Where can you learn about child nutrition, quantum mechanics, creativity or the finance of retirement—from Stanford faculty and instructors—for free?
Stanford Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), which are classes conducted virtually through online platforms such as Coursera, i Tunes U and Open Ed X, a majority of them free and open to the public.
Participants can go through the course materials and assignments at their own pace, and often earn a Statement of Accomplishment by completing the assignments.
These courses will typically include a way to trigger the system to process and finalize your particular grade in the course, and will result in a Statement of Accomplishment being generated if the requirements were met.
To take a Stanford Online course, first register an account and activate it. Each course will have a particular start date, which refers to when some or all of the course content will become available to you.
While no one will be there monitoring your presence after the course starts or "goes live", it's a good idea to sign in and visit the Course Info page.
All of these tasks can be completed at your convenience – there's no need to "come to class" at a particular time of day, although some assignments do have due dates.
Deadlines and due dates display in local time and use a 24-hour clock, so be sure to carefully check the time at which an assignment is due.
When a live course reaches its end date, it becomes an "archived" course.
Courses that have already ended are called "archived" courses.