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MOOC Roundup: Some of the Best Online Courses Offered by Top Colleges

Thu, Jan 15, 2015 @ 12:49 PM

Best MOOCs resized 600Learn About the Things You Love For Free From Some of The US's Most Selective Colleges

Part of learning is exploring new interests, and with the accessibility of massive open online courses (MOOCs) high school and college students (and even adults!) are able to expand their knowledge on topics they’re really passionate about, or just want to delve a little deeper into.  

For high school students, identifying areas of interest and becoming a specialist is the key to standing out in the selective admissions process. If students are unable to learn more about a topic in school, MOOCs are a great alternative to traditional classes and they offer unique courses from some of the country’s top universities.  

So what can you learn in a MOOC? Just about anything! From standard STEM courses, to thought-provoking philosophy classes, MOOCs have something for just about anyone. The best part? They’re free!  

Here are some of the most popular and unique MOOCs offered by some of the best colleges and universities in the US: 

Wesleyan University - How to Change the World

“How can we use the things we share in common to address some of the most challenging problems facing the world? This course examines issues concerning poverty, the environment, technology, health care, gender, education and activism to helps us understand better how to initiate positive change.”

University of Rochester - The Music of the Beatles

“The Music of the Beatles will track the musical development of the band, starting from the earliest days in Liverpool and Hamburg, moving through the excitement of Beatlemania, the rush of psychedelia, and the musical maturity of Abbey Road."  

University of Pennsylvania - Gamification

“Gamification is the application of game elements and digital game design techniques to non-game problems, such as business and social impact challenges. This course will teach you the mechanisms of gamification, why it has such tremendous potential, and how to use it effectively.”

University of Virginia - The Kennedy Half Century

“This course explores the Presidency, assassination, and lasting legacy of President John F. Kennedy. Students will learn how JFK’s life, administration, and tragic death have influenced the general public, the media, and each of the nine U.S. presidents who followed.”  

University of California, Berkeley - "A Christmas Carol" by Dickens: BerkeleyX Book Club

“This course explores Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella, “A Christmas Carol,” which has an important place in English language literature. It has given us enduring characters, such as Scrooge and Tiny Tim, and common sayings, like “Bah! Humbug!”. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you will find that this book offers important themes, including generosity, poverty, and social injustice.”  

Harvard UniversityIntroduction to Computer Science

“An entry-level course taught by David J. Malan, CS50x teaches students how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Topics include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development. Languages include C, PHP, and JavaScript plus SQL, CSS, and HTML. Problem sets inspired by real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming. As of Fall 2013, the on-campus version of CS50x was Harvard's second-largest course.”

What MOOCs interest you? Tell us in the comments below!


Written by IvyWise

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