Harvard Presents Free Courses with the Open Learning Initiative

Always good to see another major university making a contribution to the open course movement. The Open Learning Initiative undertaken by the Harvard University Extension School now offers eight free courses. This cluster of courses – the first Harvard has put forward – covers a nice range of topics. They feature some heavy-hitting members of the Harvard faculty. And they’re freely available in audio and video. The full list appears below as well as in our big list of 500 Free Online Courses:

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What’s the Right Thing to Do?: Popular Harvard Course Now Online


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  1. Anna says . . . | August 6, 2010 / 5:59 am

    Nothing is really free, ”online we pay with time” as a wise journalist of NYT said recently :) What US Universities are doing with open courseware movement is more about open dialogue/participation to knowledge in general than real educational opportunity. For it to have some educational meaning, a curriculum from low level to upper must be provided, up to now it isnt.


    The firefox glitch is still on btw, I had to open the dreaded IE to leave a comment :/

  2. John says . . . | August 8, 2010 / 4:22 pm

    Thanks very much for listing this selection of courses. I really value these online learning materials.

  3. Jerry says . . . | September 24, 2010 / 4:55 pm

    So right about time:

    I’ve taken math courses here at MIT, Stanford, Yale and some Cosmology courses at other institutions which I don’t remember offhand. The Yale course was so good that it brings tears of gratitude for the professor who taught it.

    If Harvard is anywhere near as good I will be more than pleased.

  4. Metto Tapkey says . . . | December 25, 2010 / 9:34 am

    Does one get certification for the courses…how can i prove ive undertaken a certain course.

  5. stella says . . . | May 13, 2011 / 11:13 am

     would one be given a certificate after the course and how can i prove i ve undertaken a certain course?                 STELLA

  6. Elocin432 says . . . | May 13, 2011 / 4:52 pm

     I am also wondering if there is some type of certificate if you complete the open course?

  7. Hue says . . . | June 6, 2011 / 1:45 am

    A gold mine! Thank you so much! <3

  8. Hue says . . . | June 6, 2011 / 1:45 am

    A gold mine! Thank you so much! <3

  9. Becca says . . . | October 19, 2011 / 10:05 am

    I don’t believe there is “certification” offered as there’s no grading involved. Think of it as a self-paced audit, taken for your own edification only.

  10. Morton Juma Kimungui says . . . | December 5, 2011 / 10:17 am

    Maybe? until its maturity is when one can tell its intended goal’s cons and pros else its a noble idea, knowledge is probable in evolution.

  11. Sasa Vicentijevic says . . . | December 22, 2011 / 2:34 pm

    Hi,i am 42 old male and i would like to study course of biology or biotecnology,but i dont know where can i find one of this courses for free or with certificate.I would like to start from zero in your university and do exams online becouse i am living in Barcelona,Spain.Harvard, can you help me?Thank you.Regards.

  12. Fatahi Abdellatif says . . . | February 26, 2012 / 2:41 pm

    I m moroccan citizen; i use to live in the states since 1995; unfortunatly i get back home by voluntry departure after i was over stay for long time in the usa studing and woking on my owne . NOW I M STACKED here in my morocco and im not aligible to returne :cause im still under bare of ten years i have spent untill now 6 YEARS REMANING 4 OTHER YEARS as I
    admire AMERICAN LAW i realy want to study it in these 4years ; please i need helpe how to start? WHERE CAN I HAVE FREE COURSES AND EXAMS BEST REGARDS

  13. Linam Joslin Lui says . . . | May 24, 2012 / 6:27 pm

    I am an MIT student at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
    Intereted in sharing ideas and learning about resources etc.

  14. Bala says . . . | July 10, 2012 / 6:21 am

    Hi Guys,

    If I finish this online course do I get any completion certificate ?

  15. Nwaoko nnabike david says . . . | December 9, 2012 / 8:27 am

    I wud like to say a shout out to all those that enroled in dis free course with me

  16. monica infante says . . . | March 7, 2013 / 7:56 am

    I do like to get an course of computer basics and skills.

  17. Anees Inayat says . . . | April 30, 2013 / 11:37 pm

    Great job………!

  18. amjad soheail says . . . | June 7, 2013 / 7:12 am

    sir I am frome Pakistan.My qualifecation is MSC in ECONOMICS.I am MARKITING profasstional sinc 1996.Befor hree years i got a apparchunity to teach in a private high school.Where i know that i have good skils of teaching. I wants to imrove my qualifecations by online teacher traning courses.If you can guide me .I am greatefull to you.thanks.amjad

  19. tony says . . . | July 19, 2013 / 11:58 am

    love to see open courses like these. I’m a Nigerian, interested in entrepreneurship and like to learn a lot from Harvard, are there courses offered in that area?

  20. r says . . . | September 21, 2013 / 6:43 pm

    Beggars can’t be choosers!

  21. Okorie A, Victor says . . . | January 7, 2014 / 9:03 am

    Hi fellow online students, I also thought as much about the certification; I guess there might not be. However if any of you receives one or knows someone that have received,please notify me via (nigerianvic@gmail.com). The whole scheme is simply fun! ENJOY!

  22. sharon hodges says . . . | April 12, 2014 / 6:31 am

    I also signed up for Harvard’s “National Health Policy” – Its just Obama’s policy handbook. Obviously designed so you can get a certificate and a job selling health insurance online. No discussion of pros or cons of Obamacare. Completely stupid course.

  23. james c. rackley says . . . | December 18, 2014 / 8:21 pm

    Higher learning is always of value especially when applied in a positive light.

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