Which courses and other resources can I get from the Internet?
Courses and other learning resources on almost every topic you could think of are provided on the Internet and many are free.
Free ‘How to’ guidelines on the internet
You can find a great variety of guidelines on the internet on how to do things. For example, a search for “How do I service my car” gives the following useful links.
- How do I service my own car? Its easier than you think …
- Can i service my car myself? | Yahoo Answers
- Videos of how do i service my car
Another example is “How do I develop a business plan for a small business”, which gives many resources:
A good business plan defines exactly what you want to achieve and how you intend to achieve it. Here are some tips to help you create a successful plan.
Understand the basic structure of the business plan. Whether you opt for a mini plan, or a comprehensive working plan to start, it is essential to understand the basics.
Business planning is a key to success. Here are some tips, tools, and resources to help you create a business plan.
Free courses and other resources on entrepreneurship
Free learning resources on You Tube
The popular You Tube internet site, www.youtube.com, also has a section for ‘free online learning’ and ‘crash courses’. This next link is to an example of an entertaining 12:08 minute video on Economics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ez10ADR_gM&index=1&list=PL8dPuuaLjXtPNZwz5_o_5uirJ8gQXnhEO.
Free online books
Some complete books or extracts from books can be read or downloaded for free from the internet. The following are examples of internet sites for free books. To find books, just search on the internet for “Open Book” or “Open text book” together with the subject in which you are interested. For example: “Open Book in Project Management” provided the link to: Project Management | The Open Textbook Project …. It gives the following description: “This book covers the basics of project management. This includes the process of initiation, planning, execution, control and close-out that all projects share”.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Access to free online learning is driven by a revolution in education referred to as MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses. A MOOC is an online course developed by universities and experts across the world to give people opportunities for quality learning that they can access on their computers, smart phones or tablets at home, at internet cafes, at work or at training institutions.
The main features of MOOCs
Some of the features of MOOCs are:
- Some are completely free (especially those from non-profit organisations, or that are provided through ‘Creative Commons’), but for others you have to pay a registration fee and a fee for the certificate of competence after successful completion of the assignments – if you want the certificate.
- Many courses provide the option to complete the course only for self-development, or to do the formal assessment in order to receive a qualification or certificate of achievement.
- Most courses are interactive, using a combination of visual and verbal communication, supplemented by documents such as course notes or other reference material.
- Some of the course notes and reference material can be downloaded or copied into Word documents so that you have them for future reference.
- Some complete handbooks are provided, e.g. through institutions that provide ‘open books’.
- The courses vary in duration from a few hours to a year or more.
- Most courses allow the option to start the course and to work through interesting parts without ever completing the course. This is useful for deciding whether you are sufficiently interested in that topic to complete the entire course.
- Learner progress and achievements are assessed through various online mechanisms, e.g. self-assessments or short multiple-choice questionnaires that are ‘marked’ automatically.
- Registration for courses generally requires only the name and surname of the learner and an e-mail address, although some require additional information.
- Most MOOC websites have search facilities to help you select from the hundreds of courses provided by Topic, Language, Cost, Level (basic, intermediate or advanced), and other features, e.g. if it is a self-paced course that you can complete in your own time, or whether the course has definite start and end dates.
Examples of MOOCs
The following are examples of popular MOOCs that provide free online courses, with the number of courses available in 2015 in brackets:
- ALISON (556 courses)
- Coursera (1118 courses)
- EdX (793 courses)
- FutureLearn (83 courses)
- Khan Academy (381 courses)
- MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) (2231 courses)
- OpenEdX (46 courses)
- Open Yale (42 courses)
- Open2Study (47 courses)
- org (363 courses)
The best way to find MOOCs
The best way to find courses that you are interested in is to use one of the search engines that help you to find MOOCs, such as:
- The Top4 Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
- Top 10 Most Anticipated MOOCs of 2015| MOOC Report
- MOOCList | A complete list of Massive Open Online Courses …
- Top 10Free: Free Best MOOC Sites, May 19th 2014
- 10 MOOCwebsites to Start Your Free Online Education
- Study a Moocwith one of the world’s top universities …
You could also search for courses through MOOC Aggregators, which are search engines that present information on courses in a more user-friendly way. Examples of MOOC aggregators are:
- Coursetalk: This is a well-organised website with thousands of courses from more than 30 subjects to choose from, which can be filtered by subject (e.g. Business), price (e.g. Free), start date (e.g. On Demand) and rating (one to five stars).
- Class Central: This is a site that lists everything in a large organised table, sorted by basic categories such as future courses, just announced, starting soon, and self-paced.