I stumbled upon Harvard Extension School (online) last year and now I’m at the tail end of completing a course on ‘Freelance Journalism’ , right from where I am in India . The last six months has been an eye opening experience , given the fact that I got to interact with 18 other classmates across the globe and Professors from the reputed Harvard University. The course was taught via web conference which made it even more ‘life-like’ and interactive.You can watch your lecture live and at the same time contribute your views to the class. The quality of the teaching, ways of testing , interaction among students is a must- have experience for anyone who is trying to enhance their learning curve. Harvard Extension School offers a variety of courses, diplomas and degrees ranging from Creative Writing ,History ,Arts to Engineering . The feel is nothing less than sitting in an US classroom !
You also have the added benefits of accessing the Harvard Library Portal, Career and Research Center and obtaining help from different Tutors through Skype sessions. Timings of the live classes might prove to be a problem for some at remote locations – I sit for classes at 4 am in the morning on Tuesdays 😉 But online courses with recorded lectures gives you the time flexibility also. I would personally recommend the live web conference courses though !
edx is another platform which provides a similar opportunity with four top Universities nurturing this Open Learning Initiative. edx has a smaller range of Independent courses but is completely free of cost . I’ve taken up a course on programming from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Mit) and is brilliant I must say. But I must warn it is equally challenging to complete the same and obtain the certificate awarded at the end of the course (awarded only if you are a B+)!