5 Sites to Search and Find the Best Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for You
Online learning is bigger than ever before, with top universities offering free courses on the internet. In fact, there are so many of these massive open online courses (MOOCs) that you need to rely on websites to help you figure out the best education for you.
From MIT to Coursera, there are some amazing websites that offer free college courses online. But go to any and you’ll be overwhelmed by the choices on offer. Plus, these sites limit themselves to courses available on their own platform.
So how do you search for or discover the best MOOC? These websites offer robust search engines, filters, reviews, and guided paths for free online courses.
1. Class Central (Web): Top 100 Free Online Courses
Class Central is all about free online courses but it also lists paid courses. It includes a variety of universities, including MIT, Stanford, and Harvard. It neatly categorizes all these courses into subjects like computer science, business, humanities, engineering, etc.
The website has a powerful search engine to find any type of online course you’re looking for. You can also browse MOOCs by providers, universities, institutions, careers, and languages.
Class Central’s best feature is the regularly updated lists they provide. At any time, you can check the list of the top 100 free online courses of all time. The website also creates annual lists of the best MOOCs of the year, so if you want to know what’s new and awesome in 2019, there’s a ready reckoner available.
2. Course Root (Web): Search Over 80,000 Courses
Course Root is one of the most comprehensive databases of MOOCs, both free and paid. It is an aggregator that lists everything from Khan Academy and Coursera to those made by smaller universities from around the world. And it simplifies the process of finding the right course for you.
At Course Root, you can choose a subject and then add filters to find the type of course that’s best for you. The three main filters are Difficulty (beginner, intermediate, expert), price (free or paid), and certificate (okay, good, excellent). The certificate filter is especially useful if you’re taking a course so that you can add accomplishments to your CV.
You can further filter the results by the number of hours it takes to complete the course, and choose from one of the eight most popular online course platforms. For each course, you’ll get a brief description, as well as find out whether it’s self-paced or an in-session course.
3. MOOC-List (Web): Most Comprehensive Filter System to Find MOOCs
If you want to search or filter your results by various parameters, then it doesn’t get better than MOOC-List. The website has a multiple criteria search that lets you find any online course based on:
- Words from the course title
- University / Entity
- Estimated Effort
- Peer Assessments
- Team Projects
- Audio Lectures
- Video Lectures
- Start Date
As you start looking at more and more MOOCs, you will find that many of these criteria are extremely useful in figuring out the right type of course for you. For example, peer assessments can play a major role in how much you understand a course, as can subtitles if you’re having trouble picking up accents.
MOOC-List also notifies you of upcoming MOOCs and free online courses for the next 30 days, sorted by date. All of these features combine to make it one of the best sites for beginners to online courses .
4. Course Talk (Web): Discover Courses Through Student Reviews
Given how big the MOOCs industry is, there is naturally a lot of people who are gaming the system through search engines and ads. If you prefer to rely on word of mouth for your recommendations, Course Talk lets you find courses based on reviews by students.
People who take a course rate it on different aspects on the website. Course Talk also encourages them to write detailed reviews so you can figure out what you’re getting into, from someone who has already done the course. Based on ratings, there are also leaderboards for the top course providers.
Meanwhile, try the Course Advisor by clicking Recommendations. Course Talk will ask you different questions about your interests and recommend a few of the best-reviewed courses that you’re likely to find interesting.
A lot of the better reviews on the site are pretty old now, but they’re still beneficial. After all, education doesn’t have to be new or change every year for it to be an engaging lesson.
5. MOOCLab’s Degree Paths (Web): Guides to Learn Like a Degree Course
MOOCLab believes that if you combine the right courses from different online learning resources, you can get an education that is close to a traditional bachelor’s degree course. It calls these learning playlists Degree Paths.
Currently, MOOCLab has 272 degree paths, divided into four main categories: computer science, business administration, health science, and general education. Click any for further options, like a core business course or a business specialization course. The website estimates that if you commit to 15 hours of study time per week, you can finish a degree path in two to three years.
Before you ask, no, you won’t get a certified bachelor’s degree by doing any of these. Upon completion, you can get a certificate for a small fee. MOOCLab’s degree paths are a great way to learn about a subject in detail, but potential employers are not going to see it as actual academic qualifications.
Google’s Best Courses
Apart from educational institutions, Google has jumped into the MOOC game. The internet giant offers a variety of online courses through its own portals or through other platforms like Udacity. But don’t worry, you don’t have to go hunting for them, we rounded up the best Google online courses for you.