Most Popular MOOCs by Category – 2015

Most of the MOOCs listed below are free and self-paced meaning that you have no monetary investment, only your time and drive to educate your mind.

Let’s talk a little about what exactly a MOOC is… MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and is pronounced (/mu:k/).  So, as it states it’s an online course that is available to most anyone no matter the student’s age or educational status and is accessible via the web in the form of many types of resources but mainly streaming video taught by a professor educated in the field.  MOOCs were first developed in 2008 but have only recently become popular due to their revoluntionary and beneficial styles.

Not designed to replace the current education system but set to enhance or complement a richer educational system for those seeking more on many levels, from those simply curious of certain subjects to those in the quest of furthering their professional careers. The beauty of a MOOC is that, for the most part, you are not “tied down” to the course. In other words, you may gain certain “wanted” knowledge without even finishing the course or you realize that the course is just not for you.  If so, no harm, no foul.

Some MOOCs are free.  Some are self-paced. Some have start and end dates. Some even have assignments and grading scales of your work you turn in. If you are just choosing to enhance your knowledge of a particular subject, then a certificate may not be important to you, but, if you complete the course, some offer Certificates or Statements of Accomplishments that you can “take with you”. Showing a new employer a certification in a MOOC course could possibly mean that extra step you took got you the position you have been longing for in your company.

Lastly, MOOCs typically do not count towards your college degree but some are considering moving to a system in which the student may claim credits for their completion of a course taught with the addition of proctored exams for the courses. These courses will carry a fee for the proctored exam itself if you so choose to take it and your credits received for that will be earned toward your degree.  As of this writing, only one college, Colorado State University’s Global Campus, is participating in this type of program.

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The MOOC Course That Started It All:

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

Course Provided by: Udacity
Skill Level: Intermediate
Time Involved: Approx. 4 months to complete – about 6 hrs per week study time
What You Get: You will earn a Statement of Accomplishment for completing the course

Link to course: https://www.udacity.com/course/cs271

The course is designed to education you in the constantly changing field of Artificial Intelligence or AI. You will learn the basics and applications of modern AI and how it relates to, including but not limited to, the gaming industry, robotics, quantum science and journalism/media. Course topics include: Fundamentals of AI and Applications of AI.

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Top Business and Management Course:

Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship

 

Course Provided by: Coursera
College Affiliation: University of Maryland, College Park
Skill Level: Aspiring entrepreneur
Class connects on a common weekly schedule with assignment dates
Time Involved: 4 weeks of study: 3 to 5 hours per week
What You Get: Verified Certificate

Link to course: https://www.coursera.org/course/innovativeideas

One of the Top Rated MOOC courses in business, this course will aid in helping you to develop new ideas and assist you in becoming a future entrepreneur. Their goal is to give insight into the startup process, to help you build the necessary skills to make your innovative ideas come to life.

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Top Programming Language Course:

JavaScript Road Trip, Part 1

Course Provided by: Udemy
Skill Level: Beginner
Time Involved: 6 lectures; 18 minutes each
Link to course: https://www.udemy.com/javascript-road-trip-part-1/

Javascript is prevalent on the Internet. In this course, you will learn the very basics of the JavaScript language…building a “foundation of JavaScript syntax and learn how to use values, variables and files.”

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Top Computer Science Course:

Intro to Computer Science

Course Provided by: Udacity
Skill Level: Beginner
Time Involved: Approx. 3 months assuming 6 hours of work per week
What You Get: No certificate
Link to course: https://www.udacity.com/course/cs101

Designed for the individual aspiring to be a software engineer or collaborate with other software engineers. This is an introductory course in computer science designed to teach you key concepts by allowing you to build your own version of popular web applications. Not only will you explore fundamental computer science concepts, you will also learn Python, an easy-to-learn programming language that you will use to build your own search engine and social network with this course.

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Top Math and Science Course:

Bioinformatics Algorithms (Part 1)

Course Provided By: Coursera
College Affiliation: UC San Diego
Time Involved: 8/12 hours per week
What You Get: Earn a voucher
Skill Level: You should know the basics of programming in the language of your choice 

Link To Course: https://www.coursera.org/course/bioinformatics

The first in a two-part series, this course on Bioinformatic algorithms is broken down into three sections: the power of computing in modern biology, how graph theory and algorithms are used to solve problems in bioinformatics, and sequencing and comparing genomes.

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Top Humanities Course:

Modern and Contemporary American Poetry

Course Provided By: Coursera
College Affiliation: University of Pennsylvania
Time Involved: 10 weeks of study; 5-10 hours/week
Skill Level: Beginners
What You Get: Statement of Accomplishment upon completing course requirements
Link To Course: https://www.coursera.org/course/modernpoetry
Modern and Contemporary U. S. poetry is a fast-paced intorductory course to the subject, emphasising experimental verse and the best part is that you need no prior experience in poetry to take the course! You will learn how to take what appears to be a “difficult” poem and understand what the poet was referring to.

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Top Health and Medicine Course:

Epidemics – The Dynamics of Infectious Diseases

Course Provided By: Coursera
College Affiliation:
Time Involved: 1 to 2 hours per week
Skill Level: Beginners
What You Get: Statement of Accomplishment upon completing course requirements signed by the instructors
Link To Course: https://www.coursera.org/course/epidemics

This is a course about the major themes of infectious disease dynamics, such as measles, Influenza, Malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and how they begin, how they spread and how they can be controlled or even prevented. The course decription mentions Zombies…in the form of ants whose “brains are hijacked by an infectious fungus”… Check it out, sounds very interesting!

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Top Social Science Course:

Social and Economic Networks: Models and Analysis

Course Provided By: Coursera
College Affiliation: Stanford Unviersity
Time Involved: 9 weeks of study; 3 to 6 hours per week 1 (7 week course plus two weeks for final exam)
Skill Level: Basic requisities in mathematics and statisitics
What You Get: Statement of Accomplishment upon completing course requirements signed by the instructors for those successfully completing the course with an above 70 percent correct on the problem sets and the final exam. Those earning above 90 percent will earn a Statement of Accomplisment with distinction.
Link To Course: http://www.coursetalk.com/providers/coursera/courses/social-and-economic-networks-models-and-analysis

This course in social and economic networks and their impact on human behavior begins with some empirical background. It also covers how networks form and how they play a centrol role in how we buy products, how we speak, vote and even if we decide on being good people or bad people, as well as altering economic structures.

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Top Education Course:

Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom

Course Provided By: Coursera
College Affiliation: University of California, Irvine
Time Involved: 5 weeks of study; 2 to 4 hours per week 
Skill Level: Course is designed for: teachers working with children ages 5-18, educators interested in educational technology and/or online instruction
What You Get: Verified Certificate
Link To Course: https://www.coursera.org/course/advancedvirtual

By focusing on the fundamentals, this course will give you a “leg up” on even some of the most experienced virtual teachers. Developing advanced level skills, techiniques and strategies are also taught in order to gain the best understanding of the students’ needs and empower them to be excellent learners via the virtual environment.

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Top Mythology Course:

Greek and Roman Mythology

Course Provided By: Coursera
College Affiliation: University of Pennsylvania
Time Involved: 10 weeks of study; 8 to 10 hours per week  
Skill Level: Class is not suitable for students under the age of 16 due to some explicit subject matter but other than that no special backround is required
What You Get: Verified Certificate or a Statement of Accomplishment
Link To Course: 

In this course, you will delve into the myths of ancient Greece and Rome….honing in on the nature of the myths, their meanings and influence on individual, societies and nations, as well as, the mortals and gods, themselves.