MOOCs – College History Classes Online for Free!

OK, so this isn’t specifically about a medieval or Renaissance topic, but it is about a topic that I believe will interest hobbyist historians and people who are generally curious about various scholarly topics.

MOOC stands for “Massive Open Online Course.” Universities world-wide are increasingly developing classes designated as MOOCs and offering them to the public free of charge. All you need is a computer that meets the requirements of the software they’re using to host the class and an Internet connection.  Most MOOCs do not offer college credit for the class – you just take the class because learning the information has value to you.

There are several sites on the Internet that attempt to list information about MOOCs. Here’s a short list of places to look:

MOOCs often have a schedule, so if you want to join a class, it’s important to pay attention to the start date.

If you miss the start date of a MOOC class you’re interested in, there are other places to wear your scholar hat while you wait for that particular class to come back around …

MIT (Massachucetts Institute of Technology) offers class materials online through program called OpenCourseWare. Here’s a link to the history courses MIT offers through OpenCourseWare.  You can search through other OpenCourseWare offerings from the OpenCourseWare Consortium’s web site.

In addition to looking for courses on “history,” you may also want to take a look at art and philosophy classes – or even foreign language classes!


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