Free Courses - More or Less Open

There has been an explosion of interest in MOOCs - massive open online courses - and smaller open online courses. Check for technical requirements. Some of these courses will not be appropriate in low bandwidth situations. What about taking these free courses for credit? Some courses provide a certificate either for free or for a fee. Some provide a route to a certificate via proctored testing which may also require a fee. At the time I'm writing this, University of the People does not have plans to accept credits for open courses. (This is true of other schools as well. You cannot be certain that another school will accept your online free course work for credit.)


Art 100 - OERu
An art appreciation course using OER materials - based in part on's art courses - and other open sources.

Athabasca University (Canada) Open courses

Center for Digital Education. MOOCs (This list includes some open courses in French - related to computer science) (no longer available ?)

Class Central
A MOOC aggregator (i.e. a list of massive open online courses.)
Coursera offers courses from the U.S. They have been developing partnerships with universities outside the U.S. as well. Some courses are the equivalent of a semester-long college course while other courses may be set up to provide an introduction to the subject matter. Courses are free with a "signature track" - a certificate that verifies the identity of the student - for a fee.

Open courses from MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley. Find Open Courses
Find open online courses

Mooc Learning Advisor (beta). Find MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) by subject, popularity, etc. for 50 - plus learning


Online College Courses (Use "Navigate" at the top of the screen to find open courses)

Open Culture provides some lists of courses. Examples: 700 Free Online Courses 300 Free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) with certificates This site includes iTunes courses, video courses, courses based on mp3 files.

Open Tapestry Search for higher education courses.

RedHoop - Open Education Europa
A search engine for identifying courses and sites with learning materials. Scroll down for an arrangement by discipline Academy
The Saylor Foundation has been developing college level courses. They include a pathway to student credit (Always check with the school you hope will accept these credits).
Saylor. Open Course Resources:

UC Berkeley: Multiple subjects as webcasts available through either YouTube or iTunes University. Material posted before September 2015 is available to the public.

Udacity. (Now fee-based)

List of Some University Initiatives

Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative: Multiple subjects. Anyone can use the courses without registering, but work will not be saved. Lessons include quizes. There are matierals for students and faculty. Accessing material is free and instructors can set up a course for their students which will include metrics to track their progress. Students might have to pay a small fee to access a course, which is used to pay for servers and maintenence.

JohnsHopkins University Health Open CourseWare: Subjects related to health and medicine. This includes lectures, lecture notes, and homework assignments. They use the Creative Commons license, encouraging sharing and altering the materials as long as you attribute.

MIT OpenCourseWare: Multiple subjects, not all courses offer everything listed below but most will have a syllabus, reading list, and lecture notes. Most will note in "features" on the course page what is included.

Notre Dame OpenCourseWare: Multiple subjects, searchable by area of study. Icons next to course indicate what is included

Open.Michigan: Multiple subjects, with some offering lectures for download. Not all courses offer everything listed on the Open Michigan site. Each course notes what Creative Commons license is in use (if any). Teachers can submit their courses for review and publication on Open Michigan.

Open University. OpenLearn Read more about the OpenUniversity at

Open Yale Courses: Multiple subjects with lectures available on the website, YouTube, or iTunes University.

Stanford Engineering Everywhere: Engineering related courses, lectures and materials offered. Some is under the Creative Commons license.

Tufts OpenCourseWare: Multiple subjects with lecture notes, suggested reading lists, assignments, and quizzes.

Utah State OpencourseWare: Multiple subjects, some including lecture notes, recorded lectures, or assignments.

(List above from Wayne State College, Nebraska: )