MasterClass, one of our favorite e-learning platforms, is having a 2-for-1 Father’s Day sale right now. Here are 16 great classes to try.

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Masterclass E Learning 4x3
MasterClass helps you learn new skills from experts in the field.

Who better to teach you writing than Margaret Atwood, a backhand than Serena Williams, or singing than Christina Aguilera?

Unfortunately, for most of us, taking a one-on-one cooking class with Thomas Keller or a photography lesson from Annie Leibovitz isn’t realistic. But MasterClass is bridging that gap by recruiting the best of the best to teach us the secrets to their crafts.

And for Father’s Day, you can purchase one subscription as a gift and get another for free through June 21.

All-Access Pass (medium)

Unlike most e-learning platforms focused on teaching hard skills like cloud computing or UX design, MasterClass targets a different audience: creatives who are looking to learn and gain some inspiration along the way.

The site has courses in categories like writing, cooking, sports, business, and politics, and each of them is taught by celebrities and masters of the field. For $180 a year ($15 a month), you get an all-access pass to all the courses on the site. Each class provides video lessons, a course workbook, and class feedback – which, on some occasions, comes from the stars themselves.

If you’re craving an online course to inspire you, help you hone a craft, or give you valuable advice from a respected expert, MasterClass is definitely worth a try. The videos are well-produced, which makes the courses more engaging, and the workbooks provide some extra insight to help reflect on what you’ve learned. You can even download the MasterClass app on your phone to squeeze in quick lessons whenever you have free time.

What you’ll find below:

  1. Some common FAQs
  2. A list of the 16 best MasterClass courses
  3. A personal review of MasterClass

All-Access Pass (medium)

MasterClass FAQs:

  1. How much does it cost? MasterClass costs $180 for its annual subscription ($15 a month), which gives you unlimited access to all its classes until you cancel. 
  2. Is it worth it? If you will use MasterClass more than a few times, yes, the yearly pass may be worth it. If you won’t, or you need something more intensive or traditionally academic, consider other online learning sites like Coursera or edX
  3. How does MasterClass work? MasterClass classes are about 2-5 hours on average, with individual lessons ranging from 2-5 minutes. Classes include pre-recorded video lessons by your instructor, a class workbook, interactive assignments, and sometimes community activities. MasterClass may have opportunities for students to submit work to instructors for feedback, but that’s not the norm. 

Some of the best MasterClass classes:

Questlove teaches DJing

Questlove

Learn music curation and DJing with Questlove

Questlove — iconic DJ, Grammy winner, and The Roots drummer — teaches collecting and mixing music. You’ll learn how to transition from genre to genre to curate the perfect playlist, whether just for yourself or to wow your friends.

Margaret Atwood teaches creative writing

margaret atwood

Learn the art of creative writing with Margaret Atwood

Writer’s block is a major challenge, but hopefully, some inspiration from Margaret Atwood can bring you out of your funk. The Man Booker Prize-winner’s lessons delve into character development, point of view, structuring a novel, and more. 

Samuel L. Jackson teaches acting

samuel jackson

Learn how to act with Samuel L. Jackson

It’s hard to believe now that Samuel L. Jackson had a stutter growing up, one that actually stopped him from talking for a year. You can learn about how he overcame this obstacle to become an Oscar nominee in this course on acting, which particularly focuses on how to develop a character. 

Annie Leibovitz teaches photography

annie leibovitz

Learn photography with Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz claims the title of first-ever female chief photographer at “Rolling Stone,” along with plenty of other accomplishments. Here, she sheds light on her photography philosophy and shows how a great photo comes to life. 

Ron Finley teaches gardening

Masterclass Ron Finley teaches gardening

Learn gardening with Ron Finley

Ron Finley has launched a movement around an unusual form of protest: gardening. In 2011, Finley was issued an arrest warrant for planting fruits and vegetables on the curbside strip outside his home in South Central LA — a food desert. Two years later, his story helped change LA laws and, a decade later, he’s helped plant dozens of community gardens. In his MasterClass, Finley teaches you how to grow your own food, avoid killing your plants, and the beauty and community you can find in healthy food.

Christina Aguilera teaches singing

christina aguilera

Learn how to sing with Christina Aguilera

Whether you want to fine-tune your vocal craft or have no musical experience beyond singing “happy birthday” to your friends and family, Christina Aguilera has the techniques to help you take it up a notch. The Grammy-award winning artist will give you practical tips on how to polish your sound as well as share some stories about her career trajectory. 

Serena Williams teaches tennis

serena williams

Learn how to play tennis with Serena Williams

If you want to be a pro, you have to practice like one. Get the chance to experience the same drills Serena runs every day, as well as some insight into the importance of mental strength in the game. 

Apollonia Poilâne teaches bread baking

Masterclass Apollonia Poilâne teaches bread baking

Learn bread baking with Apollonia Poilâne

Apollonia Poilâne, the third-generation baker and CEO of the famous Parisian bakery Poilâne, teaches you how to use all of your senses when baking an ideal loaf from scratch. Poilâne outlines best practices for a variety of French breads — rustic wheat, rye, brioche, and Poilâne’s beloved sourdough loaves — with warmth and clarity. You’ll be able to learn from Poilâne’s practiced movements, see ideal examples of each stage, and hear live troubleshooting. And though your environment will change daily, Poilâne gives you the working knowledge that allows you to adapt.

Thomas Keller teaches cooking techniques

thomas keller

Learn cooking techniques with Thomas Keller

Chef Thomas Keller’s restaurants, like The French Laundry, have been awarded quite a few Michelin stars and have people eagerly waiting months at a time for reservations. In his MasterClass, he breaks down the basics of some of the most essential cooking techniques, like braising meats and making stocks. 

Neil deGrasse Tyson teaches scientific thinking and communication

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Learn how to think like a scientist with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Ivy League degrees, bestselling books, and a Grammy award are just some of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s accolades. In this course, the renowned astrophysicist will help you see into the mind of a scientist, giving you plenty of skills to help you strengthen the way you think and communicate along the way. 

Carlos Santana teaches the art and soul of guitar

carlos

Learn how to play the guitar with Carlos Santana

If you’re looking for a classic, technical guitar lesson, this course probably isn’t for you. If, however, you’re looking to understand how one of the world’s most popular guitarists approaches the instrument, draws inspiration for his music, and found his unique sound, you’ll love this class with Carlos Santana. 

Bob Iger teaches business strategy and leadership

bob iger

Learn business strategies and leadership skills with Bob Iger

As the former CEO and current Executive Chairman of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger was responsible for some of the brand’s most important acquisitions, including Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. With 45 years in media under his belt, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a successful businessperson.

His lesson dives into everything from business insights from the acquisition process to how to use your time effectively and productively.

Kelly Wearstler teaches interior design

kelly wearstler

Learn how to design your space with Kelly Wearstler

Ever wondered how to make your space look like it’s plucked off an “Architectural Digest” page while still feeling like it’s distinctly yours? It’s a tall order, but Kelly Wearstler has designed enough celebrity homes and boutique hotels to give you all the tips and tricks you need to know to redefine your own space. You’ll learn how to choose colors for any room, make a space feel larger, and even curate an art collection. 

Chris Voss teaches the art of negotiation

Chris Voss

Learn the art of negotiation with Chris Voss

During his time as an FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss mastered all of the facets of communication and compromise. While your everyday negotiations may not be as high-stake, Voss’s strategies can help you get the outcomes you want — whether it’s a promotion at your job or a big decision in your relationship. 

Dominique Ansel teaches French pastry fundamentals

dominique ansel

Learn French pastry fundamentals with Dominique Ansel

Dominque Ansel is revered for his creative takes on delicious pastries, like the Cronut, a croissant-donut hybrid that garners hours-long lines outside of his SoHo bakery in New York. In this course, you’ll learn the precise technique Ansel uses to bake his famous treats. Fruit tarts, chocolate cakes, and mini madeleines are just some of the desserts you’ll learn to bake. 

