Top universities offer free online college courses, such as MIT and Johns Hopkins' OpenCourseWare programs, and Carnegie Mellon's OpenLearning. Additional websites offering free collegiate-level coursework are Coursera.org and OpenCulture.com.
Open coursework programs provided online by notable universities are accessible to individuals who are passionate about learning but who may not be able to afford the rising costs of higher education. Universities such as the University of Berkley in California and countless others have bridged this educational gap by providing students with free access to ongoing and archived class lectures. In some cases, students do have to purchase their own textbooks and other materials, unless these items are available elsewhere at no cost.
It's important to highlight that free online coursework does not count toward college credit, certification or a degree with the online coursework provider. The model is designed to act as a database of resource materials to help individuals learn more about a topic or teach others.
Students should read the course's syllabus to familiarize themselves with necessary reading materials, covered topics, quizzes and exams. The syllabus will also note which courses are prerequisites to the current course.
It is also important for students to check the technical requirements of their chosen course to ensure proper view and use of these educational sites.