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Free online courses from Ivy League universities

Free online courses from Ivy League universities
December 06, 2012, 10:14:10 AM
www.coursera.org

I've looked on the forum but it seems no one mentions this website. It originally had about eight courses, from Stanford University only. I subscribed to a few of them back then and I was really impressed, some of them were held by famous professors and the level was reasonably high.

Right now, the website is a lot more inclusive, but at least it offers a wider choice of courses, from every domain I think. There is one on "How to Reason and Argue" that just started this week.

I thought I'd tell you this because the forum population seems inclined towards philosophy, and studying in general, so you might find it useful. For me at least, the Stanford classes were excellent.

MIT and UC Berkeley have many more courses than this available on their websites

Yeah you're right, but there are differences. MIT just post their course material online, and sometimes it is outdated (courses given 2 years ago or more). I had no idea about UC Berkeley, they seem a lot better, they have a whole website dedicated to online courses and they even give real credits for them.

The whole idea that Coursera helped popularize is that of the MOOC - a fancy term for an interactive online course. For example, in the economics course you can participate in a market simulation with other students to test out economic principles, in the game theory course you get to play some games and then chat about the results and Nash equilibria with other students, in the literature class you write essays and get grades in real-time etc. (Google for Daphne Koller, TED Talk for more info).

So it's not just course materials, it's a new approach altogether. Moreover, they give out certificates of accomplishment at the end of the course - signed for example, by a professor at Stanford - depending on your performance at the tests (however on the certificate it's also written that they cannot verify your identity).

Anyways, enough with the details. For the surprise ending, I just found out that MIT & Harvard have also started they online course platform called edX (it's identical in concept with Coursera), so now we have basically the best Ivy League universities offering free, online interactive courses. The website is:

www.edx.org


 

NHA

Does Edx have more courses if you sign up? I remember looking at their site a long time ago and it doesn't seem like they added a whole lot since then.

@NHA: No, I think edX is a little more exclusive then Coursera - I signed up for the The Ancient Greek Hero class and there is no difference in the number of courses I see on the front page.

It also seems that the format of the courses on edX is different for each one, for example in this class there are no specific deadlines (and the course ends in June), which is great. On the other hand, there are still no free PDFs of the ancient texts' translations, but with some googling you can find everything.