Daniel Negreanu teaches poker

daniel poker

Learn how to play poker with Daniel Negreanu

There’s no one better to help you perfect your poker face than Daniel Negreanu — he’s won the World Series of Poker six times. He’ll help you learn even the most complex poker concepts so you can increase your win rate the next time you sit around the felt. 

A review of MasterClass:

MasterClass is one of my favorite online learning platforms, and I’ve had personal experience with a fair share of them (Coursera, Skillshare, edX, Rosetta Stone, CreativeLive, and so on).

Compared to many online courses, MasterClass’s follow the format of a one-sided conversation more than an academic setting, which can make learning feel more engaging.

I love that I’m able to learn conventional and not-so-conventional tricks and tips from giants of any industry — some of whom are on my shortlist of favorite authors, actors, musicians, and chefs. Classes are pretty short (2-5 hours total), and the lessons are between 5-25 minutes each.

I also get access to notes, additional reading resources, and a community. And it’s nice that I can download lessons or use Audio Mode in the car as a de facto audiobook on days when my attention span is low. 

Plus, the diversity, quality, and flexibility of its online classes is hard to beat. If I’m going through a cooking phase, I can watch bite-sized clips that are interesting and useful. And if something isn’t my number one passion, the allure of a “master” helps me remain interested in the lessons. 

Personally, I enjoy having yearly access. If you’re a lifelong learner, it gives you the ability to jump around different subjects with tools like “topic playlists” that queue up stuff you might like. For me, it’s worth the $180 — it’s informative without feeling overly stringent or overwhelming. But if you’re interested in deep-diving into only one topic, I’d recommend auditing a class at Coursera or edX rather than dropping $180 just to access one MasterClass. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter

Read the original article on Business Insider

MasterClass is one of our favorite online learning platforms – here’s how it works, and 16 great classes to try

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Masterclass E Learning 4x3
MasterClass helps you learn new skills from experts in the field.

  • MasterClass creates online video classes taught by celebrities and industry experts.
  • An annual subscription costs $180 ($15 a month) and gives access to all of MasterClass’s offerings.
  • Right now, you can purchase one subscription for Father’s Day and get one free.
  • Below, you’ll find a personal review, some common FAQs, and 16 of the best MasterClass courses.

Who better to teach you writing than Margaret Atwood, a backhand than Serena Williams, or singing than Christina Aguilera?

Unfortunately, for most of us, taking a one-on-one cooking class with Thomas Keller or a photography lesson from Annie Leibovitz isn’t realistic. But MasterClass is bridging that gap by recruiting the best of the best to teach us the secrets to their crafts. And in advance of Father’s Day, you can purchase one subscription as a gift and get another for free right now.

All-Access Pass (medium)

Unlike most e-learning platforms focused on teaching hard skills like cloud computing or UX design, MasterClass targets a different audience: creatives who are looking to learn and gain some inspiration along the way.

The site has courses in categories like writing, cooking, sports, business, and politics, and each of them is taught by celebrities and masters of the field. For $180 a year ($15 a month), you get an all-access pass to all the courses on the site. Each class provides video lessons, a course workbook, and class feedback – which, on some occasions, comes from the stars themselves.

If you’re craving an online course to inspire you, help you hone a craft, or give you valuable advice from a respected expert, MasterClass is definitely worth a try. The videos are well-produced, which makes the courses more engaging, and the workbooks provide some extra insight to help reflect on what you’ve learned. You can even download the MasterClass app on your phone to squeeze in quick lessons whenever you have free time.

What you’ll find below:

  1. Some common FAQs
  2. A list of the 16 best MasterClass courses
  3. A personal review of MasterClass

All-Access Pass (medium)

MasterClass FAQs:

  1. How much does it cost? MasterClass costs $180 for its annual subscription ($15 a month), which gives you unlimited access to all its classes until you cancel. 
  2. Is it worth it? If you will use MasterClass more than a few times, yes, the yearly pass may be worth it. If you won’t, or you need something more intensive or traditionally academic, consider other online learning sites like Coursera or edX
  3. How does MasterClass work? MasterClass classes are about 2-5 hours on average, with individual lessons ranging from 2-5 minutes. Classes include pre-recorded video lessons by your instructor, a class workbook, interactive assignments, and sometimes community activities. MasterClass may have opportunities for students to submit work to instructors for feedback, but that’s not the norm. 

Some of the best MasterClass classes:

Questlove teaches DJing

Questlove

Learn music curation and DJing with Questlove

Questlove — iconic DJ, Grammy winner, and The Roots drummer — teaches collecting and mixing music. You’ll learn how to transition from genre to genre to curate the perfect playlist, whether just for yourself or to wow your friends.

Margaret Atwood teaches creative writing

margaret atwood

Learn the art of creative writing with Margaret Atwood

Writer’s block is a major challenge, but hopefully, some inspiration from Margaret Atwood can bring you out of your funk. The Man Booker Prize-winner’s lessons delve into character development, point of view, structuring a novel, and more. 

Samuel L. Jackson teaches acting

samuel jackson

Learn how to act with Samuel L. Jackson

It’s hard to believe now that Samuel L. Jackson had a stutter growing up, one that actually stopped him from talking for a year. You can learn about how he overcame this obstacle to become an Oscar nominee in this course on acting, which particularly focuses on how to develop a character. 

Annie Leibovitz teaches photography

annie leibovitz

Learn photography with Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz claims the title of first-ever female chief photographer at “Rolling Stone,” along with plenty of other accomplishments. Here, she sheds light on her photography philosophy and shows how a great photo comes to life. 

Ron Finley teaches gardening

Masterclass Ron Finley teaches gardening

Learn gardening with Ron Finley

Ron Finley has launched a movement around an unusual form of protest: gardening. In 2011, Finley was issued an arrest warrant for planting fruits and vegetables on the curbside strip outside his home in South Central LA — a food desert. Two years later, his story helped change LA laws and, a decade later, he’s helped plant dozens of community gardens. In his MasterClass, Finley teaches you how to grow your own food, avoid killing your plants, and the beauty and community you can find in healthy food.

Christina Aguilera teaches singing

christina aguilera

Learn how to sing with Christina Aguilera

Whether you want to fine-tune your vocal craft or have no musical experience beyond singing “happy birthday” to your friends and family, Christina Aguilera has the techniques to help you take it up a notch. The Grammy-award winning artist will give you practical tips on how to polish your sound as well as share some stories about her career trajectory. 

Serena Williams teaches tennis

serena williams

Learn how to play tennis with Serena Williams

If you want to be a pro, you have to practice like one. Get the chance to experience the same drills Serena runs every day, as well as some insight into the importance of mental strength in the game. 

Apollonia Poilâne teaches bread baking

Masterclass Apollonia Poilâne teaches bread baking

Learn bread baking with Apollonia Poilâne

Apollonia Poilâne, the third-generation baker and CEO of the famous Parisian bakery Poilâne, teaches you how to use all of your senses when baking an ideal loaf from scratch. Poilâne outlines best practices for a variety of French breads — rustic wheat, rye, brioche, and Poilâne’s beloved sourdough loaves — with warmth and clarity. You’ll be able to learn from Poilâne’s practiced movements, see ideal examples of each stage, and hear live troubleshooting. And though your environment will change daily, Poilâne gives you the working knowledge that allows you to adapt.

Thomas Keller teaches cooking techniques

thomas keller

Learn cooking techniques with Thomas Keller

Chef Thomas Keller’s restaurants, like The French Laundry, have been awarded quite a few Michelin stars and have people eagerly waiting months at a time for reservations. In his MasterClass, he breaks down the basics of some of the most essential cooking techniques, like braising meats and making stocks. 

