The recent surge in free online courses, led by top universities such as MIT, has opened up a whole new level of distance learning to students all around the globe. As well as entire degree and university courses that can be pursued online, it’s also possible to find fantastic shorter courses on specific topics that can be ideal for use in the classroom, or for students to follow in their own time, whether researching a specific project, or as part of a flipped classroom model.

Here are 8 of the best free online courses for students…


Free Online Courses for Students


1. Out of the Past

A fabulous video instructional series of eight one hour programs on archaeology, suitable for high school and college students. Taking a humanistic approach to archaeology and anthropology, the different videos, on topics such as ‘Artisan traders’ and ‘Signs and symbols’ make connections between past civilisations and modern societies, looking at how societies function and change.


2. Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish

A fabulous free opportunity for beginners to grasp the basics of the Spanish language, this course offers 52 half-hour videos divided into different topics and vocabulary categories.


3. The Rock Cycle

Part of MIT’s incredible K12 video library, this clear, engaging course aimed at elementary age children takes students through the three different types of rocks, their properties, and how one morphs into another during the stages of the rock cycle.


4. A Journey Inside the Earth

Another brilliant offering from MIT, this video course is perfect for introducing students to the geology of the different layers of the Earth, and the formation of earthquakes and volcanoes, using the delicious analogy of a layered sponge cake!


5. Ma France

These 24 free, interactive videos from the BBC will take students from complete novices to French speakers faster than you can say un, deux, trois!


6. A Crash Course in World History

A brilliant, funny, engaging and irreverent crash course taking students through more than 15,000 years of world history! Watch the lot over a series of weeks or use the videos on one specific period to complement a topic you’re studying in class.


7. Liberty’s Kids

Ideal for teaching about the founding fathers and the history of America, this great video series introduces students to colourful characters and takes them through American history step by step.


8. Forces on an Airplane

This excellent video from MIT explains how and why aircraft are able to fly. With some algebra involved, it’s better suited for older high school students.


What luck have you had with free online courses for students in your class? Have any brilliant recommendations? Let us know in the comments below.


Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Skley.


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