By Christopher Geno
No two students are the same. So it makes sense that each student has different goals. Fortunately, different MOOC services cater to different types of students.
Find out which MOOC website is the best one for your needs. Are you a high school student? A Humanities major? Someone who travels a lot? There’s a MOOC for that.
I am a High School Student
If you’re looking for high school level lessons, look no further than KhanAcademy. KhanAcademy has hundreds of short, easy-to-understand lessons at the high school level on math, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, economics, history, civics and test prep for the SAT, GMAT and California Standards Test. In fact, these are just some of the topics at the best MOOC for high school students.
I Want Rigorous College-Level Courses
Not all MOOCs are designed to simulate real college courses with homework, tests and timetables for completion. The MOOCs at Coursera are taught by renowned professors at world-famous universities, these courses are made to be as difficult as a real college class.
Every class is free, but they have an enrollment date, a recommended workload of a certain number of hours per week, and a series of tests and assignments to complete. There are no grades, but students who successfully finish the course get a certificate from the instructor.
I Want to Learn On the Go
Don’t be tied down by your computer or your classroom. With iTunes U, you can find lectures and lessons from hundreds of colleges and universities and then download them straight to an iPhone, iPod or iPad with the iTunes U app. Best of all, it’s completely native to iTunes. If you have an iTunes account then you have all you need to get started.
I am Interested in Humanities
There isn’t a specific MOOC website for students interested in the Humanities, but there are lots of options. Coursera has a wide selection of choices on several topics.
For students who just want to expand their minds by watching lectures without submitting to the rigors of a real college class, Open Yale Courses is an excellent resource of classes across many departments, and was selected as one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Websites of 2011.
I am Interested in Computer Science
Without question, the best MOOC for students interested in computer science is Udacity. Udacity has courses for every level of student, allows you to take those courses at any time and is completely dedicated to computer science. You can take 18 MOOCs and all of them are CS-related.
If you’ve exhausted your resources over at Udacity, be sure to check out EdX.org and the computer science section at Coursera.
I’m More Interested in Hobbies
Are college classes not enough for you? Do you want to learn how to knit socks, practice yoga and play the electric guitar? Udemy is the MOOC website for you. Its format is a little different than all the other MOOCs out there. Anyone can create his or her own class on any topic for the whole world to take.
- There are a lot of college-specific MOOCs as well. Carnegie Mellon University and MIT OpenCourseWare are good examples.
- Coursera MOOCs each have a start date, but you can take the course at any time after the class has already started.
- Because Udemy allows anyone to make their own class, some classes may cost money to take. All other MOOC websites listed here are completely free.
- The other MOOC (besides Yale Open Courses) on Time Magazine’s Top 50 Websites of 2011? KhanAcademy.