Open online courses—massive or otherwise—are revolutionizing higher education by making learning more and more accessible.
Carnegie Mellon University has taken online courses to another level, offering virtual classroom environments based on deep research into how adults learn.
The courses are free. Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative currently offers 15 courses through a platform that provides targeted progress feedback to students.
The program doesn’t offer course credit or certificates but the courses are sophisticated. CMU spent anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million for each course to write the software, which includes a course builder program for instructors and a system of feedback loops that send student learning data to the instructor, the student and the course design team.
More than 10,000 students enrolled in OLI courses last year. So far CMU promotes OLI courses as supplementary to traditional classroom instruction. But the courses are certainly rich enough to be enjoyed by anyone. They’re mostly in the sciences but include a few language and social science classes too.
The list of currently-available courses appears below. We also have them listed in our complete list of Massive Open Online Courses from Great Universities (many of which happen to offer certificates too):
- American English Speech
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Argument Diagramming
- Elementary French 1
- Elementary French 2
- Engineering Statics
- Introduction to Biology
- Introduction to Chemistry
- Introduction to Psychology
- Logic and Proofs
- Media Programming
- Modern Biology
- Probability and Statistics
- Statistical Reasoning
Kate Rix writes about digital media and education. Read more of her work on thenifty.blogspot.com and katerixwriter.com.