Neil deGrasse Tyson teaches scientific thinking and communication

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Learn how to think like a scientist with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Ivy League degrees, bestselling books, and a Grammy award are just some of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s accolades. In this course, the renowned astrophysicist will help you see into the mind of a scientist, giving you plenty of skills to help you strengthen the way you think and communicate along the way. 

Carlos Santana teaches the art and soul of guitar

carlos

Learn how to play the guitar with Carlos Santana

If you’re looking for a classic, technical guitar lesson, this course probably isn’t for you. If, however, you’re looking to understand how one of the world’s most popular guitarists approaches the instrument, draws inspiration for his music, and found his unique sound, you’ll love this class with Carlos Santana. 

Bob Iger teaches business strategy and leadership

bob iger

Learn business strategies and leadership skills with Bob Iger

As the former CEO and current Executive Chairman of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger was responsible for some of the brand’s most important acquisitions, including Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. With 45 years in media under his belt, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a successful businessperson.

His lesson dives into everything from business insights from the acquisition process to how to use your time effectively and productively.

Kelly Wearstler teaches interior design

kelly wearstler

Learn how to design your space with Kelly Wearstler

Ever wondered how to make your space look like it’s plucked off an “Architectural Digest” page while still feeling like it’s distinctly yours? It’s a tall order, but Kelly Wearstler has designed enough celebrity homes and boutique hotels to give you all the tips and tricks you need to know to redefine your own space. You’ll learn how to choose colors for any room, make a space feel larger, and even curate an art collection. 

Chris Voss teaches the art of negotiation

Chris Voss

Learn the art of negotiation with Chris Voss

During his time as an FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss mastered all of the facets of communication and compromise. While your everyday negotiations may not be as high-stake, Voss’s strategies can help you get the outcomes you want — whether it’s a promotion at your job or a big decision in your relationship. 

Dominique Ansel teaches French pastry fundamentals

dominique ansel

Learn French pastry fundamentals with Dominique Ansel

Dominque Ansel is revered for his creative takes on delicious pastries, like the Cronut, a croissant-donut hybrid that garners hours-long lines outside of his SoHo bakery in New York. In this course, you’ll learn the precise technique Ansel uses to bake his famous treats. Fruit tarts, chocolate cakes, and mini madeleines are just some of the desserts you’ll learn to bake. 

Daniel Negreanu teaches poker

daniel poker

Learn how to play poker with Daniel Negreanu

There’s no one better to help you perfect your poker face than Daniel Negreanu — he’s won the World Series of Poker six times. He’ll help you learn even the most complex poker concepts so you can increase your win rate the next time you sit around the felt. 

A review of MasterClass:

MasterClass is one of my favorite online learning platforms, and I’ve had personal experience with a fair share of them (Coursera, Skillshare, edX, Rosetta Stone, CreativeLive, and so on).

Compared to many online courses, MasterClass’s follow the format of a one-sided conversation more than an academic setting, which can make learning feel more engaging.

I love that I’m able to learn conventional and not-so-conventional tricks and tips from giants of any industry — some of whom are on my shortlist of favorite authors, actors, musicians, and chefs. Classes are pretty short (2-5 hours total), and the lessons are between 5-25 minutes each.

I also get access to notes, additional reading resources, and a community. And it’s nice that I can download lessons or use Audio Mode in the car as a de facto audiobook on days when my attention span is low. 

Plus, the diversity, quality, and flexibility of its online classes is hard to beat. If I’m going through a cooking phase, I can watch bite-sized clips that are interesting and useful. And if something isn’t my number one passion, the allure of a “master” helps me remain interested in the lessons. 

Personally, I enjoy having yearly access. If you’re a lifelong learner, it gives you the ability to jump around different subjects with tools like “topic playlists” that queue up stuff you might like. For me, it’s worth the $180 — it’s informative without feeling overly stringent or overwhelming. But if you’re interested in deep-diving into only one topic, I’d recommend auditing a class at Coursera or edX rather than dropping $180 just to access one MasterClass. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter

Read the original article on Business Insider

11 free online courses you can take from the University of Washington, one of the top 10 schools in the world

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

University of Washington free online courses

The University of Washington, ranked the 8th best school in the world according to US News, offers free courses online.

Like other top schools in the world – including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, and Cornell – UWash has made a handful of massive open online courses (MOOCs) available on e-learning platforms edX and Coursera. You can learn more about edX here and Coursera here.

Whether you’re interested in mastering machine learning or learning English for business, you can enroll in a course for free (or for a small fee if you want to earn a certificate of completion).

11 University of Washington courses you can take online for free

Machine Learning: Regression

11 free courses University of Washington by champc/GettyImages

Machine Learning: Regression (button)

Length:  6 weeks

Explore regularized linear regression models in prediction and feature selection — including predicting housing prices and implementing Python programming techniques.

This course is included in the Machine Learning Specialization, which is free with a seven-day trial, then $49 a month to keep learning. 

To audit this course for free, click “Enroll for Free” and then “Audit this course.”

Machine Learning: Classification

11 free courses University of Washington by Yuichiro Chino/Getty Images

Machine Learning: Classification (button)

Length: 7 weeks

Create classifiers that perform well on various tasks and become familiar with the most successful techniques — including logistic regression, decision trees, and boosting. You’ll also be able to design and implement the underlying algorithms to learn these models at scale. 

This course is included in the Machine Learning Specialization, which is free with a seven-day trial, then $49 a month to keep learning. 

To audit this course for free, click “Enroll for Free” and then “Audit this course.”

Machine Learning: Clustering & Retrieval

free courses University of Washington by Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

Machine Learning: Clustering & Retrieval (button)

Length:  6 weeks

This course focuses on clustering and retrieval, answering questions such as how to group similar documents; notions of similarity; and how to discover new, emerging topics that a set of documents covers. You’ll be able to create a document retrieval system using k-nearest neighbors, cluster documents by topic using k-means, implement the techniques you learn in Python, and more.

This course is included in the Machine Learning Specialization, which is free with a seven-day trial, then $49 a month to keep learning. 

To audit this course for free, click “Enroll for Free” and then “Audit this course.”

Introduction to Cybersecurity

11 free courses University of Washington photo by Yuichiro Chino/Getty Images

Introduction to Cybersecurity (button)

Length: 6 weeks

This introduction to cybersecurity includes an overview of the cybersecurity landscape using key terms and concepts. It provides national (US) and international perspectives on the field, the legal environment, and predominant threats. 

This course is included in the Essentials of Cybersecurity professional certificate program ($716.40).

Finding Your Cybersecurity Career Path

11 free courses University of Washington Photo by Oscar Wong/Getty Images

Finding Your Cybersecurity Career Path (button)

Length: 6 weeks

Use this course and a self-assessment to determine your skills, talent, and long-term interests when considering 32 cybersecurity career pathways.

This course is included in the Essentials of Cybersecurity professional certificate program ($716.40).

Building a Cybersecurity Toolkit

11 free courses University of Washington photo by Andrew Brookes/Getty Images

Building a Cybersecurity Toolkit (button)

Length: 6 weeks

A good cybersecurity professional needs more than technical skills — especially when choosing how to respond to inevitable breaches — and this course offers insight into the problem-solving skills you’ll need for the field. You’ll also work towards a self-evaluation of talents and interests to map your career path. 

This course is included in the Essentials of Cybersecurity professional certificate program ($716.40).

Business English: Meetings

11 free courses University of Washington photo by Nitat Termmee/Getty Images

Business English: Meetings (button)

Length: 4 weeks

This English language course teaches you the vocabulary and skills useful to scheduling and participating in meetings as well as sending emails. 

This course is included in the Business English Communication Skills Specialization, which is free with a seven-day trial, then $49 a month to keep learning. 

To audit this course for free, click “Enroll for Free” and then “Audit this course.”

