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Free University Courses at Coursera

Coursera is an academic company that offers free education to individuals who are interested in learning. Coursera is partnered with various universities and organizations around the world to create a virtual classroom of international students. There are over 300 courses available that include computer science, mathematics, business, medicine, biology, social sciences, and humanities. Similar to some of the other open courseware classes available online, Coursera offers a free education with no college credit. The benefit is in the knowledge gained and shared during your educational journey.

To begin, you must first register with Coursera by providing your e-mail address and establishing a log-in password. Once your account has been created, you can browse the categories of courses and select your preferred language: English, Spanish, French, Chinese, German, or Italian. Since information technology is of interest to me, I selected the Building an Information Risk Management Toolkit offer from the University of Washington with Barbara Endicott-Popovsky as the instructor. The introductory page provides a short video narrated by the instructor, the date the class begins, the duration of the class, expected weekly hours of workload, and a Register button if you are interested. But be careful—once you hit that Register button, you are officially enrolled. If the timing of the class does not suit your schedule, you can add it to your watch list.

There is also an option called Signature Track that presents an opportunity to receive a Verified Certificate for completing a course at a specific university. For example, Jane Doe—Computer Science—Duke University, as well as a personal and secure URL to share your electronic course records with current or potential employers. Please review all terms of use associated with Signature Track courses because there may be fees for additional services provided. Courses are delivered via interactive quizzes, video lectures, peer-graded assessments, and web cam to interact with other students. Coursera also offers placement services for students seeking jobs within a specific field of study.

To learn more, visit Coursera at https://www.coursera.org/.

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+Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger

Distance Learning Site @ BellaOnline
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