For those of you who don’t know, I’m obsessed with learning. I love learning about just about anything, if the teaching is done in a way that keeps me engaged. For someone like me that loves to learn new things but can’t afford to actually go to college to do so, Coursera is a great option. If you don’t know what Coursera is, it’s a platform where you can take real college classes online, either paid or free through auditing. You can find classes on all sorts of things- my favorite subjects, personally, are writing, personal development and psychology. You won’t get any degrees or certificates if, like me, you just audit the classes where it’s available- but for me, it’s not about rewards. I just do it for the knowledge. Sometimes, isn’t that enough?
Now, there is a difference besides degrees if you audit vs. taking a class paid that I feel I should delve into quickly: you can’t do graded assignments. Unfortunately, for classes that have those (which are a lot, I’ll admit), it won’t mark you as having ‘completed’ a course, even if you got through all the free content. The other downside is if you don’t pay for a class in a specialization, you can’t take the ‘capstone’ class that many specializations include. You can do all the other courses, though- and that’s pretty great! It just sucks, for me, that I can’t have a ton of my classes marked as ‘complete’ even though I finished everything I can do as an auditing student.
Now, I’m going to list some of the classes I’ve taken, the classes I’m currently taking, and classes I want to take in the future. For classes I’ve taken, many are marked incomplete on my coursera list because I’m auditing and can’t be graded, but I’m going to include them anyway. I try to only do a couple classes at a given time, so my ‘taking’ list will be short. I’m going to list just five each for the other two, even though both lists are far longer. I hope these classes might inspire you to work on learning more yourself. You never know what you’ll discover about yourself when you learn new things!
The classes I’m currently taking include “The Craft of Style”, a creative writing class from Wesleyan University. I took the previous four courses in the specialization, which were all good to me. This one focuses on word choice and how it affects the style of your writing. The other course I’m currently taking is called “Brilliant, Passionate You”, a personal development(?) class from the University of Michigan. If I recall, this course is based on a concept from the Pixar movie Soul. It’s about finding purpose and passion in your life, something I could always use more of. I’ve been lagging behind on this one, since I’ve been focusing a lot on The Craft of Style recently.
For classes I’ve already taken and ones I plan to take, I’m just going to list them. I don’t want to keep you here forever, after all!
Classes I’ve Taken:
-Self-Determination Theory, from the University of Rochester
-Introduction to Personal Branding, from the University of Virginia
-The Science of Well Being, from Yale
-Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity, from the Irvine University of California
-Game Design: Art and Concepts Specialization, from the California Institute of the Arts
Classes I Plan to Take:
-Intro to Public Speaking, from the University of Washington
-Miracles of Human Language: An Introduction to Linguistics, from a mixture of schools
-Songwriting: Writing, Arranging, and Producing Music Specialization, from Berklee College of Music
-Good with Words: Writing and Editing Specialization, from the University of Michigan
-Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects, from a mixture of schools.
Anyway, that’s what I wanted to share with you all today: my love of learning, and one of my favorite methods of doing it. If you haven’t already tried it, Coursera really is a great tool to expand your knowledge. If you’re already a student on there, let me know some classes you’ve enjoyed! I’d love to hear more about you, and it might just inspire me to try them, too!