Business English: Planning & Negotiating

11 free courses University of Washington photo by Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Business English: Planning & Negotiating (button)

Length: 4 weeks

This English language course prepares you to host an event and find the right venue for it — and includes language and strategies useful in a successful negotiation. You’ll learn how to evaluate and compare services, write an event announcement after selecting your venue, and more.

This course is included in the Business English Communication Skills Specialization, which is free with a seven-day trial, then $49 a month to keep learning. 

To audit this course for free, click “Enroll for Free” and then “Audit this course.”

Attending a Networking Event

11 free courses University of Washington photo by Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Attending a Networking Event (button)

Length: 8 weeks

Learn the key parts of networking, from creating and delivering an “elevator pitch,” to successfully navigating networking events. The course also covers how to dress for, make “small talk”, and end a conversation at networking events. 

Introduction to Internationalization and Localization

11 free courses University of Washington - photo by Yuichiro Chino/Getty Images

Introduction to Internationalization and Localization (button)

Length: 6 weeks

Learn how to design a digital product that’s ready for worldwide usage and how to adapt it for its international target markets. You’ll cover basic concepts, methods, types of releases, the case for internationalization and localization, and more. 

This course is included in the Internationalization and Localization professional certificate program ($537.30).

Speaking to inform: Discussing complex ideas with clear explanations and dynamic slides

11 free courses from University of Washington photo by Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Speaking to inform: Discussing complex ideas with clear explanations and dynamic slides (button)

Length: 5 weeks

Learn how to convey complex ideas in an engaging and accessible way to your audience, regardless of topic, by considering the elements: What does your audience need to hear to understand key ideas? How much do they already know? What’s most important to convey? And how do you factor in time restraints? 

As part of the class, you’ll record speeches and provide and receive peer feedback.

This course is included in the Dynamic Public Speaking Specialization, which is free with a 7-day trial, then $49 a month to keep learning. 

To audit this course for free, click “Enroll for Free” and then “Audit this course.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

I took 11 MasterClass cooking classes from celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Dominique Ansel – here’s why they’re worth a subscription

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

masterclass cooking classes dominique ansel strawberry tart
  • MasterClass is an e-learning platform that provides classes taught by celebrities and experts.
  • It offers classes from famous chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Dominique Ansel, and Gabriella Camara.
  • I took 11 MasterClass cooking courses and made everything from Beef Wellington to huevos rancheros.

If you don’t have experience making complete meals day after day, it can feel overwhelming to search for a reliable recipe, complete multiple tasks at once, or roast everything long enough without burning or overcooking your dinner.

A MasterClass subscription gives you access to over 17 cooking courses from celebrity chefs, including Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck, and Alice Waters.

What is MasterClass?

For $180 a year, or $15 each month, MasterClass gives you unlimited access to online courses from celebrities and world-renowned experts. It can be a pricey investment, but each course includes multiple lessons via episodes – sometimes as many as 36 videos – as well as a full-color PDF workbook featuring recipes and tips.

Additionally, there’s a community forum for each class where you can post questions, get extra info, and potentially interact with the instructor.

Also included in your membership is access to classes in film & TV, music & entertainment, writing, business, design, sports, and more.

For a full rundown of MasterClass, read our review here.

All-Access Pass (small)

All of the courses we recommend produced mouthwatering meals in our tests and can be followed easily in your home without special equipment or ingredients.

Here are the 11 best culinary arts and cooking classes you can take at home with MasterClass:

“Modern Italian Cooking” with Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura

“Modern Italian Cooking” with Massimo Bottura packs a lot of information and skills into this 14-lesson course that takes basic ingredients and turns them into a gourmet dish.

The class is taught by the chef patron of Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-star establishment widely considered to be one of the best restaurants in the world. Most recently, Bottura has gained additional notoriety during the pandemic with his free Kitchen Quarantine series on Instagram.

In this four-hour course, Bottura covers his modern twist on classic Italian dishes, incorporating causes that are important to him such as reducing food waste. He also invites members of Il Tortellante, a fresh pasta workshop for disadvantaged kids, to help make tortellini.

So far, I’ve made two dishes from the course. First was the Sogliola al Cartoccio, or Mediterranean-style sole. Due to grocery shortages during the pandemic, I had to substitute some ingredients, but the finished product was beautiful, delicious, and healthy. Plus, it was relatively easy to make and didn’t take long.

masterclass cooking classes massimo bottura meditteranean sole

The other dish I made is less of a dish and more of a new habit. Bottura talks about a “Broth of Everything,” a vegetarian broth he makes using vegetable scraps. I started doing this using a gallon bag stored in my freezer. Once it was full, I dehydrated it overnight in the oven at 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The next morning, I put all of the dehydrated, aromatic scraps in a stockpot along with some herbs and simmered it for six hours. The resulting broth is like liquid gold, and yes the name suggests, I use it in everything.

‘French Pastry Fundamentals’ with Dominique Ansel

dominique ansel

If you’ve ever wondered how to make the mouth-watering treats available at your favorite pastry shops, “French Pastry Fundamentals” with Dominique Ansel is a good place to start.

In his 17-lesson class that runs about three-and-a-half hours, Ansel, the inventor of the cronut and winner of several James Beard Awards, walks you through the steps of how to make mini madeleines, fruit tarts, a chocolate cake, bonbons, and croissants. He also delves into how you can use your new skills to make your own inventions. The class is supported by a 59-page, full-color workbook and an active discussion forum, where you can get help. While I was testing the class, Ansel hosted a live lesson which was really fun and informative.

I chose to tackle the four-lesson recipe for Ansel’s strawberry tart. Though you can complete the whole process in a full day of baking, I decided to do it over the course of a weekend.

masterclass cooking classes dominique ansel strawberry tart

I’d never made anything like this strawberry tart before and was a bit intimidated, but Ansel did an excellent job of putting me at ease. The only ingredient I couldn’t find was NH pectin, and I didn’t like the prices online so I used apple pectin instead, even though he says not to. The glaze didn’t come out as beautiful as it could have been, but the resulting tart was still visually-appealing and absolutely delicious. When I shared a picture of it with my local foodie group, I got several requests for the recipe.

‘Cooking I’ with Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay Cooking Class

Even if you’re just starting to find your way around the kitchen, “Cooking I” with Gordon Ramsay has a lot to offer with a balanced collection of lessons ranging from kitchen layout to making his famous Beef Wellington.

masterclass cooking classes gordon ramsay red wine poached egg mushrooms asparagus

With Ramsay’s history of laying into chefs and restauranteurs who don’t live up to his standards on his various TV shows, I expected brusque advice and harsh instructions going into Cooking I, the first of his two MasterClass courses. However, this ended up being far from the truth – Ramsay exhibits the gentleness you see on the cooking competition for children, “MasterChef Junior.”

In the 20-lesson class, Ramsay gives a little history of how he got to where he is today. He covers the basics, including kitchen layout, knife skills, making pasta, and scrambling eggs before delving into fancier dishes.

masterclass cooking classes gordon ramsay beef wellington

I decided to take a crack at the Wellington, which took me about four hours. My favorite part of the process was learning how to make crêpes. The first couple I made were horrible, but by the fourth and fifth, I felt like an old pro. The Wellington looked amazing and tasted darn good – definitely restaurant-quality. In fact, I’d previously ordered a beef Wellington at an English restaurant and it didn’t compare to the flavor and quality of my effort. I plan on making this for special occasions in the future.

‘Mexican Cooking’ with Gabriela Camara

Gabriella Camara MasterClass

I absolutely loved the flavors of the huevos rancheros recipe Gabriella Camara shares in her Mexican Cooking MasterClass. It also encouraged me to make salsa verde for the first time, which was easy and delicious.

masterclass cooking classes gabriella camara huevos rancheros

Her course is rather short compared to others – only 13 lessons and less than three-and-a-half hours of content. Also, the skills you learn don’t really translate to other cuisines.

