Elite Colleges Now Offer Free Online Courses

From Harvard to Stanford, a growing number of elite universities are throwing open their digital doors to the masses. They’re offering their most popular courses online for no charge, allowing anyone with an Internet connection to learn from world-renowned scholars and scientists.

The proliferation of so-called massive open online courses, or MOOCs, has the potential to transform higher education at a time when colleges and universities are grappling with shrinking budgets, rising costs and protests over soaring tuition and student debt.

Supporters say these online courses can lower teaching costs, improve learning online and on campus, and significantly expand access to higher education, which could fuel technological innovation and economic growth.


Last month, a dozen major research universities announced they would begin offering courses on the online learning platform Coursera, joining Stanford and Princeton universities and the universities of Pennsylvania and Virginia. The University of California, Berkeley said it would start making online courses available this fall through edX, a competing Web portal launched in May by Harvard University and MIT with $60 million in funding from the two schools.

So far, the new online courses are attracting mostly older workers who want to upgrade their skills and knowledge, but may not have the time or money to attend classes on campus. The new generation of online courses features interactive technology, open admissions, high-caliber curriculum and the ability to teach tens of thousands of students at once. The universities say the online courses are as rigorous as their campus counterparts.

Are you in favor of these elite universities offering free online courses? Do you think cyber courses can really undermine systems of colleges and universities?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Boston

Motivational ‘7 Habits’ Author Stephen Covey Dies At 79

Author Stephen Covey, whose “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” sold more than 20 million copies, died Monday at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said. He was 79.

Covey’s family issued a statement, reported by CNN affiliate KSL, saying he died from residual effects of an April bicycle accident: “In his final hours, he was surrounded by his loving wife and each one (of) his children and their spouses, just as he always wanted,” the statement said, according to KSL.

Covey was “one of the world’s foremost leadership authorities, organizational experts and thought leaders,” according to a biography posted on the website of his 2011 book, “The 3rd Alternative.” Other best-sellers by Covey include “First Things First,” “Principle-Centered Leadership,” and “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness,” according to the biography.


Named in 1996 as one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans, according to the biography, Covey “made teaching principle-centered living and principle-centered leadership his life’s work.” Covey held a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Utah, a master’s in business administration from Harvard and a doctorate from Brigham Young University. He also received 10 honorary doctorate degrees, his biography said.

He founded Covey Leadership Center, which in 1997 merged with Franklin Quest to create FranklinCovey Co. The company is a “global consulting and training leader in the areas of strategy execution, leadership, customer loyalty, sales performance, school transformation and individual effectiveness,” with 44 offices in 147 countries, according to the website. Covey and his wife, Sandra, lived in Provo, Utah. He was a father of nine, a grandfather of 52 and a great-grandfather of two.

Have you read Stephen Covey’s books? How have his leadership principles inspired you in achieving your life’s goals?

Source: CNN

Image: eCademy