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How Do I Choose the Best Open College Courses?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 05 December 2016
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Choosing the best open college courses primarily requires finding a course that is a good fit for your needs. Usually, it is a good idea to choose courses from reputable schools, but because the courses are free, you can often inspect the quality of each individual course. For home-learning purposes, open college courses provide an excellent opportunity to draw on the knowledge of a real professor without having to make a large investment. With the basics of the topic covered by the course, it is often possible to add additional reading materials to round out any deficiencies in the class.

One consideration to keep in mind when choosing any online distance learning courses is the reputation of the school. For open college courses, the school's reputation serves primarily as an indicator of the expertise of the course's professor. People who are already comfortable with the topic of the course being taken may be able to choose classes taught by passionate amateurs who are not officially associated with a college. The main requirement to keep in mind is the quality of the information.

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Many different topics are offered as open college courses, and finding an appropriate subject depends on your interests. Often, introductory courses taken at home are easier to follow than advanced courses, because you typically cannot ask the professor any questions. It is important to remember that even if the course is not a precise match for your interests, you can always supplement the syllabus with additional readings. An open course is as flexible as you wish it to be.

Open college courses are not for credit, and they rely on self-motivation for success, which means that for some people more entertaining courses may be better options. Courses that drive the student forward, such as those that are offered in audio format, may be easier to follow because they can be used while driving or doing other activities. When choosing open college courses, it is important to give yourself the best chance at success. Choosing a course that is a major time commitment may lead to disappointment.

Depending on your resources, some college courses may be easier to follow than others. Many courses of this type offer assignments, reading materials, and sometimes even video recording. Classes that involve significant group involvement, such as creative writing classes, are often not a good fit for home learning. Courses that require books and other items that must be purchased can end up being quite expensive if you do not have access to a library. Making sure that you will be able to access all necessary materials is important when choosing this type of course.

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