Still, if you’re interested in learning how to make authentic Mexican dishes, including tortillas, this course is worth your time and money.

‘Cooking Techniques I: Vegetables, Pasta, and Eggs’ with Thomas Keller

Thomas Keller MasterClass

There’s a lot to like about the first of Thomas Keller’s three MasterClass courses. First of all, it provides more material than any other culinary class: 36 lessons, nearly 7 hours of video, a 119-page full-color workbook, and an active discussion forum.

masterclass cooking classes thomas keller omelette

Keller’s emphasis on “tools of refinement” can be a bit much for beginning cooks, though I now find myself regularly putting in the extra effort to make his omelet recipe.

‘Cooking Techniques II: Meats, Stocks, and Sauces’ with Thomas Keller

thomas keller

“Cooking Techniques II: Meats, Stocks, and Sauces” with Thomas Keller is designed for the hardcore carnivore, with all you need to know to make inspired dishes using beef, poultry, lamb, and other meats.

Keller is best known for The French Laundry, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Yountville, California (and arguably the best in the world). This is the second of Keller’s three MasterClass courses, and it offers an overwhelming amount of content.

He explains different cuts of beef, pork, poultry, and lamb and what they are used for as well as how to wet- and dry- age. He touches on the different ways of cooking meat, including pan-roasting, frying, oven-roasting, braising, and grilling. In the process, he offers recipes that are accessible yet refined.

masterclass cooking classes thomas keller chicken arugula salad

My favorite recipe was the Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad and Sauce Vierge. I had an easy time making it, and everyone in the family enjoyed it. I was struck by how well the chicken and Vierge complemented each other. My teenager said it was his new favorite chicken dish and my wife was impressed by the presentation, so it’s now in our regular rotation.

‘Mixology’ with Lynnette Marrero & Ryan Chetiyawardana

MasterClass

This mixology course focuses on making top-notch alcoholic beverages using readily available ingredients and equipment. There’s four and a half hours of content and a beautiful 53-page PDF giving recipes and more details about the drinks.

As a teetotaler, I was bummed that Marrero and Chetiyawardana didn’t provide many alcohol-free substitutes. Still, if you want to up your cocktail skills, this class is for you.

‘Texas-Style BBQ’ with Aaron Franklin

Aaron Franklin MasterClass

This is another course that will only appeal to a limited audience: those who have smokers and want to up their game.

From picking the right wood and maintaining the fire to choosing the right smoker design, Franklin dives into the details of what you need for a good smoke. He also shows you how to trim and season your meat.

masterclass cooking classes aaron franklin smoked pork

I don’t have a smoker, but I tried the pork butt recipe in my oven following all of the same steps and the results were outstanding nonetheless. This class would be ideal for anyone who is just getting into smoking meat.

‘Cooking’ with Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck MasterClass

In his cooking class, the celebrity chef walks you through his philosophy on cooking and business, how to train your palate, kitchen essentials, and even cocktails in addition to several inspired recipes. I liked that the skills you learn in the course can be used in a variety of contexts.

However, I relied heavily on the closed captioning due to Puck’s heavy Austrian accent. Also, I made his Béchamel sauce, an easy enough recipe, but found it lacked much depth of flavor.

‘The Art of Home Cooking’ with Alice Waters

Alice Waters Cooking Class

“The Art of Home Cooking” with Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California offers outstanding tips for making restaurant-quality dishes using ingredients and equipment most home cooks should already have.

Rather than go through countless recipes, Waters provides 17 lessons and nearly four hours of instruction on how to stock your pantry, outfit your kitchen, and get creative with the ingredients you have.

She also explores a few of her favorite home recipes, including tips on how to sub ingredients in and out. You can easily revisit the highlights in the 77-page full-color PDF workbook you receive with the class.

masterclass cooking classes alice waters oat pancaktes

I made her oat pancakes, which were easy and healthy. As recommended by Waters, I topped the creation with a strawberry and pear compote. If I say so myself, the results were worthy of a restaurant in California. I enjoyed the depth of flavor (though it did not play too well with my kindergartener).

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What to know before taking a cooking course on MasterClass

In my hours of watching and testing the cooking courses, I picked up a few tips that might enhance your experience.

1. Watch the whole lesson before attempting to make a dish.

You don’t necessarily have to watch the previous lessons (though it often helps). However, you do need a good idea of the whole process before getting started on a recipe. I found it helped to bring my laptop to the kitchen with me, and I’d reference the workbook and the video – making frequent use of the pause button – while preparing meals.

2. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time.

All of the chefs are encouraging, but several stress the importance of practice. If anyone could quickly and easily produce restaurant-quality meals, these chefs would be out of a job. They break down the steps so you can easily learn them, but it may take a few tries before you can master Beef Wellington or perfect a fruit tart.

3. Feel free to use substitutions.

Fresh ingredients are also a must. Yet, the instructors understand that substitutions often need to be made based on where you live and make recommendations accordingly.

Some chefs suggest you turn to local sources for your ingredients when possible, such as a nearby farmers’ market. Or, you might consider signing up for a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, which is a subscription-based service that provides you with weekly boxes of fresh local farm products. In addition to the environmental and economic benefits, CSAs can help you minimize your time in grocery stores.

How we evaluated the culinary arts courses

woman cooking at home

The $180 price is very expensive for online courses, even if they are taught by award-winning chefs around the world. That’s why we tested and reviewed MasterClass with a more critical eye.

I spent hours and hours in front of the screen watching and following all of the culinary arts courses offered on MasterClass. I spent even more time in the kitchen trying my hand at following the tips and skills taught in the classes.

Here are the main attributes we look for and how we evaluate them:

Generalizability: Will what you learn in the course be helpful when you make other cuisines? Will it help you create your own dishes? For instance, learning precise knife skills is helpful when prepping any meal. However, learning to debone one specific species of fish that isn’t even available in your area might not be that useful.

Accessibility: Due to the current pandemic, I had a hard time procuring various ingredients – the stores in my area can be hit or miss. A good MasterClass course or chef will teach you how to cook with easy-to-find ingredients or offer suitable substitutes. Also, you shouldn’t need specialized equipment. If a class required devices that have limited applications, such as a grain mill or a tortilla press, it lost points in our evaluation.

Meal Quality: If you’re taking the time to learn how to cook from the best chefs in the world, you’d expect the resulting meals to be restaurant-quality. Based on the assessments from my wife, two sons, and myself, I used four criteria to assess dish quality: taste, appearance, likelihood to make again, and if the dish was good enough to serve in a nice restaurant.

Enjoyability: Does the instructor make it fun to make the dishes? Does it take a long time to prep and cook the meals? I looked at both of these questions when assessing how enjoyable a course was.

Quantity: How many lessons are there? How many minutes of video are there? How much info is in the PDF workbook that comes with the course? Are the discussion forums active? These factors all played a role in determining whether a course provided enough bang for your buck.

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12 Columbia University courses you can take online for free, from machine learning to inclusive teaching

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EDX Columbia courses 4x3

As with many top colleges, you often need relatively deep pockets and stellar test scores to attend an Ivy League school like Columbia University. But, like most of the world’s top universities, Columbia also offers a handful of its courses online entirely for free.

You can audit over 30 of Columbia’s online courses at no cost on edX, a non-profit founded by Harvard and MIT to lower education barriers such as cost and location. Courses range in subjects from Civil War history and Buddhism to data analysis and public health.

You can also pay to earn a certificate in one of these courses, or sign up for multi-course programs designed for building deep knowledge or valuable skill sets – like machine learning. While Columbia’s professional programs cost between $99-$996 on edX, they provide students with certifications they can add to their resume or LinkedIn – or, in some cases, even exchange for college credit at eligible universities.

