Having a family sometimes means we don’t have the time or resources to upgrade our skills or learn new things. However, with the rise of free online courses these days, there are literally hundreds you can do at your own pace. And at home.
These courses are called MOOCs or Massive Open Online Course. They are free online courses available to anyone that wants to take the course. “They are similar to online courses in terms of the teaching and learning methods — videos, group chats, assignments and tests — but they do not generally provide academic credit for use in other traditional courses, nor will you have much (if any) interaction with the lecturer.”
Although there is no academic credit after the course, you still get to improve whatever skills you want to upgrade. Having said that, there are some courses that provides certificates for a fee – granted you do the whole course.
Over the years, I have taken some of these courses myself. They are informative, interactive, educational and not stressful. There is something for everyone. For my case, I enrolled in a couple of free courses on writing. Over the years, I’ve taken around three of them.
Here is the list of free online courses you can do yourself.
Open2study – Create an account from scratch, or sign up using your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account. Pick a course (or two). Have a look through the courses on the Free Courses page. There are 49 to choose from, all free and all run over four weeks. Everything you need to complete the course, including videos, further readings, assessments, quizzes, transcripts and your classmates are accessed in a single, easy-to-use online classroom.
Coursera – This is an education platform that partners with top universities and organisations worldwide, to offer free online courses for anyone to take. Choose from hundreds of courses created by the world’s top educational institutions. Watch short video lectures, take interactive quizzes, complete peer graded assessments, and connect with fellow learners and instructors.
edX – This was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012. It is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. With more than 90 global partners, edX counts the world’s leading universities, nonprofits, and institutions as their members.
Future Learn — They offer a diverse selection of free online courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. They have 85 partners from around the world. These include many of the best UK and international universities, as well as institutions with a huge archive of cultural and educational material, such as the British Council, the British Library, the British Museum, and the National Film and Television School.