Even if you can’t travel to the United States to study, you can still access American education courses online.
A group of U.S. education technology startups, in partnership with dozens of top U.S. universities, now offers MOOCs (an acronym for massive open online courses) and OERs (open educational resources) on everything from poetry to physics. MOOCs are virtual classes that are offered for free and are open to anyone with an internet connection. Open educational resources (OERs) are learning or teaching materials that can be used, adapted, and shared for free.
Course platforms feature lecture videos, other multimedia content, embedded quizzes, discussion boards, and online study groups. Completing a course earns you a certificate, and several U.S. schools have begun to accept MOOCs for credit.
The online courses are part of an effort to overcome rising education costs and a shortage of resources and to make top-quality learning accessible to everyone.
Three major MOOC providers:
Coursera is an education company that partners with top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.
Udacity is a private for-profit educational corporation. It offers accessible, affordable, engaging classes that anyone can take, anytime.
EdX is a non-profit platform created by founding partners Harvard and MIT. EdX offers MOOCs and interactive online classes in subjects including law, history, science, engineering, business, social sciences, computer science, public health, and artificial intelligence.
Among the organizations that provide information on and links to OERs are Creative Commons, OER Commons, and Connexions.
DISCLAIMER: The U.S. Embassy Prague does not endorse any particular MOOC platform, producer, or provider.