Online learning is becoming the norm for many who desire to continue an education. In response to this shift, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have taken virtual learning a step further. If you have the time, desire and internet access, you can take free online classes through some of the world’s most prestigious universities and academies.



MOOCs became popular around 2011, when universities like MIT, Stanford, and the University of Virginia opened certain classes to the public. While the on-campus and commuter students paid for the courses as part of their degree curriculum, others could basically audit the course for free from the comfort of their own homes, with access to webcam-hosted lectures, voluntary assignment completion and access to online discussion forums. While you can’t graduate with a degree from Stanford or MIT using MOOCs, self-motivated learners can get a top-notch education.

Other examples of free, MOOC opportunities include those available from Khan Academy, which has promoted free education for the masses since its inception in 2006. Students can take everything from humanities to math and science courses at their own pace. What a fun way to expand your knowledge base. Also, Khan Academy lectures can be assigned as homework while the class time can be reserved for actually doing the homework.

This transition from traditional learning to virtual learning is also infiltrating our public and private school systems with tablets and learning-based technologies, such as Apple’s iTunes U Courses, transforming the relationship between teachers and students. The result of all this academic innovation is an evolution of academic design.

Contact Leslie Saul & Associates Architecture and Design to learn more about designing your academic facility to keep up the evolution of 21st century learning.