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