I am a big fan of life-long learning, especially within the structured framework (i.e. lectures, quizes and discussions). However, other than the few big named lecturers on youtube on a limited range of topics, or numerous snippets of lectures, there were never full length courses that cover comprehensively on particular topics. There were of course audio-lectures available from The Teaching Company that are excellent, but really expensive. Spending hundreds for a course for personal improvement is just a bit too hard to swallow.

So for the longest time, I have to resolve to listening to free lecture series programme from China, where the television channel (CCTV) invited various lecturers around China to deliver lectures on the different periods of the long Chinese history, from the unwritten Yao to Zhou dynasties, followed by various warring period before China was united under one emperor Qin. This was followed by the many big and small dynasties all the way to the civic revolution in the 20th century.

Technology though have really changed the modus operandi of learning. Instead of trying to cash-in on delivering fully-designed courses for mature learner or graduants, universities have been opting in to the open learning initiative. Many famous schools, like Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, Yale, Stanford are just a few of the universities that offer free course material on their websites and with downloadable videos available on iTunes or viewable on Youtube.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="www.youtube.com/embed/QNi50gM-6pE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Next Generation Learning is here today!

Today, there are many courses available from individual universities, ranging from social sciences to physical sciences, art and engineering. While none of the courses are comprehensive enough to be offered as a full degree or diploma, there would be knowledge that would be useful to your working life or for personal enrichment.

One of the best websites for online courses is on Coursera .Like the iTune marketplace that gather applications and media from various creators, Coursera host courses from more scores of universities, running courses of diverse nature year round. There will definitely be something that will be suitable for you.

I'm currently taking Model Thinking course that is running at the model, and it's really nice for a change to learn about models in a less technical method. Frankly, it's just plain enjoyable. :D