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.