MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tracking Down Free College Courses Online For Assistance

Finding free college courses online is pretty easy, if you know where to look. There are hundreds of different colleges and universities offering virtual classes at no charge. Respected institutions, including Yale, MIT and Stanford, have made much of their material available for people who simply want to learn more. Taking these classes could help you. The information here will help you as you compare the available classes.

What to Think About When Comparing Free College Courses Online

The first step is to define your goals. The goals most often mentioned in surveys of students in “massive open online courses”, a.k.a. MOOCs, are continuing education and technical training.

Continuing education is essential in some fields. Today, because of changing technologies, continuing education may be essential in any field. Some employers accept MOOC certificates of completion to fulfill their requirements. Others do not. So, it is important to check with your employer if you need the CE credit to stay on the job.

Technical training is sometimes desired for continuing education but many students are taking these technical classes to change jobs. An example of technical training that can be done online for free is computer programming. You can learn JAVA, C++ and other programming languages without ever entering a classroom. Some employers are satisfied with this kind of training. Others require a college degree or certification.

Defining MIT Open courseware

MIT open courseware is one of the websites you will see if you go searching for free college courses online. The website was among the first of its kind, introduced in 2001, with the simple purpose of publishing all of the MIT professors’ course materials online to make them readily accessible to anyone in the world. All that is needed is a working internet connection.

Judging from the website statistics, the MIT purpose has been achieved. The site is quite popular, receiving on average a million visits per month, due in part to the huge number of courses (currently over 2000) published at the site. While most visitors originate from North America, people from all over the world are accessing the site.

Educators, students and “self-learners” make up 94% of the site’s monthly visitors, with self-learners accounting for 43%. If your goal is self-education, this could be the right website for you.

Getting Assistance with Online Classes from Free College Courses

If taking online classes is new to you, you may need some help. Once you define your goals, the next step is to choose an educator. It’s smart to choose an educator that provides assistance.

The better websites provide technical support via online chat or email. This kind of assistance helps you navigate around the website, find materials or report any problems you have with the site.

Getting help directly from the professors can be more difficult. If MOOCs have a disadvantage, this is it. You usually do not have direct access to the teachers. You can still get help through message boards or search engines but if you want to be able to ask your teacher a question, you may have to pay for your classes.