Have you ever imagined being able to take a financial management course with a professor from MIT? Perhaps a sustainable development course with the Technology University of Monterrey in Mexico catches your eye, or even a course on techno-science and science fiction from the Polytechnic University of Cataluña in Spain?
Well, through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs ), business owners can learn about these topics and more at the click of a button. Moreover, these courses will come at no personal cost.
MOOCs are a modern trend in education. They are accessible to just about everybody. The paradigm is shifted; learning from courses taught by prestigious professors at the best universities across the globe are no longer for the rich.
MOOCs not only provide an unlimited number of free online classes, but also the possibility of creating scholarly communities. In general, these are live and offer interaction with the professor and fellow peers. Some of these courses test your knowledge through exams or assignments, and you can obtain a certification when paying small fees.
According to Geraldine Garcia, Consultant of Learning and Knowledge from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a few of the most fascinating MOOCs platforms are:
Coursera: Serving as the most well-known platform and a pioneer of MOOCs, today it offers more than 500 free courses that have been created by the most prestigious educational institutions worldwide. This platform allows interactive communication between the students and professors. One additional feature of Coursera is that it incorporates alternative language options.
EdX: It uses the same platform that universities such as Harvard and MIT use with their students. The lecture resources can be viewed at any time, but the exams and assignments have a fixed deadline for submission.
UniMooc: This is an exclusive module for Spanish speaking entrepreneurs (novice and experts). Among other topics, available courses include legislation, e-commerce, and mobile application.
Udacity: A platform specialized in technology and programming courses with lectures given by industry leaders that work in companies such as Google, Cisco, or Facebook.
Future Learn: With more than 40 years of experience in online and long-distance education, Open University (OU) offers Future Learn as a way to provide additional learning tools for the general public. Mrs. Garcia indicates that OU’s partners include the British Council, Libraries, and Museums.
Udemy: As described in its website, Udemy provides a platform for experts of any kind to create courses which can be offered to the public, either at no charge or for a tuition fee. Udemy provides tools which enable users to create a course, promote it and earn money from student tuition charges.
BIDx: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has worked with several distinguished universities to develop this module. Students who choose to take classes offered by BIDx have the opportunity to receive a certificate by paying a minimal fee.
In today’s society, and with the availability of free education platforms such as MOOCs, the lack of money is no longer an excuse for not advancing in education. After all, knowledge is power. Now equipped with a plethora of free learning resources, are you ready to pursue self-education?