5 MOOCs to Learn a New Skill & Take Free Online Classes Skip to main content

5 MOOCs to Learn a New Skill & Take Free Online Classes

in   •  
5 Free MOOCs to Take Free Online Classes Do you have “learn a new skill” on your bucket list? Good news – we rounded up 5 free MOOC sites to get you started. MOOCs – or massive open online courses – have been growing year over year as lifelong learners just like you look to gain hands-on experience, explore a new career, or advance an existing skill set. Thanks to these open education pioneers, you can take a software development class from MIT, learn Mandarin or physics, or master that new Adobe release – and all for free (there are affordable certificate, credentialed, and degree options, too.)

Want to say you went to Harvard? Or Penn? Or Stanford? Now you can. Whether you want to delve into robotics, learn how to build Android apps, or cross “make comic book” off your list, Coursera gives you access to more than 2,000 free online classes from 150 top universities and higher-ed institutions around the world. Auditing classes on this popular MOOC site is free; individual class fees vary if you want to be graded and earn credit. For a monthly fee, you can earn course credits, get a certificate, and enjoy unlimited access to 180-plus lifelong learning fields.

With an emphasis on design, web, software, and marketing, Lynda is one of the go-to MOOCs for learning a new skill or brushing up on the latest software releases. Learn Illustrator, Ruby on Rails, MySQL, or budget forecasting on your own time. For access to their 3,000-plus self-paced online classes, you can start with a free 30-day trial or sign up for a longer-term paid plan.

This on-demand learning site boasts 16,000 “classes,” thanks to a lot of under-an-hour and bite-size five-minute videos. There are longer, proper courses, too – touching on everything from marketing, web development, cooking, languages, gaming, and, judging from their home page, all that cool watercolor-inspired hand-lettering design you see on Pinterest. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial, a monthly plan, or an annual membership.

Started by Harvard University and MIT, edX brings together free online classes from 90 of the world’s top universities and businesses – think Oxford, Georgetown, University of Hong Kong, McGill, the Sorbonne, Caltech, Microsoft, the Smithsonian, and, of course, Harvard and MIT. All courses are free to take and audit, (i.e., no credit – just a smarter you). To earn certificates, credits, or micro Masters, courses run $50-$300 each.

Udacity teams with tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook to offer free web, data, and software classes (and not-free credentialed nanodegrees). Whether you’re looking to build on existing skills or explore a new career, a slew of tech-geared courses in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, iOS and Android app dev, and self-driving cars are for the taking on this MOOC site.

What’s one of your favorite MOOCs? What new skills do you want to learn? Meet us on Facebook and share your experience.


How to Get Over a Fear of Public Speaking // Tips from the Textbooks.com Blog

How to Get Over a Fear of Public Speaking >>

Why eTextbooks Make Good Study Partners >>

Explore eTextbooks >>

How to Manage Group Projects

Tips for Group Projects >>