Martin Center column highlights good free online courses

Shannon Watkins of the Martin Center devotes a column to top-notch free online college courses.

Fortunately, neither the barriers of time nor money have to inhibit continuing one’s education. There are a myriad of free online resources available that give people the flexibility to learn when they have the time.

The Martin Center found three online sources that offer free courses on important topics such as political and moral philosophy, the history of Western Civilization, and civil liberties.

Hillsdale College Online Courses …

… Students at Hillsdale are required to take a comprehensive general education curriculum known as the “core curriculum.” Hillsdale’s free online courses are modeled on the core curriculum, as well as other highly popular classes. Some of the free courses include Western Heritage, American Heritage, the Great Books 101 and 102, Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.

The Constitution 101 course is Hillsdale’s most popular online course—it’s been taken by more than 800,000 students worldwide. All of the lectures are delivered by Hillsdale faculty and about 1,000 students enroll in Hillsdale’s online courses per day. …

… Michael Sandel’s Justice Course …

… The 24 recorded lectures take place in Harvard’s historic Sanders Theatre with nearly 1,000 students in attendance. Despite the enormity of the auditorium, Sandel routinely engages in Socratic dialogue with his students, drawing them into a compelling exploration of fundamental philosophical ideas such as individual rights, the moral worth of actions, one’s obligations to humanity, and the good life. …

… EdX Courses Taught by Robert P. George …

… One course entitled “Civil Liberties” explores the American tradition of civil liberties by examining foundational documents such as the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, as well as key issues like free speech and affirmative action. The assigned readings for the course include authors such as John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Hayek, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...