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Free College Classes Online and How to Find Them

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by
Jerri Collins
Updated August 06, 2018


72
72 people found this article helpful

Most people know the value of a college degree. Studies have traditionally shown that college-educated people tend to earn more money over the entire arc of their career. However, a college education can be prohibitively expensive. Does this mean that college is an unattainable dream for people who can’t afford it? With the advent of free college classes and programs on the Web, absolutely not. In this article, we’re going to take a look at free sources for taking all sorts of great college classes on the Web, anything from computer statistics to Web development and much, much more.

Note: While many colleges and universities offer a wide variety of free courses online in the form of podcasts, lectures, tutorials and online classes, most of these courses are not accredited or part of an actual, accredited degree. However, that does not mean they are not valuable or will not add value to your overall education and/or resume. Homeschool programs will also find these resources helpful.

01
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MIT

The logo for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where you can find some online classes for free.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was one of the first in the realm of venerated institutions to offer free courses online to anyone who wants to take them. These are all real courses that have been offered at MIT, and there are over 2100 different classes from which to choose from. Classes are available on anything from Architecture to Science and include free lecture notes, exams, and videos from MIT. No registration is required. 

02
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edX

An image of the edx logo.

edX is a collaboration between MIT and Harvard that offers classes from MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley online for free. In addition to a whole host of classes offered to students all over the world, edX also tracks how students learn online, keeping on top of research that could impact further class offering. This particular institution does award “certificates of mastery” to students who complete certain courses on a higher level; these certificates are free at the time of this writing, but plans are in place to charge for them in the future.

03
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Khan Academy

The Khan Academy logo

Khan Academy is a collection of videos on subjects ranging from computer science to test preparation. More than 3400 videos for K-12 and up students are available. In addition to this vast library of videos, free assessments and exams are available so students can make sure they are retaining what they are learning about. Everything here is self-paced, meaning you can go as fast or as slow as you need to, with customized badges and a proprietary points system to show off your progress. Parents and teachers can also participate since Khan Academy offers the ability to see what their students are doing via real-time report cards. This website has grown into one of the most popular learning destinations on the Web and is well worth a visit for anyone who is looking to learn something new.

04
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Johns Hopkins

The logo for the Johns Hopkins University where student can find free online classes.

Johns Hopkins, one of the world’s premier medical learning institutions, offers a wide variety of public health courses and materials. Students can look up classes by course offering title, topics, collections, or images. There are several different ways that courses are presented: with audio, with case studies, core courses for the Hopkins Master of Public Health, and several more. For anyone looking to advance their healthcare career without sacrificing quality, this is the first place to look.

05
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Coursera

The logo for Coursera, an online learning website.

Coursera is an online collaboration between several of the top-tiered universities in the world, with offerings from a wide variety of programs, anything from Humanities to Biology to Computer Science. Online courses include classes from Duke University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Princeton, Stanford, the University of Edinburgh, and Vanderbilt. For those of you interested in computer science or technology-related offerings, there are classes offered in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Vision), Computer Science (Systems, Security, and Networking), Information Technology and Design, Programming and Software Engineering, and Computer Science Theory. Classes include online lectures, multimedia, free textbooks, and links to other free resources, like online code testers. Registration is free, and you will earn a signed certificate for each class you complete (must complete all assignments and other coursework).

06
of 10


Codecademy

The Codecademy logo

 Codecademy aims to make learning how to code fun, and they do this by making all of their courses game-based in nature. The site offers “tracks”, which are series of courses grouped around a particular topic or language. Course offerings include JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Python, Ruby, and JQuery. Registration is free, and once you get going in a class, you start to earn points and badges as a way to keep you motivated. No certificate or credits are offered here, however, the interactive classes make complicated concepts seem not as intimidating. Codecademy also runs  CodeYear , a year-long collaborative effort to get as many people learning how to code (one lesson per week) as possible. More than 400,000 people have signed up at the time of this writing.

07
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Udemy

The UDemy logo

Udemy differs a little bit from other sites on this list in two ways: first, not all of the classes are free, and second, classes are taught not only by professors but also by people who have excelled in their particular fields, like Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) or Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo). There are plenty of “learn to code” classes here, but there are also course offerings here like “Product Development Process” (from Marissa Mayer), “Product Development at Facebook” (from Mark Zuckerberg), or iPhone App Design (from the founder of App Design Vault).

08
of 10


Udacity

Logo for the Udacity site, where students can take online classes for free.

If you’ve ever wanted to do something like create a  search engine  in seven weeks (for example), and you’d like to learn directly from one of the co-founders of  Google , Sergey Brin, then Udacity is for you. Udacity offers a limited selection of courses, all computer science related, with instruction from distinctive leaders in their fields. Classes are organized into three separate tracks: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. All classes are taught in a video format with quizzes and homework assignments, and final grades/certificates are awarded to students who finish the coursework successfully. One really intriguing thing about Udacity: they actually help their students find employment with over twenty technology-related companies, based on referrals from their Udacity credentials. Students can opt into Udacity’s job program when they sign up for classes (free), where they can choose to share their resume with the Udacity team and potential employers.