12 online Columbia University courses you can take for free:

Introduction to Corporate Finance

Free Columbia courses Corporate Finance

Length: 4 weeks

Cost: Free to audit; $225 for a verified certificate

Required for all first-year MBA students at Columbia Business School, this introductory course teaches students the key financial concepts and rules that can be used for evaluating and valuing investment opportunities.

This course is also part of a professional certificate program on Corporate Finance.

It’s recommended that students be familiar with basic accounting concepts and Microsoft Excel.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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Length: 12 weeks

Cost: Free to audit; $249 for a verified certificate

This course is for anyone who wants to learn the history and fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence (AI) — and how to apply both of them. Students gain insight into building intelligent agents and machine learning algorithms as well as solving real AI problems using Python.

It’s recommended that students have a working knowledge of Python programming and probability as well as linear algebra and calculus. 

This course is part of a MicroMaster on Artificial Intelligence. You can find an explainer on edX MicroMasters here.

*Note: This course is currently archived (with future dates TBA), but you can still access the materials for free.

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Machine Learning

Free Columbia Courses Machine Learning

Length: 12 weeks

Cost: Free to audit; $249 for a verified certificate

Students learn the essentials of machine learning and the algorithms that strengthen data analysis without human intervention. The course’s main perspectives are probabilistic versus non-probabilistic modeling and supervised versus unsupervised learning.

It’s recommended that students have a working knowledge of calculus, linear algebra, statistical concepts, and coding, as well as comfort with manipulating data. 

This course is part of a MicroMaster on Artificial Intelligence. You can find an explainer on edX MicroMasters here.

*Note: This course is currently archived (with future dates TBA), but you can still access the materials for free.

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The Civil War and Reconstruction – 1850-1861: A House Divided

Columbia edX free courses civil war

Length: 15 weeks 

Cost: Free to audit; $50 for a verified certificate

Exploring the impact that the institution of slavery had on the US’s national and southern economies and political identity, this course highlights the growing tensions that eventually led to the outbreak of the Civil War. 

This is the first part of a three-course XSeries, The Civil War and Reconstruction. (XSeries are programs designed to impart deep knowledge on a popular topic.) 

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Marketing Analytics

Free Columbia courses Marketing Analytics

Length: 12 weeks

Cost: Free to audit; $249 for a verified certificate

Students learn how to develop quantitative models that leverage business data, statistical computation, and machine learning to forecast sales and support important marketing decisions. 

It’s recommended that students have an undergraduate familiarity with probability, statistics, and calculus, as well as a familiarity with R or a similar programming language. 

This course is part of a MicroMaster on Business Analytics. You can find an explainer on edX MicroMasters here.

*Note: This course is currently archived (with future dates TBA), but you can still access the materials for free.

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Indian & Tibetan River of Buddhism

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Length: 12 weeks

Cost: Free to audit; $49.99 for a verified certificate

In this course, students learn the origins of Buddhist philosophy by exploring its history throughout India, South and Southeast Asia, Tibet, and Central Asia. Students also learn about the basic principles of Buddhism.

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Inclusive Teaching: Supporting All Students in the College Classroom

Free Columbia courses Inclusive Teaching

Length: 6 weeks

Cost: Free to audit; $49 for a verified certificate

This introductory course guides educators through the principles of inclusive teaching — from instructors’ assumptions about students to designing for accessibility — and how they can apply them in the classroom. 

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Find Your Calling: Career Transition Principles for Returning Veterans

edx columbia free courses career development veterans

Length: 6 weeks

Cost: Free to audit

Intended for military veterans who are entering the civilian workforce, this course provides guidance on how to transfer skills gained in the military to different career fields, using research and expert advice.

This is the final part of a three-course XSeries, Veteran Transition: Academic Excellence and Career Readiness. (XSeries are programs designed to impart deep knowledge on a popular topic.) 

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Fighting for Equality: 1950-2018

Columbia free courses Fighting for Equality

Length: 10 weeks 

Cost: Free to audit; $50 for a verified certificate

Students examine the fight for women’s equality between 1950-2018, beginning with how the Cold War’s reinforcement of suburban family ideals impacted women’s trajectory and ending with grassroots activism such as the Me Too movement and the 2018 midterm election. 

This is the final part of a four-course XSeries, Women Have Always Worked. (XSeries are programs designed to impart deep knowledge on a popular topic.) 

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Data, Models and Decisions in Business Analytics

Data, Models and Decisions in Business Analytics

Length: 12 weeks

Cost: Free to audit; $249 for a verified certificate

Students learn the fundamentals of using data-driven models and analysis to make practical business decisions — especially in times of uncertainty — through practical business examples.

Topics include probability; statistics; regression; stochastic modeling; and linear, nonlinear, and discrete optimization. 

Students should have an undergraduate familiarity with probability, statistics, and linear algebra — as well as a working knowledge of Python and basic programming concepts in a procedural programming language. 

This course is part of a Business Analytics MicroMasters program. You can find an explainer on edX MicroMasters here.

*Note: This course is currently archived (with future dates TBA), but you can still access the materials for free.

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Animation and CGI Motion

Columbia online courses Animation and CGI

Length: 12 weeks

Cost: Free to audit; $249 for a verified certificate

The Director of Columbia’s Computer Graphics Group teaches you the science behind movie animation through seven themes: mass-spring systems, collision handling, rigid bodies, elastica, fluids, and a final project. 

It’s recommended that students have programming knowledge in C or C++ as well as in multivariable calculus (partial derivatives) and linear algebra. 

This course is part of an Artificial Intelligence MicroMasters. You can find an explainer on edX MicroMasters here.

*Note: This course is currently archived (with future dates TBA), but you can still access the materials for free.

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Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

Columbia online courses Indigenous Peoples' Rights

Length: 10 weeks 

Cost: Free to audit; $50 for a verified certificate

Students learn about the role Indigenous Peoples have reshaped international norms and institutions through their global movement and contributed to important global debates — including human rights, development, and climate change. Particular attention is paid to the right to self-determination; cultural rights; and the right to land, territories, and resources. 

The course instructors are Andrew J. Nathan, a political science professor, and Elsa Stamatopoulou, director of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Program (ISHR) who joined Columbia after 30+ years at the United Nations. 

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17 free or affordable online courses to learn Python, taught by schools like MIT, Harvard, and the University of Michigan

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Affordable online classes to learn Python 4x3
  • Python is a popular programming language used in everything from AI to data analysis.
  • Below are 14 online courses and programs you can take to learn how to code in Python.
  • The online classes are offered by schools like MIT and Harvard and companies like Google and IBM.

It’s no secret that coding-related jobs are on the rise and that careers in data science and software development are among the ones with the highest average job satisfaction, according to Glassdoor.

For that reason, you may have heard of Python, one of the most popular programming languages in the world. Its uses range from data analysis to AI and machine learning, and its code is employed by companies like Google, Reddit, Wikipedia, Amazon, Instagram, Spotify, and more.

Luckily, there are many online resources to get started in learning about Python, from relatively short, free introductions to months-long intensive (yet comparatively affordable) certificate programs. Many are offered by prestigious universities like MIT, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan, or by top companies like Google or IBM, giving online students access to lessons and projects that can help them work towards a future career in Python development.

17 online courses and programs to learn Python:

Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)

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Length: 7 weeks (2-4 hours per week)

Cost: Free; $49 for a certificate

As the name suggests, this University of Michigan course is designed for anyone with a grasp of the simplest math skills and moderate computer experience. Students learn what a program is, how to use variables in programs, and how to create loops, so they can move on to more complex Python training.

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Learn Python 3

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Length: 30 hours

Cost: Free 

Codecademy is one of our favorite e-learning platforms to learn coding skills, and its Python 3 course takes you through 11 lessons to learn the fundamentals, including loops, strings, dictionaries, and more. You can also take paid specialized Python courses through Codecademy, like building chatbots or using Python for financial analysis.

