900+ MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) Getting Started in November: Enroll Today

A quick fyi: 900+ MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) will be getting underway this month, giving you the chance to take free courses from top flight universities. With the help of Class Central, we've pulled together a complete list of November MOOCS. And below we've highlighted several courses that piqued our interest, starting with "The Music of the Beatles," whose trailer you can watch above.

Here's one tip to keep in mind: If you want to take a course for free, select the "Full Course, No Certificate" or "Audit" option when you enroll. If you would like an official certificate documenting that you have successfully completed the course, you will need to pay a fee.

You can browse through the complete list of November MOOCs here.

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Death: A Free Philosophy Course from Yale Helps You Grapple with the Inescapable

It pays to think intelligently about the inevitable. And this course taught by Yale professor Shelly Kagan does just that, taking a rich, philosophical look at death. Here's how the course description reads:

There is one thing I can be sure of: I am going to die. But what am I to make of that fact? This course will examine a number of issues that arise once we begin to reflect on our mortality. The possibility that death may not actually be the end is considered. Are we, in some sense, immortal? Would immortality be desirable? Also a clearer notion of what it is to die is examined. What does it mean to say that a person has died? What kind of fact is that? And, finally, different attitudes to death are evaluated. Is death an evil? How? Why? Is suicide morally permissible? Is it rational? How should the knowledge that I am going to die affect the way I live my life?

Major texts used in this course include Plato's PhaedoTolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych, and John Perry's A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality.

You can watch the 26 lectures above. Or find them on YouTube and iTunes in video and audio formats. For more information on this course, including the syllabus, please visit this Yale site.

This course has been added to our list of Free Online Philosophy courses, a subset of our meta collection, 1,300 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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Watch Animated Introductions to 25 Philosophers by The School of Life: From Plato to Kant and Foucault

Samuel L. Jackson Teaches Acting in a New Online Course, Drawing on His Iconic Pulp Fiction Performance & Others

With an actor as prolific and as long in the game as Samuel L. Jackson, a fan can pick a favorite performance only with great difficulty. Should it come from his roles in Hollywood blockbusters like Jurassic ParkDie Hard with a Vengeance, the Star Wars prequels, or the comic-book spectacles of Marvel Studios? His roles for iconoclastic auteurs like Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, and Paul Thomas Anderson? His role — immortal title line and all — in Snakes on a Place? For many, though, Jackson attains prime Jacksonianism in only one context: his ongoing collaboration with Quentin Tarantino.

Whenever Jackson appears in a Tarantino film, whichever character he plays immediately becomes one of the most memorable in cinema's past 25 years. But will any ever surpass Pulp Fiction's Jheri-curled hitman Jules Winnfield for sheer impact per moment onscreen? Tarantino wrote the part especially for Jackson after seeing what he could do with a thuggish character in Tony Scott's True Romance, whose script Tarantino had also written. Tarantino's second feature film (and Jackson's thirtieth) rocketed the actor to the top of the zeitgeist, not least on the strength of what we now call the "Ezekiel speeches," the scenes in which Jackson-as-Winnfield quotes what he describes as the Bible passage Ezekiel 25:17:

Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.

Jackson's first Ezekiel speech (which owes as much to martial-arts star Sonny Chiba as to any holy text) comes toward the beginning of the movie, as he and his partner in killing Vincent Vega (a role that also did a great deal for its performer John Travolta, returning him to his former cultural prominence) turn up to an apartment to do a job. He delivers his final one in the highly Tarantinian setting of a Los Angeles diner booth, and both Tarantino and Jackson do their utmost to make it reveal his character's transformation in his journey through the story.

It makes sense, then, that Jackson would break down and recreate that diner scene in the online course "Samuel L. Jackson Teaches Acting," newly offered (for a fee of $90) by the education startup Masterclass. "I made a decision early in life that I wasn't going to live and die in Chattanooga, Tennessee," he says in its trailer, a line that could belong to the kind of monologue he delivers so powerfully in the movies. "Being able to embody a lot of different characters in film has been very cathartic, being able to let go of the anger or the disappointment that I had in my life." Jackson's Masterclass promises coverage of script breakdown, voice, characterization, auditioning, collaboration, and voiceover acting — catharsis, it seems, comes as a bonus. You can pre-enroll now and get early access to the 20-lesson course. It should be available in Winter 2017.

Note: Masterclass has other acting courses taught by Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Spacey.

Related Content:

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See Flannery O’Connor’s Story “The Displaced Person” Adapted to a Film Starring a Young Samuel L. Jackson (1977)

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Coursera Partners with Leading Universities to Offer Master’s Degrees at a More Affordable Price

If you're a regular Open Culture reader, you're already familiar with Coursera, the ed tech company, which, since its founding in 2012, has given the world access to online courses from top universities--e.g. courses on Roman Architecture (Yale), Modern and Postmodern Philosophy (Wesleyan), and Buddhism and Neuroscience (Princeton). And you've perhaps noticed, too, that Coursera has recently bundled certain courses into "Specializations"--essentially areas of concentration--that let students specialize in fields like Deep Learning and Data Science.

