Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And speaking of Open Courses...

Other major universities are doing it, too.  For example, Stanford on iTunes U, Open Yale Courses, Carnegie Mellon, and of course the famous Open University from the UK.

Some specialized schools are opening their coursework also, including: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Berklee College of Music.

The upside of free courses:
  • many free course offerings are surprisingly comprehensive, including dozens of hours of audio lectures, supplemental movies, interactive quizzes and self-directed assignments. 
  • some post-secondary schools have assembled a formidable online arsenal of learning, while other free online programs may be lacking in content or breadth.
  • what each student gets out of free online learning depends on his or her investment into the process (duh!)  
  • the best schools' offerings might just help you build the core knowledge you've always wanted in a certain subject

Remember, there are also downsides of free courses:

  • You won't get college credit for taking these courses 
  • you won't have access to professors or other students
  • many courses include reading lists filled with books that are not available for free, requiring you to purchase them if you want to take full advantage of the course.
  • some free courses offer just six or ten web pages of brief text followed by a multiple-choice quiz, which may not seems as rich of a learning experience as the in-depth readings, classroom discussions and group study sessions encountered in a traditional online degree program.

1 comment:

Harry142 said...

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