Find the Right Course

Having some trouble finding the right course?
Think about the unique needs of your community - what subjects do you think would resonate? What language would people like to learn in? Do you think it should be a college-level course?

The people on this forum can help you source the right course for your Circle in your community. Let us know what you think your community’s needs are, and ask for input from the group…

And if you have found some good courses, which are engaging and interesting or have a clear link to fostering college readiness/skills for employment, feel free to share them here.

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We developed a number of criteria when scouring the internet for relevant courses. These included:

  • Free, ideally CC-licensed
  • English-medium
  • Either open enrollment or start date that suits our project timeline
  • No prerequisites beyond what is expected of a high school graduate
  • Ideally 4-6 weeks long
  • Low weekly commitment (less than 3 hours/week)

We then ranked a number of courses based on the following six metrics:

  • Logistics: Does the course meet the criteria above?
  • Instruction: Does the mode of instruction seem engaging and effective? Are the course materials and the platform intuitive to use?
  • Assessment: Do the assessments seem to reinforce course materials? Are there opportunities for group work?
  • Feedback: Is there an active online community/access to mentors? Are there other resources that might help participants if they are stuck?
  • Relevance: Are course goals aligned with college readiness skills?
  • Coherence: Taken as a whole, does the course seem to make sense in our given context?

This left us with 5 courses that we’ll be moving forward with this spring, pending demand. They are:

A Gentle Introduction to Python via P2PU
Writing in English-University for Beginners via FutureLearn
Introduction to Public Speaking via edX
College Math Readiness via EdReady
GED Math Prep via Khan Academy

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Coursera has recently launched 100 on demand courses, meaning that course materials are always available, rather than accessible only at specific times when the course is “running”. A number of the courses are of interest to our work, including Managing Your Money, High-Impact Business Writing, Finance for Non-Financial Professionals, and Introduction to Public Speaking (which we are already running at Chicago Public Library).

While Udacity charges $200/month for nanodegrees, many of the individual degree components are available for free on their website. These include:

I am from Chennai in India. I would like to see courses in data structures(programming). There aren’t many sites giving good tutorials in this topic.