But what if students want to deepen their knowledge further and get a traditional degree? In what perhaps marks the beginning of a significant new trend, Coursera has partnered with leading universities to offer full-fledged graduate degrees in a more affordable online format. As described in the video above, HEC Paris (the #2 business school in Europe) now offers through Coursera's platform a Master's in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Designed for aspiring entrepreneurs, the program consists of 20 courses (all online) and takes an estimated 10-16 months to complete. The total tuition amounts to 20,000 Euros (roughly 23,500 U.S. dollars), a sum that's considerably less than what executive education programs usually cost.

For students looking for a broader education in business, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has launched an entire MBA program through Coursera. Consisting of 18 online courses and three capstone projects, the iMBA program covers the subjects usually found in b-school programs--leadership, strategy, economics, accounting, finance, etc. The complete curriculum should take roughly 24 to 36 months to complete, and costs less than $22,000--about 25%-33% of what an on-campus MBA program typically runs.

(The iMBA is actually one of three degree programs the University of Illinois has launched on Coursera. The other two include a Masters in Accounting (iMSA) and a Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS).)

Now, in case you're wondering, the diplomas and transcripts for these programs are granted directly by the universities themselves (e.g., the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and HEC Paris). The paperwork doesn't carry Coursera's name. Nor does it indicate that the student completed an "online program." In short, online students get the same transcript as bricks and mortar students.

Finally, all of the degree programs mentioned above are "stackable"--meaning students can (at no cost) take an individual course offered by any of these programs. And then they can decide later whether they want to apply to the degree program, and, if so, retroactively apply that course towards the actual degree. Essentially, you can try things out before making a larger commitment.

If you want to learn more about these programs, or submit an application, check out the following links. We've included the deadlines for submitting applications.

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If you'd like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.

Note: Open Culture has a partnership with Coursera. If readers enroll in certain Cousera courses, it helps support Open Culture.

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MOOCs from Great Universities (Many With Certificates)

1,000+ MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) Getting Started in October: Enroll Today

In many parts of the world, the school year is now officially in session. For kids. And for you. In October, 1,000+ MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) will be getting underway, giving you the chance to take free courses from top flight universities. With the help of Class Central, we've pulled together a complete list of October MOOCS. And below we've highlighted several courses that piqued our interest, including Buddhism and Modern Psychology taught by bestselling author Robert Wright (Why Buddhism Is True), and Effective Altruism (see video above) presented by eminent philosopher Peter Singer.

Here's one tip to keep in mind: If you want to take a course for free, select the "Full Course, No Certificate" or "Audit" option when you enroll. If you would like an official certificate documenting that you have successfully completed the course, you will need to pay a fee.

You can browse through the complete list of October MOOCs here.

Follow Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

If you'd like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.

Judy Blume to Teach an Online Course on Writing

A quick fyi: After announcing last Friday that Martin Scorsese will be teaching an online course on filmmaking, MasterClass made it known today that Judy Blume will be presenting on an online course on Writing. In 15 +lessons, the beloved author of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing will show you "how to develop vibrant characters and hook your readers." You can learn a little more from the trailer above. Though the course ($90) won't be ready until early 2018, you can pre-enroll now and eventually get early access to the class.

Other MasterClass courses worth exploring include:

Note: MasterClass is one of our partners. So if you sign up for a course, it benefits not just you and MasterClass. It benefits Open Culture too. So consider it win-win-win.

Follow Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

If you'd like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.

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Martin Scorsese to Teach His First Online Course on Filmmaking

If you need to make movies, if you feel like you can't rest until you've told this particular story that you're burning to tell, then Martin Scorsese has a course for you. Through MasterClass, the director of Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, and Mean Streets is now set to teach his first online course. According to the video trailer above, Scorsese will explore in 20+ lessons everything from cinematography and editing, to working with actors, on-set directing, and developing a personal filmmaking style. The $90 course won't be released until early 2018, but anyone who pre-enrolls now will get early access to the class.

While you wait, you can also take Werner Herzog's own course on filmmaking (also offered through MasterClass). Or explore Scorsese's lists of recommended films that we've previously featured here on Open Culture. Find them in the Relateds right below.

Follow Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

If you'd like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.

Note: MasterClass is one of our partners. So if you sign up for a course, it benefits not just you and MasterClass. It benefits Open Culture too. So consider it win-win-win.

Other MasterClass courses worth exploring include:

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Werner Herzog Teaches His First Online Course on Filmmaking

 

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