General Question

seazen_'s avatar

Do you know about the Yale online free courses? Are there other programs like this out there?

Asked by seazen_ (4801points) March 10th, 2011

I’m pursuing a degree, my third, at Yale – for free; you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for yours – want to know my secret?

You’d think this is spam but it’s real.

Yale is offering courses – online – from your potato – the catch is – you won’t get a diploma. Oh, I know that paper is worth a lot in the job market – especially if it’s your undergrad.

But if you’re old, like me, and just want to actually learn something – then these courses are the best thing since sliced!

Try it out – you can read the transcripts, watch the lectures. Pause for the bathroom – and watch it again. Much better then real Uni. where you’d fall asleep in half the lectures, missing the other third. I aint good at math.


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28 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Thank you for posting this. I’d love a paperless degree.

seazen_'s avatar

It’s a way to really, but really, learn.. not just go to get a degree in something.

SavoirFaire's avatar

A lot of courses are also available on iTunesU. I’ve been using them for a long time. Still getting my nice paper PhD, though. Rather useful for my career path.

seazen_'s avatar

@SavoirFaire Agreed: it depends on what you do and your needs and requirements. I only need an MA for mine, the rest is gravy – or mind candy, rather. And Yale – fuck – that would be an expensive degree for real…

funkdaddy's avatar

MIT Open Courseware was the first I’d heard of a while back.

I don’t know if it’s quite to the point of “why are you paying” yet, but definitely awesome of them to make available.

Kraigmo's avatar

Thanks for telling us about the Yale courses online.
I currently enjoy the lectures at UC Berkeley’s website.

Allie's avatar

(I think) Harvard does this, too.

listener's avatar

MIT open university.

LostInParadise's avatar

I was aware of the Yale courses and also the MIT ones. I have bookmarks for them if I ever get the time to pursue them. I don’t know if other universities have this, but Princeton, which is near me, allows the general public to audit certain courses for a relatively small cost. I have yet to apply for any of them. I have been told that they fill up very quickly.

I thought it might be a good idea for there to be virtual study groups for these virtual courses. The idea is that the universities like Yale or MIT would give a suggested schedule for the lectures in the courses and create a study group Web site where students could discuss the material.

listener's avatar

I’m listening to Yale lectures now, i think it’s better than MIT. Thanks for the info seazen.

Odysseus's avatar

There are many universities that offer free lectures and transcripts. I have been tuning into Berkeley for a couple of years now.
I personally find their lecturers to encourage free thinking a lot more than that of Yale’s conditioning elitist attitude.

(Just listen to a couple of Social/political science lectures from each uni and compare, you will see what I mean.)

listener's avatar

@Odysseus I think all of these Universities uses the same fundamentals of science. They differ only in their observations. In my opinion there is no such thing as free thinking because everything is guided by some rules,laws and traditions.

Cruiser's avatar

Thank you @seazen_ I am finally become a chemist! Woo Hoo!

tedibear's avatar

I feel kind of dense for not knowing about this. These are all very cool sites! Thanks all, and especially to @seazen_ for starting this thread!

seazen_'s avatar

@LostInParadise There already is a forum and study group – for all universties – in one place: fluther. Discuss – I’m listening.

Ladymia69's avatar

I explored these a few weeks ago, and have this bookmarked in my computer for when I feel more follow-through.

flo's avatar

Thank you @seazen for posting this. I just went to it and the professor made quite point on his preference of being called by his first name. But you can only listen to the professor I guess? There is no asking questions?

seazen_'s avatar

@flo Hey – it’s free. What dou want – interactive free lessons with a Yale prof? :-)

But if you are interested in online study – ask Mz Lizzy about it.

flo's avatar

@seazen_ I understand. I’m not being greedy. I’m just looking at it this way: all the professors who are on Q&A sites answering questions are giving us “interactive free lessons with a prof” aren’t they? But of course we can’t expect that feature on the university’s site. The teacher can’t be challenged either.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@flo The professors’ students can still challenge them if they so choose, though a lot of these online classes are recordings of giant lecture courses where no one ever bothers to ask a question. Professors also have e-mail addresses, however, so you can challenge them personally if you so choose. I’ve e-mailed professors at other universities after reading their papers, and I’ve always gotten a response.

seazen_'s avatar

^ Agreed. I email with dozens of my students. That’s my time, at home – and I reply when I am able. If I were to give a lecture which would then be broadcast (for free) on youtube – I don’t know if I would reply (or even open) every single query that came along. Think about it realistically.

Now, an online course is something else entirely. It is paid for, and the professor gets paid. Properly.

flo's avatar

@SavoirFaire by the way I forgot to mention re. the challenge. On Q&A sites, other knowledgeable persons can challenge them or add to the answer, within a few minutes sometimes. I like that.

@seazen_ Interesting that the online profs get paid better than the tranditional ones. But no I wasn’t suggesting that they should be available to answer questions. Above “of course we can’t expect that feature on the university’s site.” I like meant it is less ideal for me than the Q&A sites.

seazen_'s avatar

@flo It is paid for, and the professor gets paid. Properly.

I never said “better.”

flo's avatar

Thanks for the correction.

flo's avatar

@seazen_ I think “Contrary to popular opinion or assumption” is what you were thinking by “Properly” as opposed to better than traditional profs?

seazen_'s avatar

Properly, as in, everyone has a salary – and most would be paid fare, well, properly – IMHO, as opposed to Teachers in institutions who are not always paid well.

flo's avatar

@seazen_ good for them. It is nice to not have to go back and forth.

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