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

  • Online Programs Available
    1. The George Washington University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
      • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
      • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences
      • MSHS in Translational Microbiology
      • MSHS Clinical Operations & Healthcare Management
      • MSHS in Clinical Microbiology
    Bachelor's
      • BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management
      • BSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences
      • BSHS in Biomedical Informatics
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Saint Leo University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DCJ: Education
      • DBA: Business Administration
      • DCJ: Homeland Security
      • EDD: School Leadership
    Master's
      • MEd: Exceptional Student Education
      • MS: Criminal Justice
      • MS: Criminal Justice - Critical Incident Management
      • MS: Criminal Justice - Legal Studies
      • MS: Psychology
      • MA: Creative Writing - Fiction
    Bachelor's
      • BA: Criminal Justice
      • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
      • BA: Liberal Studies
      • BA: Psychology
      • BA: Psychology - General
      • BS: Computer Science
    Associate's
      • AA: Criminal Justice
      • AA: Liberal Arts
      • AA: Business Administration
      • AA: Information Technology
      • AA: Cybersecurity
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA - Management
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Special Education
      • Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning
      • Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership - Behavioral Health
    Master's
      • M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Human Factors
      • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
      • MS in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
      • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
      • M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Project Management
      • M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Secondary Education
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • BS in Psychology
      • B.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sports Psychology
      • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
      • BS in Early Childhood
      • BS in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
    Master's
      • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master : Business Admin
      • Master of Public Health
      • MBA: Human Resources
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
      • Bachelor: Nutrition Science
      • Accelerated MS in Finance Option
    Associate's
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • AAS in Information Technology - Multiplatform Software Development
      • Associate of Science in Fire Science
      • AAS in Criminal Justice and Criminology
      • AASIT: Network Admin
    Certificate
      • Medical Assisting Certificate
      • Medical Office Administration Certificate
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Graduate Certificate in Addictions
      • Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
      • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    5. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
      • Master of Arts in Economics
      • Master of Public Administration and Policy
      • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
      • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
  • Campus and Online Programs
    6. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science - Film Production
      • MS - Game Design (Campus)
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
      • M.S. - New Media Journalism
      • Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing
      • M.S. - Public Relations
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
      • Bachelor of Science - Software Development
      • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
      • BS - Creative Writing for Entertainment (Campus)
      • BS - Film (Campus)
      • BS - Media Communications (Campus)
    Certificate
      • Cert - Instructional Design and Technology
  • Campus Locations:
    7. Lincoln Tech

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Collision Repair and Refinishing
      • Automotive Technology
      • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
      • Electrical/Electronics
      • Diesel Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Criminal Justice, M.S.
      • Business Administration, MBA
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Advanced Accounting
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Health Care Administration
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Leadership
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Project Management
    Bachelor's
      • Communication Studies, B.A.
      • Criminal Justice, B.S.
      • Psychology, B.S.
      • Psychology, B.S. - Emphasis in Biblical Studies
    Associate's
      • Criminal Justice, A.S.
      • Psychology, A.S.
      • Communication Studies, A.A.
      • General Studies, A.A.
      • Business Administration, A.S.
      • Health Care Administration, A.S.
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • HS Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration - Management (Spanish)
      • Master of Business Administration - International Business (Spanish)
      • Master of Business Admin - Information Security Management
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Arts - Business Administration with a concentration in Transportation and Logistics
      • B.A. - Legal Studies
      • B.A. - Psychology
      • B.A. - Accounting
      • B.S.s - Information Technology Management
      • B.A. - Political Science
    Associate's
      • Associate of Sciences - Information Technology
      • Associate of Arts - Criminal Justice
      • Associate of Arts - Accounting
      • Associate of Arts - Paralegal
      • Associate of Arts - Homeland Security
      • Associate of Sciences - Medical Assistant

Featured Schools

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

The George Washington University

  • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
  • BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management
  • BSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Leo University

  • DCJ: Education
  • MEd: Exceptional Student Education
  • BA: Criminal Justice
  • AA: Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education completed?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Human Factors
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
  • AAS in Legal Support and Services
  • Medical Assisting Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

American University

  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
  • Master of Arts in Economics

What is your highest level of education?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Film Production
  • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
  • Cert - Instructional Design and Technology

What is your highest level of education?

Lincoln Tech

  • Collision Repair and Refinishing
  • Automotive Technology
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

What year did you graduate High School / Receive GED?

Colorado Christian University

  • Criminal Justice, M.S.
  • Communication Studies, B.A.
  • Criminal Justice, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?