Online Advanced High-School, College and University Courses

The majority of college and university-level students today are offered advanced education in brick and mortar institutions at exceedingly high costs. Due to misguided peer pressure, attraction to easier or "fun" subjects and/or lack of sufficient guidance about economic opportunities that correspond to various choices of subjects in which these students major, many college and university graduates today are experiencing exceedingly high unemployment rates.

For students who are non-conforming, self-motivated, and eager to learn, there is a veritable tidal wave of change coming in the form of free online education. Today, there is an immense wealth and diversity of online resources available to those who are eager to learn and don't need someone to hold their hand and guide them. You don't have to be from a privileged country, family, or economic background or have the right kinds of connections and recommendations to take advantage of these online educational resources. Just think, they are open to one and all! Dive in, check out some of the outstanding sites listed below and see where they might take you.

There is some overlap in course offerings among the various sites noted below. Nevertheless, varied and somewhat overlapping sources are supplied because students may prefer the format or organization of some of the sites over others.

Free Online Courses from Khan Academy

This awe-inspiring and very extensive collection of courses is available from Khanacademy. The courses are simply and clearly formulated in 12-minute video segments. You can work at your own pace, backtrack, and review any course you are taking currently or have taken previously. The highly flexible and easy-to-use format makes these an extremely valuable addition or substitute to courses that would be offered at the high-school or university levels. There is a tremendous wealth of knowledge here that is delivered in highly palatable form.
Background Information on Salman Khan, Originator of the Khan Academy
This is an interesting article about Salman Khan, his colleague, Shantanu Sinha, and Khan's ambitions for the Khan Academy.
Additional Must-Reading Background Information on Salman Khan, Originator of the Khan Academy

Free Online Programming Lessons

This is an interactive way to learn to program. It is designed to be easy to use and fun.

Free Online Computer Programming Courses

Udacity offers online computer programming courses, beginning with CS101 (Building a Search Engine). The is a very serious effort by some top-notch people to bring high quality computer science education to self-motivated, non-conforming students who are eager to learn. The pages might load a bit slowly, but don't let that discourage you.

edX: Courses from MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley & Other Major Universities

MIT has long been offering a large variety of its courses online free of charge. edX is a recent and very ambitious collaboration of Harvard and MIT. It aims to reproduce, as much as possible, a university-like educational experience (including interactions among students and staff, course assignments and test grading, interactions among students worldwide, and feedback from students on IT aspects of the courses). edX hosts open online courses from 30 schools. The edX platform at MIT is customized allowing professors to give instant feedback to students.

Students anywhere in the world are offered the opportunity to virtually sit alongside students in the classrooms of major universities and avail themselves of courses being offered at premier science and engineering institutions in the world. Those who are currently enrolled at other colleges or universities and who wish to supplement their current course topics with these online resources from edX will find themselves catapulted to top-level performers in their schools.

Background Information About MIT and Harvard Online Course Offerings Currently Under Development

Coursera's Wide Range of Courses with Major University participants

Coursera works in tandem with some major universities (Standord, Princeton, University of Michigan and University of Pennsilvania). It has the objective of helping these universities offer their classes online while achieving as many of the features of actual classrooms as possible.

Free Online College-Level Finance Courses

This site includes courses ranging from basics on family finance or debt and borrowing to more advanced courses on economics and investment risk.

Free Online Business Degree Guide

This site includes courses on accounting and finance. It also has useful material on SAT and ACT Preparation. The site is well-organized and easy to use.

UCLA Master of Science in Engineering Online

Although not free of charge, this approach illustrates the potential for offerings of online degree programs by major educational institutions. It is designed for working engineers who may not be able to attend on-campus programs and who may wish to update their engineering skills.

Universities With the Best Free Online Courses

Includes offerings from UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, Carnegie Mellon University, Yale University, UC Irvine, and many others. This is a well-organized and regularly-updated list.

Free Online Courses from the World's Top Scholars

These are recordings of lectures from top US universities and include a very wide selection of high-quality courses. Students who are attending lesser institutions can supplement their courses by watching online courses offered here that deal with their current course topics. Classes dealing with science, mathematics, and engineering are the most noteworthy in this collection.

The Open Learning Initiative of Carnegie Mellon University

Free Online Courses Dealing with Foundations (Theory) of Mathematics

This interesting project is being developed in collaboration with the University of Central Florida. It uses animated videos to introduce high-school or more advanced students to theory underlying mathematics. These courses go far beyond rote learning of rules in mathematics that is typical of a great deal of mathematics education. Instead, they introduce students to how the rules were created in the first place. These courses have the potential to excite and challenge more thoughtful students to seek greater understanding of (or even careers in) higher mathematics.

ProctorU Aims to Offer a Solution to One of the Most Difficult Aspects of Online Education Grading & Certification

Testing and certification are an essential part of online education because they provide students with documentary evidence they have successfully completed course or degree programs.

Other Helpful Resources for Selecting Courses Online

General Help for Selecting Online Courses

This is a useful resource for students and provides a variety of helpful tips for choosing and using online educational resources.

Good Summary of Practical Courses Offered Online

Excellent Site Makes it Easy to Find Online Programs Suited to Your Needs

From the site: "For those who need a hands-on element to their education, many online programs have the best of both worlds, allowing for remote coursework but including campus-based or other on-site laboratory experiences."

Also, "Like classroom learners, online students need to be motivated. Beyond the desire to learn you need to be self-disciplined, have good time management skills, and be comfortable in an environment where it's just you and your computer. You need to be proactive and access the course frequently so you stay on top of the work. You’ll also need to be at ease communicating and interacting with other people without face-to-face contact."

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