Banner image free online courses

Learning Objective: The following material is intended for anyone who is interested in exploring the abundance of free online education programs. School districts considering distance learning programs will find this material extremely helpful.

Introduction

There is a growing movement to provide free education for anyone with Internet access. Major universities such as MIT and Harvard allow free access to many undergraduate and graduate level courses. Khan Academy opens math and science instruction to everyone, and Coursesera is trying to unite the globe through free education.

The following activity is based on the jigsaw classroom technique designed by Elliot Aronson. www.jigsaw.org The basic premise behind the activity divides a major topic into discrete sections and then assigns members of a team to become an expert on their individual topic. For the team to have a thorough understanding of the major topic, each member must explain their piece to the others. Since everyone must share and contribute to the group, each participant becomes essential to the team because each piece of information is essential to understanding the topic.

Instructions

Participants in this exercise will become experts in a particular institution offering free online courses. Each team should have four members, and each member should choose one of the four groups below. Research will take place collaboratively, as each team disbands and joins members from other teams who have selected the same group.

After reviewing the material at the links provided, team members should be able to:

When the team reassembles, each member presents their findings and teaches the team about their focus group. By the end of the exercise, the entire team should have a solid foundation by which to compare and assess online courses for their particular application.

Jigsaw Activity Free Online Courses
Expert
Group
Topic Links
1 Khan Academy

About

The Team

Courses

2 Coursesera

About

Pedagogy

Courses

3 MIT Open Course Ware

About

FAQ

Courses

4 Academic Earth

About

FAQ

Courses