09
of 10


P2PU

The P2PU logo

Peer to Peer University (P2PU) is a collaborative experience where you’re meant to learn in community with others. Registration and courses are totally free. There are several “schools” within the P2PU organizational framework, including one for Web-based programming backed by Mozilla, creator of the Firefox web browser. As you complete courses, you can display badges on your website or social profiles. Courses include WebMaking 101 and Programming with the  Twitter  API; no developer certifications are offered here, but the courses are well executed and worth taking a look.

10
of 10


Stanford

The logo for Stanford University where there are some courses that students can take for free.

Stanford University – yes, THAT Stanford – offers an ongoing selection of free courses on many topics. If you’re looking for a basic introduction to Computer Science, you’ll want to check out  SEE  (Stanford Engineering Everywhere), which is ostensibly for students interested in engineering, but there are quite a few technology-related class offerings here as well. In addition, there’s  Stanford’s Class2Go , an open platform for online research and learning. There’s a limited course offering here at the time of this writing, but more classes are planned in the future. Courses include videos, problem sets, knowledge assessments, and other learning tools.

When All Else Fails, Google It!

While all of the resources listed here are fantastic in their own right, there are still many more too numerous to list, for whatever you might possibly be interested in learning. Here are a few Google queries you can use to narrow down what you’re looking for:

learn (insert what you want to learn about here)

Believe it or not, this is an incredibly powerful search string and will bring up a solid first page of results:

inurl:eduwhat you want to learn

This tells Google to search within the URL keeping the search parameters to only .edu sites, looking for what you’re trying to learn.


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  1. Level 2 in Awareness of Mental Health Problems – Direct off Site
  2. Level 2 in Counselling Skills – Direct off Site
  3. Level 2 in Equality & Diversity – Direct off Site
  4. Level 2 in Information, Advice or Guidance – Direct off Site
  5. Level 2 in Lean Organisation Management Techniques – Direct off Site
  6. Level 2 in Principles of Care Planning – Direct off Site
  7. Level 2 in Principles of Customer Service – Direct off Site
  8. Level 2 in Principles of Dementia Care – Direct off Site
  9. Level 2 in Principles of Dementia Care – Direct off Site
  10. Level 2 in Principles of End of Life Care – Direct off Site
  11. Level 2 in Principles of Prevention of Infection in Health Care – Direct off Site
  12. Level 2 in Principles of Team Leading – Direct off Site
  13. Level 2 in Principles of Working with Learning Disabilities – Direct off Site
  14. Level 2 in Safe Handling of Medication in Health & Social Care – Direct off Site
  15. Level 2 in Understanding Autism – Direct off Site
  16. Level 2 in Understanding Behaviour that Challenges – Direct off Site
  17. Level 2 in Understanding Children’s Mental Health – Direct off Site
  18. Level 2 in Understanding Dignity & Safeguarding in Care – Direct off Site
  19. Level 2 in Understanding Safeguarding and Prevent – Direct off Site
  20. Level 2 in Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties – Direct off Site

At MidKent College we offer a wide range of free distance learning courses that can be completed online in your own time and at your own pace. All of our online learning courses aim to assist you in building and developing the essential skills and knowledge within your chosen topic and preparing you for employment in a range of industries such as customer service and counselling as well as healthcare areas such as dementia care, end of life care and working children with learning difficulties.

Is online learning for me? 

Whether you are looking for a new venture or you are interested in enhancing your current job prospects by learning new skills whilst you are still in employment, then one of our online courses could be for you.  

An online learning course, or distance learning as it is sometimes referred to, enables you to complete your learning around other responsibilities such as an existing job or parenthood, and are great for developing your confidence in your new found skills. So whether you are looking to study alongside employment or you are a new parent looking to get back into work, an online course could give you the motivation you need to succeed in your goals. 

An online training course is also a great route to take if you are looking to further develop existing skills in order to progress within your current company or own business. Each of our online courses are available to anyone at any age, and are created for individuals looking to continue learning and develop new skills to improve job prospects, whether you work with children or in customer service. The courses are designed to fit in around other responsibilities such as full or part-time work and are to be completed within a three-month window. 

Once you have decided which course is for you, you will need to participate in an induction session to officially start the online course. After the induction you will have three months to complete your online learning with the support of a tutor. The support is available every day and a tutor can assist you with any questions you may have about your course. 

Once you have completed your distance learning course you will be qualified in your chosen subject and receive a certificate of completion. You will also have the option of enrolling onto another course if you wish to continue learning new skills. 

How much are the online learning courses? 

All of the short online learning courses are fully funded.  

However, there will be a charge incurred to cover the cost of the workbook at the beginning of the course.  

Please note – If you do not complete the course, we will charge a one-off registration fee. 

How to get in touch 

If you are interested in enrolling on one of our online learning courses or wish to speak to one of our friendly distance learning team you can get in touch with us on 01622 624956. Alternatively, send us an email .