Free E-Courses Make Lifelong Learning Easy

Get a free higher education from prestigious schools (minus the degree)

by Tara Wood on March 27, 2010 - 5:21pm

QUEST Vol. 17, No. 2

If online courses sound interesting but you’re not looking to earn a degree, plenty of options exist for pursuing passions, exploring issues and diving into intellectual interests – and many of them are free.

Searching for “OpenCourseWear” — or OCW — will yield a treasure trove of course materials from prestigious universities and colleges posted online for public consumption.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology led the way in 1999 with an initiative to use the Internet to educate students and advance knowledge. Today, MIT offers nearly 2,000 courses, from engineering to physical education to current event topics, which aren’t for credit or geared toward a degree.

Schools worldwide have followed suit, posting video lectures, samples of course materials, syllabuses, class notes and more. Some material is organized into courses, while others are short “webinars” and virtual learning environments.

Yale, Stanford, Notre Dame and many more reputable institutions are offering free courses and materials to the public online.

Here are some OCW sites to get you started:

The OpenCourseWare Consortium has a searchable site to find courses worldwide.

Another searchable directory of schools, free courses and programs can be found at

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