Sunday, July 15, 2012

Resource roundup: Online learning.

Since finishing up university, I've kinda missed it. I don't miss spending Friday nights trying to get my work to conform to the finer details of the required citation style or sitting long exams in big exam halls. I do miss the chances university provides to learn new things and to discuss big ideas. To make up for what I'm missing, I've been exploring options for online learning that are free or cheap.

I have been very impressed thus far by the courses from Coursera. Coursera courses are free, range from 4-12 weeks and come from Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and University of Pennsylvania. In addition to lectures, many of the courses include readings, online discussion groups, quizzes and exams. I am close to finishing the Introduction to Sociology course. The lecture quality was very good, the readings mostly interesting and there were lots of helpful discussions happening online. Even though I've done a degree in Sociology, I still learned a lot. I think the learning experience was comparable to some courses I took in a traditional university setting. I'm looking forward to taking A History of the World since 1300, Neuroethics and Listening to World Music. I'm also planning to take Statistics One to improve my knowledge in the area. The medicine courses are not really in my area of interest but a friend that has done some of them was impressed.

I'm hunting for good online theological courses that are free or not too expensive. Ligonier Connect looks rather promising as they have a pretty extensive course catalog and the price is reasonable. Anyone have suggestions for theology courses?