If you have thought of earning a college degree, chances are you have considered taking online classes. And why not? Online classes promise flexibility and education from the comfort of your home office or library-anywhere you can get an internet signal on your computer. But where online classes used to be considered inferior to traditional, face-to-face to classes, students and universities are reporting that online classes are just as good as face-to-face classes.

And with more options in online classes than ever before, more students, especially adult students with work and family responsibilities, are taking advantage of the benefits of online classes.

Online Classes More Popular Than Ever

Online classes aren’t just for those who are unable to go to traditional colleges anymore. According to a 2010 study by the Sloan Consortium, 1 in 3 students in higher education are enrolled in at least one online course. That’s approximately 6.1 million students, and that number continues to grow by about 10 percent every year. Compare that to the 2 percent growth that is seen for normal college enrollment and you start to see that online classes are becoming very popular.

For a long time, the stigma around online classes has been that they are of lower quality than traditional courses in a classroom. While this may have been true in the past, better online technology has made it so that students in online classes are reporting the same level of satisfaction as students in face-to-face classes. Online classes have broken through this stigma so well that two-thirds of institutions of higher education now embrace online classes in their long-term plans.

The bottom line is, online classes aren’t just a fad anymore. Every kind of university or college is using online classes to offer their classes to more students, regardless of where they live.

If you are interested in learning more about free online classes at the nation’s most notable universities, visit our open course ware and online classes page to see a sampling of what’s available.

Some extremely well-known universities offer some of their best classes online for free. Ever heard of Harvard? Yale? Oxford? Georgetown? Berkeley? MIT? All of these universities are now offering dozens of their classes online- Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs). And they are doing it for free. Sound too good to be true? Watch this video…

The Massive Online Open Course Revolution

To get a feel for just how awesome this is, you need only visit the edX Universities website which directs students on how to take free courses from MIT, Harvard University, Berkeley, The University of Texas System, Wellesley, and Georgetown. Of course there are other schools that offer free courses like Duke University, or Cal Tech (yeah, that Cal Tech). So why are these traditional universities offering online courses, for free, nonetheless?

To make the planet smarter of course. More access, they reason, will make economies, countries, and communities stronger. And people who get a taste of higher education will come back for more.

But there must be some catch, you say.

As hard as it is to believe, anyone with a computer and access to the internet can take these courses but there are a few limitations. You can’t earn enough credits in free online classes alone to earn a degree… not yet, anyway. To do that, you will have to enroll at a university and earn a degree or certificate at some point. But you can use free online classes to learn valuable skills and even gain professional skills.

To learn more about free online classes that are available on the web, you can visit our page that has a free online courses listing. To earn more about the Massive Online Open Course revolution you can check out this infographic.

 

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