The Open Source Revolution: How It Is Making Learning Free for Everyone

About this article
Students from all over the world can now engage with colleges and universities across the globe. With the Open Source revolution, anyone can take free online courses from over 200 higher learning institutions, worldwide.
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A Discount Path to an Education

You can't earn an actual degree from an open course, but you can obtain valuable knowledge that will make earning a degree much cheaper. Students can use open source courses to prepare for the College Board's College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), which allows students to earn college credit for knowledge they already have.

If you can earn a few credits this way before you enroll in a formal program, you can take fewer classes and graduate with less debt. Taking the free courses will also ensure that you are classroom ready when the time comes.

The Pursuit of Knowledge

People can also use open course education to pursue a love of learning. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's OpenCourseWare platform reports that at least half of the people who download their courses are independent learners looking for a little bit of knowledge.

Some of these people simply want to broaden their horizons, others are looking for a career change and others still are hoping to take practice classes before going to college or graduate school.

OpenCourseWare Consortium

More than 200 higher education institutions from around the world are members of the OpenCourseWare Consortium. The OCWC is hoping to advance education by making free online courses available to people all over the world.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, offers more than 2,200 free courses. Most courses are very similar to those taught on campus and include materials like lecture notes, assignments, reading lists, labs, quizzes, exams and textbooks. Courses can be downloaded and completed at your convenience.

You can find thousands of free online courses on nearly every topic imaginable by browsing the OCWC links below:

United States

Netherlands

Spain

United Kingdom

Popular Schools

  • Campus and Online Programs
    1. Cortiva Institute

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Massage Therapy
      • Esthetics (Skin Care)
  • Online Programs Available
    2. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
      • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
      • Master of Science in Health Informatics
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
      • Master of Science in Finance
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
      • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Campus Locations:
    4. Lincoln Tech

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Automotive Technology
      • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
      • Electrical/Electronics
  • Campus Locations:
    5. Brightwood College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Medical Assistant - AS
    Certificate
      • Computer Networking Technology
      • Dental Assistant
      • Medical Office Specialist
      • Pharmacy Technician Certificate
      • Medical Assistant - Certificate
      • Medical Assistant - Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Purdue University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Communication
      • Master of Science in Education in Special Education
      • Master of Science in Engineering Technology
      • Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management
      • Master of Public Health
      • Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Saint Joseph's University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS in Criminal Justice
      • MS in Criminal Justice Intelligence & Crime Analysis
      • MS in Criminal Justice Behavior Analysis
      • MS in Criminal Justice Homeland Security
      • MS in Education - Special Education: Autism
      • MS in Criminal Justice Federal Law Enforcement
    Bachelor's
      • BLS in General Studies - Autism Studies Concentration
      • BLS in General Studies - Professional Studies Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA
      • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: BS Mgmt. & HR
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Mgmt & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA: Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Project Management
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
      • B.S. - Business Management: Entrepreneurial Studies Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
      • Bachelor: Health Care Management
      • Bachelor: Accounting
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
      • Associate of Science - Business Studies
      • Associate: Health Information Management
      • Associate: Healthcare Management
      • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
      • Associate of Science - Accounting
    Certificate
      • Diploma: Medical Office Admin
      • Diploma: Medical Assisting
      • Diploma: Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting
      • Networking Systems Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Project Management
      • Master of Finance
      • Master of Professional Accounting
      • Master - Information Technology Management
      • Graduate Specialization - Healthcare Administration
      • Master - Human Resource Management
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Communication
      • BS - Human Services
      • BS - Accounting
      • BS - Project Management
      • BS - Marketing
      • Undergraduate Specialization - Criminal Forensics
    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate - Human Resource Management
      • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management
      • Graduate Specialization - Accounting
      • Graduate Certificate - Cyber Security
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
      • Master of Liberal Arts
      • Master of Arts in Science Writing
      • Master of Science in Applied Economics
      • Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems
      • Master of Science in Bioinformatics

Featured Schools

The schools and programs listed below are popular educational options, and tuition varies based on program and location

Cortiva Institute

  • Massage Therapy
  • Esthetics (Skin Care)

What is your highest earned degree?

George Mason University

  • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics

What is your highest level of education?

Georgetown University

  • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Lincoln Tech

  • Automotive Technology
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • Electrical/Electronics

What year did you graduate High School / Receive GED?

Brightwood College

  • Medical Assistant - AS
  • Computer Networking Technology
  • Dental Assistant

What is your highest level of education?

Purdue University

  • Master of Science in Communication
  • Master of Science in Education in Special Education
  • Master of Science in Engineering Technology

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Joseph's University

  • MS in Criminal Justice
  • MS in Criminal Justice Intelligence & Crime Analysis
  • BLS in General Studies - Autism Studies Concentration
  • BLS in General Studies - Professional Studies Concentration

What is your highest level of education completed?

Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management
  • Diploma: Medical Office Admin

What is your highest level of education?