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Start Programming With Python

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Length: 11 weeks

Cost: Free; $147 for certificate

Run by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and supported by Google, this free three-part program walks students through the very basics of Python programming, from structuring data to debugging programs.

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Learning Python

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Length: 2 hours and 27 minutes

Cost: Free with 1-month trial; $19.99 or $29.99 per month after trial ends

The introductory course to LinkedIn Learning’s Master Python for Data Science path, Learning Python offers quick, digestible video lessons to cover everything from installing Python all the way through parsing and processing HTML.

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Introduction to Python Programming (Professional Certificate)

edX Harvard Data Science person on laptop

Length: 5 months (9-10 hours per week)

Cost: $536.40; Individual courses can be audited for free

Led by Georgia Tech, this three-course edX program starts with the fundamentals of computing in Python and ends with learning about object-oriented programming, recursion, and search and sort algorithms.

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Python Basics for Data Science

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Length: 5 weeks (2-5 hours per week)

Cost: Free; $99 for a certificate

Part of IBM’s Python Data Science professional certificate program, this introductory course teaches total programming and data science beginners how to write Python scripts and perform some basic data analysis.

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AI Design and Engineering With Microsoft Azure

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Length: 17 weeks

Cost: Free with 7-day trial; $39 per month to keep learning after trial ends

Created by CloudSwyft and officially accredited by Microsoft, this certificate program teaches you the basics of machine learning and AI engineering, with a focus on using Python programming for data science and research.

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Computational Thinking Using Python (Professional Certificate)

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Length: 5 months (14-16 hours per week)

Cost: $135; Individual courses can be audited for free

One of MIT’s free online offerings, this two-course program is designed for users who have zero experience in computer science or programming to leave with the ability to start writing programs using Python and some simple algorithms.

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Using Python for Research

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Length: 12 weeks

Cost: Free; $169 for certificate 

Intended for those with some knowledge of Python 3 basics, this Harvard course shows students how to apply Python to research projects, making it a great primer for anyone pursuing a career involving statistics.

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Computer Science for Web Programming

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Length: 6 months (6-14 hours per week)

Cost: $358.20; Individual courses can be audited for free

Harvard’s two-course computer science program teaches new users how to start building their own web apps using Python as well as other coding languages like JavaScript and SQL. The program offers hands-on projects so students can start to get comfortable with computer programming relatively quickly.

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Crash Course on Python

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Length: 6 weeks (32 hours)

Cost: Free with 7-day trial; $49 per month to continue after trial ends

The first part of Google’s professional certificate in IT Automation with Python, this crash course is perfect for those who know nothing about Python going in. Students go from a broad Python overview and its importance to writing Python scripts and creating short Python objects.

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Python 3 Programming (Specialization)

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Length: 5 months (7 hours per week)

Cost: Free with 7-day trial; $49 per month to continue after trial ends

Ideal for students who’ve completed the University of Michigan’s Python for Everybody or who have some knowledge of Python, this five-course program teaches the fundamentals of Python 3, from understanding APIs to using the Python imaging library.

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Data Science Fundamentals with Python and SQL (Specialization)

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Length: 6 months (4 hours per week)

Cost: Free with 7-day trial; $39 per month to continue after trial ends

IBM’s four-course program walks students through a data science overview before diving into Python. By the end, students should have a firmer grasp of Python, SQL, open-source tools, relational databases, and statistical analysis.

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Introduction to Programming with Python and Java (Specialization)

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Length: 4 months (6 hours per week)

Cost: Free with 7-day trial; $39 per month to continue after trial ends

For those interested in the University of Pennsylvania’s online Master of Computer Information Technology (MCIT) program, this course is a good way to sample some of the learning materials before applying. It starts off with Python basics and moves through object-oriented programming and data structures in Java.

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Statistics with Python (Specialization)

Courses to be happier

Length: 3 months (4 hours per week)

Cost: Free with 7-day trial; $49 per month to continue after trial ends

If you’re looking to learn Python for statistical analysis, the University of Michigan offers this three-course program to teach you the basics of Python as well as statistical modeling techniques like linear and logistic regression; linear models; multilevel models, and Bayesian inference techniques.

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2021 Complete Python Bootcamp From Zero to Hero in Python

Udemy most popular courses person typing on laptop

Length: 22 hours

Cost: $20.99 (Note: Udemy often has big sales, so it can be worth it to check back in a few days).

This popular, up-to-date Udemy bootcamp covers Python 2 and 3, teaches you how to create GUIs in the Jupyter Notebook system, and even has you build fun games like Tic Tac Toe and Blackjack using Python.

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Machine Learning A-Z™: Hands-On Python & R In Data Science

Udemy

Length: 44 hours

Cost: $11.99 (Note: Udemy often has big sales, so it can be worth it to check back in a few days).

One of Udemy’s best-selling courses, Machine Learning A-Z covers Python skills in the context of data preprocessing, classification, deep learning, and other important aspects of machine learning for students who wish to pursue a career in this subsection of data science.

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MOOCs are ‘massive open online courses,’ made popular by platforms like edX and Coursera. Here’s how they work – and why they’re one of the best ways to learn online

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edX vs. Coursera 4x3
  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are popular forms of online education.
  • E-learning platforms like edX, Coursera, and FutureLearn offer thousands of MOOCs.
  • Below, learn what MOOCs are, how much they cost, and why they can be great resources.

If you’re interested in online learning, you’ve probably heard the term MOOC – Massive Open Online Course – before. But you might have questions about what they are, what exactly “open” means, how much they cost, or how they generally differ from other forms of e-learning, like apps or online degrees. Here’s everything you need to know:

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

What are MOOCs?

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. In order for an online course to be considered a MOOC, it needs to be:

Massive, or able to be taken by large numbers of people at once (whether it’s 100 or 100,000 students)

Open, or generally accessible to the public – meaning it’s either free, relatively affordable, or has open enrollment

Online, or taken digitally (with optional opportunities to connect with students in forums)

Course, or providing clear learning opportunities, such as learning from an instructor or earning a certificate of completion

A MOOC can be a self-paced edX course you browse completely for free, or a LinkedIn class you can take with a paid subscription.

How do MOOC courses work?

MOOCs vary in how they work. Some, like on popular platforms edX and Coursera, can simply let you enroll for free to access course materials such as video lectures, readings, and quizzes.

Others, like Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, or Udemy, typically require a paid subscription or one-time fee to be able to access unlimited courses.

And then there are MOOCs such as Open Yale Courses and MIT Open Courseware that provide free course materials but aren’t necessarily structured with assignments and are a little more fluid than edX or Coursera MOOCs.

What are the benefits of MOOCs?

MOOCs offer access to thousands of courses and educational opportunities for free or at a relatively low cost. Top schools like Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, and more offer online courses in subjects from computer science to psychology, and companies like Google, Amazon, and IBM offer professional certificate programs that cost a lot less than traditional master’s degrees.

MOOCs can also be a great way to test out if you like a subject or course before committing to a paid subscription or degree. Codecademy, for example, offers free beginner programming classes with optional paid projects, and Coursera can let you audit courses for free before pursuing a MasterTrack program.

How much do MOOCs cost?

MOOCs vary in cost, and affordability is relative. Platforms like edX, Coursera, and FutureLearn offer many of their MOOCs for free, with optional paid certificates or subscriptions for unlimited access.

Others, like Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, and MasterClass, typically charge monthly or annual fees for access to all their courses.

And platforms like Udemy or CreativeLive let you buy individual MOOCs for a one-time fee.

What are some popular MOOC platforms?

Skillshare:
Offers unlimited MOOCs under its subscription plan, in topics from career development to writing and drawing. You can read more about Skillshare here.

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I tried this free online Harvard course on how to be persuasive, and every writer should take it

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Harvard data science courses 4x3

Settling into pandemic lockdown over a year ago, I looked up online classes to help pass the time. Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking, a Harvard-led online edX course, seemed like a free, entertaining way to sharpen my writing skills.

