Learning Websites

          I love websites that offer learning online, it makes things easier, and especially since today’s day and age we’re modern and learning online is something that we can do since education is catching up with us. I’ve used many learning websites online, and I even follow a few studyblrs (which is like studying inspiration, a lot of the blogs dedicated to this focuses on images of people studying, tips on how to study, links to websites for studying a language or a topic, and so on and so forth. I follow Little Study SpotPoly Glot and Studyign, there’s a medium article on it) on tumblr.

          I looked around for websites online that featured in general university/college level because of where I’m at mentally. The websites offering free courses often have little to no payment and wants free education worldwide with many of the teachers and professors from top universities around the world. Some of these courses you have to register to do them, but you can register with your e-mail or your Facebook account. But nonetheless, they offer great courses in different areas of study.

          edX offers free courses on a topic of choice from many universities around the world with professors who are highly knowledgeable in the course. The website layout of edX is easy to find lessons because it’s the first thing and they have an option to explore more of their courses. I looked around and found a course on Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture (which is taught by Stan Lee and a few others in the comic book industry). The topic looks interesting enough, but it’s an enrolled course (and oops I enrolled myself to it hahahaha) so I can’t tell you, but the reviews say it’s a very engaging course. The coverage of the topic ranges from the history and origins of the ‘first’ superheroes and how they’ve changed over time, to superheroes in the depression era to today, among others. So it seems to cover the topic as a whole, but it doesn’t seem to focus on superheroes/comic books and recent resurgence of nerd culture, so who knows. The topic itself is an introductory course so for beginners, but the overall site ranges in its level. I would totally recommend the site to a friend or a colleague, and I actually sent the link to my boyfriend who is signing up for the course too, so if I can get my boyfriend, I can get anyone to join; (I also think a friend of mine is doing it as well… welp).

          Easy to find lessons: 5/5
Engaging and interesting lessons: ???
Coverage of the topic: 4/5
Recommendation: 5/5

          Stanford University Online has a collection of free course that they consider “for anyone, anywhere, any time” and it includes topics ranging from human rights, language, writing, economics, physics, engineering, etc. The lessons are easy to find much like edX which is powered off of Open edX. They don’t have many courses offered as it seems to be a recent website, as well as it looks like they focus on the same timeline as the US does with their classes ending in June as that’s when class finishes for students in the US. They have classes that offer a start and end date but you’re able to pick up the course even after the end date, which is a tad confusing since you can do this at your own pace. The topic I looked at is Adventures in Writing, which is about writing obviously. The course is engaging because it uses a graphic novel design to teach the students in that particular subject. The coverage of the course doesn’t cover a lot, last year I did a writing course and it covered a lot, but due to this being a small online course I can understand why it wouldn’t have a large coverage. Thus, I wouldn’t really recommend it, I mean I might if there’s something interesting in it that picks my eye and suggest to someone.

          Easy to find lessons: 3½/5
Engaging and interesting lessons: 4/5
Coverage of the topic:  2/5
Recommendation: 3/5

          University of the People, offers a tuition-free online education course, with small fees for exams ($100; however you can get a scholarship if you can’t fork over that amount). The creator of the website had a TED talks about having free education. It’s also the only open educational resources university in the world too. Unlike the previous two websites, UOP doesn’t show what courses they do, they currently only have majors in is business administration and computer science. Which, I can understand because they’re the two most important career pathways at the moment, but for me it makes me not want to join because I don’t have an interest in either of those two topics. Thus I don’t know the coverage of the topic. I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone, unless they have an interest in either of those two topics.

          Easy to find lessons: 0/5
Engaging and interesting lessons: ???
Coverage of the topic: ???
Recommendation: 2/5

          NovaEd has a range of mostly free courses, with many professors and universities contributing to the site. The site is beautifully designed and easy enough to locate through; however, unlike edX and Stanford online, NovaEd’s courses are at the bottom of the website and it only offers a small section of what the actually offer, with having to go to the courses on the top bar (nothing major but they don’t have a link to other courses), and they have a small section of courses too, not like Stanford or UOP. The lessons look engaging, and the coverage of the topic is very vast which in one way is a good thing. I most likely would recommend it to a friend or family member, if they were interested in the topics given. There isn’t as much as edX though, so it’s a limited set of courses. But who knows what some people will find interesting.

          Easy to find lessons: 4½/5
Engaging and interesting lessons: 4/5
Coverage of the topic: 4/5
Recommendation: 3/5

          Lastly, Open Yale Courses has free, introductory courses that are recorded in the classrooms of Yale and are available online. Unlike the previous websites, there’s no need to sign up to register for a course. You can just look up a field you’re interested in, I found Introduction to Ancient Greek History, and there’s videos, transcripts, and so on. They have YouTube playlists, and an iTunes playlist (also free). The lessons are very easy to find enough, but are’t show on the main page and you have to go to the courses link. The topics are interesting, with a wide range of topics that I had never even thought of learning. The coverage of the topic I’ve chosen is amazing, there’s 24 videos that go for over an hour (with the introduction only for half an hour), so with that that’s over 24 hours of content on ancient Greek history. There’s probably a lot more to cover in ancient Greek history, but for a university degree it’s a large amount. I will recommend this to friends, (shared it to the boyfriend) because this is rather cool in all honesty.

          Easy to find lessons: 4½/5
Engaging and interesting lessons: 5/5
Coverage of the topic:  5/5
Recommendation: 5/5

          So I kind of got lost doing this. I think I started around 1 or 2 pm and it’s now around 11 pm at night. I was going to play Fallout 3 as well, oh well – this was actually kind of fun. I’m interested to start the course in superheroes, who knew I was going to do that. But hey, I have Stan Lee as my teacher! I love this idea for free courses online, I’m an advocate for free education as I have a learning disability and I value and love education because I was able to go to primary school, high school, tafe where I’m not well off and I value my mum’s efforts to get me to go to high school. So free education is something I want, and with this it’s great that a lot of universities are optioning for this, especially since their courses are in America where it’s way more expensive then here in Australia. I really recommend looking for online education to further your mind, who knows where you’ll end up.



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