12.13.2012

Free Online College Classes

Learning from the best

Free, online no-credit college-level courses from some of the nation's most prestigious universities.



online courses
  (Kirk McKoy, Los Angeles Times / December 9, 2012)
The number of free college-level courses offered online has surged this year, with some of the nation's most prestigious universities getting involved. The classes are open to anyone, and although you won't earn college credit, you will get a chance to learn from professors and other experts at no charge. Some key websites:
Coursera.org: Thirty-three universities, including Stanford, Caltech, Princeton and Duke, have joined together to offer more than 200 courses. Among them are 21 classes in economics and finance, 13 in business and management, and 20 in artificial intelligence and robotics. Courses typically include video instruction and weekly assignments, and may include a final exam.
Edx.org: This site offers nine classes, mostly in computer science, from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UC Berkeley. Expect to spend 10 to 20 hours each week on courses that run from six weeks to six months. Courses from the University of Texas and Wellesley College are to be added next year.
Udacity.com: This site founded by Sebastian Thrun, the Stanford robotics professor who helped build Google's driverless car, offers 16 classes, mostly in computer science and mathematics. Instructors include professors from the University of Virginia, Rutgers and Stanford, as well as experts from Google.
• Oli.cmu.edu: Carnegie-Mellon University's Open Learning Initiative, a private Pittsburgh university, offers 16 free online courses, including French, anatomy, psychology, biology, chemistry and statistics. The classes include practice activities, self-assessments and graded exercises, and can be completed at your own pace.
Udemy.com: This site offers hundreds of courses, including serious academic topics and lighter fare such as cake decorating and Ice Fishing Tips & Techniques. Instructors include college professors, business consultants, authors and self-described experts. Some classes require payment, but you can view free classes by using a filter on the Discover Courses page.
scott.wilson@latimes.com
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