Of Coursera You Can!


One of the things I committed to when I started my blog was to share the wealth without expecting anything in return – A “pay it forward,” so to speak. As I come across really awesome people and organizations that impress me, I will share my experiences on the off-chance you’re looking for the same products or services too. I promise there is no backroom pay-to-play. If and when I write about a service sponsoring my site, I’ll include the appropriate disclaimer. With that out of the way, have you ever heard of this web-based educator? If not, you’re in for a treat! I just recently found out about a resource offering courses in pretty much everything, and many of them are entirely free of charge.

Now, before you tell me nothing in life is free, I want to point out here that there may be associated costs, but for the most part its optional. As weird as that sounds, it’s the difference between receiving a Coursera certificate of completion, versus receiving a certificate from the actual higher-learning establishment you’ll be attending. They are exactly the same classes, but with or without the prestige that comes with receiving a certificate from one of the world’s top universities. How cool is that? Who here thinks having a certificate from Stanford, Columbia or Duke might help their resume stand out from the rest? Or provide an edge for a promotional opportunity? You can even enroll in world-renowned schools around the globe. Overseas universities offering courses include the University of Melbourne in Australia, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and the University of Edinburgh in the UK.

The hubby recently received a Certificate in Psychological First Aid from Johns Hopkins University. (Hey, he’s married to me, what can I tell you?) Right now, I’m attending Arizona State University to get certified to teach English as a second language, and the monthly cost for my attendance is less than I spend at Starbucks.

For us life-long learners, this site provides amazing learning opportunities. There’s every subject immaginable available, from Introduction to Basic Care for Horses (University of Florida), to Mathematical Biostatistics (Johns Hopkins). I’ve got my eye on Magic in the Middle Ages (Universitat de Barcelona), and the French Revolution (University of Melbourne) for down the road.

One word of caution; before signing up, especially if you’re looking for a certificate from the actual institution you’re attending, be sure that you can dedicate the time it takes to participate. For programs that issue a certificate, there are weekly assignments, quizzes and required interactions with the other students in the class.

Do you have any gems like this you want to share? If you do, we’re all ears! Please share in the comments section below!

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zoe@zoewright.net

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