10 MOOC websites to Start Your Free Online Education

Want to take courses from Harvard and MIT in the comfort of your home? Take part in distance learning with these Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) from websites to explore your boundaries and increase your knowledge. Quality education from the best schools around the globe for free; who's up for it?

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1. EdX

EdX courses are designed to be interesting, fun and rigorous. They are the best courses, from the best professors and the best schools, spanning dozens of subjects. Orgininally founded by Harvard and MIT, EdX now offers courses from 29 of the top schools around the world. Start studying with EdX and have fun today! 

2. Saylor

Since its founding in 2008, Saylor.org strives to provide quality education for free for everyone around the world. The Saylor team hires credentialed professors to create course blueprints and to locate, vet, and organize OER materials into a structured and intuitive format. Their consulting professors also create original OER content and link to freely posted materials to fill in any gaps. Each course culminates with a final exam, and students receiving a passing grade can download a certificate of completion. Start learning and earn your certificate today!

3. Coursera

With 535 courses and 107 global university partners, Coursera provides you a global education right at the click of your mouse. If you would like to go a step further, sign up for the Signature Track for a fee to earn official recognition from universities and Coursera with a verifiable electronic certificate. What's more, there is also a free re-attempt for the Signature Track! If you're unable to complete the course, you can request a coupon good for the next Signature Track offering of the same course.

4. Udemy 

If you want to acquire practical skills and knowledge apart from your study subjects, Udemy is your answer.  Whether you want to get promoted, break into a new industry, start a company, further a passion, or just accelerate your life, Udemy helps you learn from the amazing instructors in the world, so that you can get there and get there faster. Discover featured courses and areas that you would like to develop. Udemy provides you with the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of giants and the chance to learn from them, for free!

5. Skillfeed

If you are looking to learning a new skill, or improving on your proficiency in Photoshop, Illustrator, or HTML, Skillfeed offers unlimited access to high quality video courses from a worldwide community of instructors.You have a month's free trial which thereafter, you will subscribe to a monthly fee to gain unlimited access to *all* courses! Be an expert in these software skills today! As part of their Halloween celebration, Skillfeed is offering you 30 days free access to all courses. Seize the chance before 3rd November 2013!

6. Harvard Open Courses

Distance education classes at Harvard Extension School have either an online video or live web-conference format. Some courses also include a weekend of intensive on-campus lectures. Online courses span a full semester and have scheduled assignments and exams. Due to the interactive nature of the web conference lesssons, do note that you will have to pay for certain courses here!

7. Yale Open Courses

Are you a bachelor or high school student who is undecided about your future course of interest? Yale Open Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. Discover a range of timely and timeless topics taught by Yale professors, each with a unique perspective and an individual interpretation of a particular field of study. Inspire your own critical thinking and creative imagination with the lectures and other course materials, which reflect the values of a Yale liberal arts education. 

8. UoPeople 

The tuition-free, nonprofit, online academic institution, University of the People (UoPeople), is part of the Open Educational Resources movement and utilizes open educational content in all courses. Many individuals need beyond just free knowledge – they need the right credentials and experience to compete in today’s job market. A significant number of employers not only demand that their employees possess the requisite knowledge and skills, but that they also hold relevant degrees. At UoPeople, you will get course designers who modify and enhance course materials, then adds in excellent instructors, peer to peer learning, a grading system, student services support, and other benefits found in a university to provide fully developed tuition-free degree programs. A one-time registration fee is charged for your access to an unlimited amount of knowledge! 

9. Khan Academy 

All of the site's resources are available to anyone. It doesn't matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. Khan Academy's materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge. Take part in the interactive classroom blackboard teaching style with short quizzes and questions to test your understanding along the way. 

10. Academic Earth 

Academic Earth has curated links to over 750 online courses and 8,500 individual online lectures, giving students of all ages unparalleled access to college courses they may otherwise never experience. Whether supplementing existing coursework, or learning for the sake of learning, anyone with an internet connection has the freedom to learn at their own pace from world-renowned experts, without the burden of rising tuition costs. View the online courses today!

What about free distance learning scholarships you say?

Fret not! Apply for these scholarships to support your online distance learning journey when they open again in 2014:

1. Online Training Scholarships in Development 

2. Distance Learning Scholarships at the University of Edinburgh 

3. Distance Learning Scholarships for Developing Commonwealth Countries 

4. UoPeople Online Education Scholarship