Free Online College Lectures

            This post is being written while listening to Professor Jim Newton’s Communication Studies 187: Journalistic Ethics from the University of California Los Angeles for free.

            The lecture is an hour-long video clip from YouTube. The U.S. News and World Report states that many college professors are uploading their lectures to online sites, extending higher education past students and teachers to all people. Their lectures are publicly available to anyone interested.

            This trend started in 2001 with the University of California – Berkley’s launch of and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s launch of OpenCourseWare. These programs host recorded videos of professor’s lectures, class notes, syllabi and other useful information. Since 2001, the programs have grown with sites like YouTube EDU, iTunes U, Academic Earth and Open Culture.     

            These programs are creating many new learning opportunities for anyone interested in higher education. Also, students can watch the class lectures as many times as they would like. Professor Newton’s Journalistic Ethics lecture is absolutely captivating, edge-of-your-seat, don’t-want-to-blink, hope-it-never stops type of captivating. As unlikely and irrational as it may seem, there is the slightest chance that one could doze off and not pay attention to his entire lecture. This student – even though one probably does not exist – could go back to the class lecture on one of the aforementioned Web sites and watch the class lecture again. Therefore, that student will not be at a disadvantage for the test.

            Also, if there is a section of the lecture that a student did not quite understand, he/she can watch it again. Students could use the iTunes U program to download class lectures straight to iPods or iPhones. So, instead of being caught singing “Party in the USA.” with iPod headphones, students can listen to class lectures while driving in their cars or walking around on campus. If people hear you talking to yourself – as awkward as that could be – at least they will think you’re smart.

            Students are not the only ones to listen to online lectures. Many college professors and high school teachers will use these to improve their classes.

            Also, these could be great resources for high school students. Free online class lectures will give high school students great insights into what education will be like at that particular college. Online class lectures are as close to actually being in a classroom as one can get. This could even help in the college decision-making process.

            With online classes, anyone can seemingly take classes at some of the nation’s elite colleges. However, no credit or degrees will be given in these types of online classes.