12 free courses: Learn online or on the go

12 free courses: Learn online or on the go

 
THINKING of taking up a course but don’t have the time to commit to attending lectures and tutorials? What about pursuing an interest in a particular topic?
 
Going online is the solution. Many international and renowned institutions are offering interesting and unique courses that you can take in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace.
 
And the best part is, they’re free – although some may charge a fee if you want to add a certificate or to take specially-packaged themed courses.
 
We’ve scoured two online websites – edX and Coursera – and searched out some of the ‘not-so-standard’ courses they offer.
 
Don’t worry; they have mobile applications for the Android and iOS platforms, so you can learn on the go too.
 
edX
 

12 free courses: Learn online or on the go

 
Platform: Android and iOS
 
1) The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture
 
Duration: 5 weeks, 1-2 hours per week
Institution: Smithsonian
 
Learn about the history of comics and how superheroes have evolved into pop culture icons on the silver screen, videogames and animation.
 
The Smithsonian has pulled in the power of industry experts such as Stan Lee, one of the creators of superheroes such as Spider-Man and The Avengers; and Michael Uslan, a producer of successful movies such as The Dark Knight series.
 
They will help participants explore questions such as how superheroes evolved from myth and folklore, why superheroes first arose during World War II, and how superheroes have impacted fashion and children all around the world.
 
2) World of Wine: From Grapes to Glass
 
Duration: 6 weeks, 2-3 hours per week
Institution: University of Adelaide
 
You love wine, but can’t exactly figure out how the experts can describe the brilliance of the wine colour in the glass, or even sniff out the fruit aromas, much less talk about savouring the hint of vanilla oak on the palette.
 
This course should transform you into a semi-expert in weeks, with a good understanding of grape-growing and wine-making principles and practices, and how this affects appearance, aroma and flavour.
 
3) The Ethics of Eating
 
Duration: 6 weeks, 4 hours per week
Institution: Cornell University
 
Are you one who asks yourself how your eating habits impact animal rights, the economy and the environment? Do you insist on eating sustainably produced food so as to reduce effects on the environment?
 
Perhaps you are considering going vegan, because you are troubled by certain practices in meat, egg and dairy food production. Or perhaps you feel strongly about genetically modified crops.
 
This course allows participants to explore these issues and more, with scientists, philosophers and nutritionists from the industry.
 
4) The Psychology of Criminal Justice
 
Duration: 8 weeks, 1-2 hours per week
Institution: The University of Queensland
 
Those of you who love to read up on criminal cases, this course is for you. It looks into the law and justice system from a psychological perspective.
 
It also explores some of the common misconceptions about criminal justice.
 
5) The Science of Everyday Thinking
 
Duration: 12 weeks, 2 hours per week
Institution: The University of Queensland
 
Explore how you think every day, how you form and change opinions, how expectations can affect judgements, and even understanding why irrational choices are made.
 
This course claims that participants will think better, argue better, make better choices, and be better at critical thinking.
 
6) Ethics in Life Sciences and Healthcare: Exploring Bioethics through Manga
 
Duration: 5 weeks, 2-3 hours per week
Institution: Kyoto University
 
Discussing serious issues can be fun, as this course demonstrates. It uses manga, the Japanese art of comics, to allow participants to explore ethical, legal and social issues related to healthcare and life sciences.
 
Through the visual medium, this course presents different arguments and perspectives on these issues.
 
Coursera
 

12 free courses: Learn online or on the go

 
Platform: Android and iOS
 
1) The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound and Colour
 
Duration: 5 weeks, 4-6 hours per week
Institution: Wesleyan University
 
This course is for those who want to know more about film history. It explores how advancements in film technology affected the way Hollywood films told stories, from the transition to sound to the introduction of colour.
 
A number of films – produced as far back as 1928 and as recently as 2002 – would need to be watched to enhance the experience of this course.
 
2) The Camera Never Lies
 
Duration: 6 weeks, 5-10 hours per week
Institution: University of London
 
Or does it? This course looks at films and images from the 20th century and explores how they affect the interpretation of history.
 
The course also explores issues such as authenticity and the manipulation of images to influence history, as well as the power of these visual texts to impact future generations’ perception of history.
 
3) Magic in the Middle Ages
 
Duration: 6 weeks, 2-3 hours per week
Institution: University of Barcelona
 
Watching shows like The Game of Thrones has got you interested in the Middle Ages? This course will let you stretch your imagination and open your mind to magic.
 
The course explores medieval culture, beliefs and practices; even addressing alchemy, geomancy, necromancy and astrology. It also explores how occult practices in the East influenced Western culture.
 
4) Superhero Entertainments
 
Duration: 8 weeks, 1-4 hours per week
Institution: National University of Singapore
 
While the superhero course by edX focuses on characters from Marvel Comics, this course also includes heroes like Superman and Batman from DC Comics.
 
It looks at the origins of superheroes across these two main comic publishers, focusing on their popularity and resurgence from 1938 to 1986.
 
It also explores how superheroes have now become a multimillion-dollar global cultural phenomenon.
 
5) Memory and Movies: Exploring the Psychology of Memory through Films
 
Duration: 5 weeks, 1-2 hours per week
Institution: Wesleyan University
 
This is an interesting course in that it explores the concept of memory, how it works, why it fails – and what one can do to enhance it, especially as one ages.
 
It is designed for participants with no background in psychology. What’s also entertaining about this course is that it uses popular films such as The Joy Luck Club, Finding Nemo, Rain Man and others to help with understanding.
 
6) Dog Emotion and Cognition
 
Duration: 8 weeks, 2 hours per week
Institution: Duke University
 
Are you a dog owner? Are you curious to find out what your dog might be thinking or feeling?
 
This course will help you to really understand your furry friend through the study of dog psychology.
 
Who knows? You may be the next dog whisperer!
 
Related Stories:
 
5 smartphone tips to balance work and life

Apps for the new year
 
8 free apps that parents can rely on
 
Exhale slowly and say 'Omvana'
 
 
For more technology news and the latest updates, follow us on TwitterLinkedIn or Like us on Facebook.
 

 
Keyword(s) :
 
Author Name :
 

By commenting below, you agree to abide by our ground rules.

Subscribe to SNAP
Download Digerati50 2018-2019 PDF

Digerati50 2018-2019

Get and download a digital copy of Digerati50 2018-2019