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Free educational courses for seniors

April 9, 2014

Continuing education for seniors has never been easier with the increasing availability of free courses over the Internet. Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, are not only accessible from any device with Wi-Fi, but are also free to all users. 

MOOCs encompass a wide variety of topics, from general overviews - such as classes spanning American History - to more specialized topics, such as the role the U.S. played in World War II. While not all universities offer this type of educational opportunity for members of the community, a large number of leading institutions provide courses led by some of their top scholars. Coursera, for example, is an all-inclusive resource that covers an expansive range of MOOCs from some of the nation's top universities, including Harvard and Vanderbilt.

Keeping an active mind can help contribute to a healthy lifestyle for seniors, so they should take advantage of these resources by participating in courses that pique their interest. Open Culture reported that while these classes are taught by industry professionals and typically provide certificates of completion, they do not transfer to college credit. People who want to pursue learning in MOOCs should be motivated not by the desire to earn a degree, but to broaden their personal education.

While there exists a great number of MOOC sites online, there are a few specifically dedicated toward furthering senior education. SeniorVersity is a comprehensive resource that compiles senior courses in one setting, dividing them by the categories of art, history and literature, health, money, Internet and travel, and gaming. Visitors to the site can sift through the numerous options and discern which courses seem interesting to them, then follow the provided links to learn more about the offerings. Taking part in these types of virtual classroom experiences can be a wonderful way for seniors in retirement living to spend their time interacting with engaging, educational content.