today i discovered an incredible resource: free, online, university courses, from reputable schools such as mit, ubc, uc berkeley, yale, stanford, etc. the courses range from the history of rock, to intro to biological anthropology, to understanding epidemiology.
mit offers most (all?) of its courses for free, by sharing the materials used in teaching each course. you can find those at mit opencourseware.
openculture.com has over 700 free online courses to choose from. most are in a similar self-directed format as the ones from mit, linked above, and has direct links to many of the mit courses. most of the courses are available as lectures that you can download in mp3 format.
coursera.com offers courses in a more traditional format; the courses have start dates, modules released week-by-week, and optional workloads that you can take on to participate more fully. if you choose to take on the coursework, you will get certificates of completion/excellence, depending on your passing grades. i chose a course called useful genetics; i’ve read a lot about evolution and biology in the past year, and this will help deepen my understanding as i continue to learn about this field.
i took a year of university at the university of alberta, dropped out, and later took a course in canadian history from athabasca university (an online school), but have decided not to pursue a bachelor’s degree. this newly discovered resource makes me so happy, because i love to learn, but prefer a more self-directed path. i’m so excited!