MOOCs, or Massively Online Open Courses have taken the educational world by storm recently. They surfaced in 2011 and really began to hit their stride in 2012, which became “the year of MOOCs” when leaders in the field, Coursera, Udacity and edX emerged to bring education directly to consumers.
Harvard University helped pioneer edX, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding the horizons of higher education into the online realm. EdX offers interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities, colleges and organizations.
Now, Harvard is taking the leap into online learning full-force by offering many of their courses online, and some of them are even free. Whether you are a student at any level, a working professional, or just someone with a passion for learning, read on to see how you can incorporate Harvard Courses into your educational repertoire!
About Harvard University Online Learning
Harvard offers a variety of “Courses” on their online learning site. “Courses” is a generic term that describes all of the various learning content on their site. Harvard offers full-length certificate and degree programs, but they also have podcasts and lectures available for use.
The Harvard Online Learning site is very easy to navigate, as it breaks down all of their learning content into three easily identifiable categories: Eligibility, Instructional Level and Level of Engagement.
Eligibility dictates the credit and/or certificates available per course. For example, some courses have “no credential,” meaning that are open and available to access at all times. Some courses are for credit, for an open certificate (free and does not verify identity), or if you are willing to pay for certain courses, you can receive a verified certificate or even a degree through specific programs.
There are three levels of instruction: introductory, intermediate and advanced. Additionally, there are also three levels of engagement. Low means that there are no assessments or interactive learning elements; these are generally podcasts and lectures. Medium means that there may be some optional online assessments and interactive learning elements. High level of engagement means a fully integrated online course. All online assessments and interactive learning elements are mandatory towards completion of the course.
The available content on Harvard’s Online Learning hub isn’t directly hosted from the site itself, but pulled from various schools, centers and other programs from the Harvard campus. There are also paid courses available through edX and Harvard’s MOOCs specifically for Harvard Alumni, HarvardX.
Harvard offers courses in the following subject areas:
- Arts & Design
- Business & Management
- Computer Science
- Economics & Finance
- Education & Organizational Development
- Government, Law & Politics
- Mathematics & Data Analysis
- Medicine & Public Health
- Religion & Spirituality
- Science & Engineering
- Social Science
Take a peek at the various courses listed on the Harvard University Online Learning page! There are hundreds of available courses, so you can be confident that you can find the course you are looking for.
-Alicia Lazzaro, Editor-in-Chief