What I didn’t expect was for it to fundamentally change how I structure arguments, communicate with people I fervently disagree with, and even consume the news.

Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking (small)

Using a combination of pre-taped live Harvard lecture videos, quizzes, hands-on annotation exercises, and short US history lessons, this course walks you through the art of rhetoric, contextualizing why well-crafted arguments can drive huge political change. On a smaller scale, these skills can help you calmly defend your point at the dinner table or advocate for a cause you believe in.

The course is completely free to audit for about a month – otherwise, it costs $169 to add a verified certificate of completion to your LinkedIn profile and get unlimited access to the class.

5 things I loved about the course:

It clearly breaks down different tools you can use to build a persuasive argument.

The course begins by providing thorough definitions and examples of rhetorical devices used in famous speeches and works of literature. You learn the main differences between logical, ethical, and emotional arguments before diving into tools that can make your arguments flow better, pick up momentum, or add emphasis on key points.

harvard edx rhetoric course

You also get quizzed on what you just learned, which helps you practice actually identifying these devices at work (on top of just getting quick, digestible examples of effective rhetoric).

harvard edx rhetoric course

It’s a great way to boost your appreciation for writing as an art form – and realize the lasting power of a well-stated point.

It helps you write a short opinion piece along the way.

The one big assignment of the course is identifying a topic you feel strongly about and channeling it into an op-ed. (This assignment is completely optional if you’re taking the free version and worth 45% of your grade if you’re doing the paid-certificate route.)

harvard edx rhetoric course

For one, it’s a great exercise in sitting down and pinpointing an issue you care about – perhaps one you didn’t even realize mattered to you that much. Mine was advocating for job applications to stop requiring cover letters, which take a long time, are often left unread, and can demoralize already burned out job seekers, all the while not necessarily being the most effective way to evaluate a great candidate.

As you continue learning, you can update your piece with new information and rhetorical devices to make it stronger.

It gives you hands-on practice in dissecting some of the most impactful political speeches in history.

harvard edx rhetoric course
A Harvard instructor’s comments on MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

One of the coolest parts of the course is getting to annotate famous orations, from former presidents like JFK and Ronald Reagan to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. You can highlight parts of the speech to write which rhetorical device you think is being used and what it accomplishes in doing. You can also see notes from your peers as well as the instructor.

harvard edx rhetoric course

Additionally, you can watch recorded classroom lectures led by James Engell, a professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard. The videos further break down the impact of various parts of the speeches as well as their broader historical contexts.

It directly reveals the dangers of emotionally charged, slippery slope arguments.

A theme the course keeps stressing is that “rhetoric has inspired people to do great things, and terrible things” – that logical fallacies, ad hominem attacks, straw man arguments, and leading questions can be used to manipulate audiences in malicious ways.

harvard edx rhetoric course

One direct example is Joseph McCarthy’s anti-Communist screed, which preyed on fear and baseless accusations. The danger being that, if one was already prone to agreeing with McCarthy and couldn’t identify the holes in his argument, they could easily be swayed to side with him – which is what happened during the Red Scare.

harvard edx rhetoric course

But, you learn that just as rhetoric can be used to do “terrible things,” it can also help reverse those dangerous effects. The course tells the story of Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican senator who made an impassioned stance in favor of free speech and freedom to one’s own political views. The move predictably earned her the nickname “Moscow Maggie” from McCarthy – but ultimately helped undo some of the damage of McCarthyism.

It normalizes good-faith disagreement.

According to the course’s introduction, it “offers a space in which to engage in civil discourse” and “encourage[s] you to be passionate about your opinions, while at the same time respecting those whose beliefs may differ from yours.”

harvard edx rhetoric course

As someone who can’t resist the pernicious siren call of my Twitter feed every morning, I feel constantly disheartened by the way I see users defend issues – whether I personally agree with them or not. I’ve seen name-calling and sweeping generalizations rapidly snowball into targeted harassment across the political spectrum – and remember times years ago when I would participate in pile-ons, too. This style of “argument” isn’t limited to social media platforms – it’s bled into and dominates everything from cable news to interpersonal relationships.

Which is why this felt like a groundbreaking course to me: It’s not suggesting that you duck out of tough conversations à la bothsidesism. Instead, it equips you with the tools to build your case – while also honestly questioning dubious or biased spots in your own thinking. Doing so helps you strengthen your own talking points, identify fallacies in others, and diplomatically draw people to your point of view. In a time of unprecedented polarization, thoughtful, well-researched arguments couldn’t be more radical.

Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking (button)

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This free UPenn course explains how COVID-19 vaccines work, and it’s led by a scientist who helped create them

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edX logo on a laptop screen with virus shapes and syringes on a blue background
  • edX just launched a free online UPenn course about COVID-19 vaccines.
  • The course explains the science behind coronaviruses and how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work.
  • It’s led by Dr. Drew Weissman, the director of vaccine research at the University of Pennsylvania.

As Americans continue to get vaccinated, it’s normal to have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, from their effectiveness to how they actually work.

Now, you can find out: Partnered with the University of Pennsylvania, edX just launched a free online course that explains the science behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. It’s taught by six UPenn faculty members across different fields including medicine and microbiology – and led by Dr. Drew Weissman, one of the pioneers of the mRNA vaccine technology.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Use of mRNA Vaccines (small)

Despite the complicated subject matter, the class aims to be accessible to everyone. “We try to teach from the beginning,” said Weissman. The course begins with a broad focus on pandemics and viruses before zooming in on coronaviruses and how they’re transmitted. It then covers the science behind how the vaccines work (including safety and side effects) and even addresses how the mRNA-LNP vaccine technology may combat other diseases or epidemics in the future.

Dr. Drew Weissman Covid 19 edx class
Dr. Drew Weissman, Director of Vaccine Research, Infectious Diseases Division and Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Even though this online course isn’t live (meaning you won’t be able to directly interact with the instructors), it’s more collaborative than meets the eye. For Weissman, much of the course material was developed based on what he gets asked all the time.

“I spend most evenings and weekends talking to lay audiences, giving them the science and discussing what their concerns are,” said Weissman, who said he even dedicated an entire class to just addressing the questions that people have approached him with. “So I hope this broadens the discussion.”

COVID-19 vaccine edx class

When asked what he hopes students will get out of this course, Weissman says the biggest thing he and his team want is for “people to talk and discuss what they see…and then look at the class, evaluate [it] with other people.” It can be a great course to send to friends and family who might have lingering questions about Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or are just curious to learn more about how they were developed.

After a pandemic marked by long periods of isolation, there’s finally a course that explains the science behind what we’ve collectively been through. And by being designed to start dialogues with the people in our lives, it fosters one of the things many of us craved the most this past year: connection.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Use of mRNA Vaccines (small)

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Most of Udemy’s online courses are on sale starting at $10 – including its bestselling Python bootcamps and drawing classes

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Udemy E learning 4x3
  • Udemy has over 130,000 online courses that range from drawing to Python and web development.
  • Courses usually include video lectures, downloadable resources, and a certificate of completion.
  • Right now, Udemy classes are on sale through May 26, starting as low as $10.

Whether you’re using your free time to pick up in-demand career skills like programming or just want to learn how to play guitar – you may want to take advantage of Udemy’s offerings.

Right now, as part of its May sale, the site has discounted its courses as low as $9.99 through May 26. You can browse them here, or find 10 of the most popular ones on sale below. Udemy also has over 590 free online classes, which you can find here.

Free Classes (medium)

Udemy courses typically include hours of video lectures, downloadable resources (like additional readings), and a certificate of completion. There aren’t any deadlines set to begin or complete classes either, so you can go at your own pace. Plus, you have lifetime access to the materials, so you can always go back to refresh your memory.

If you’re not sure if a course is right for you, you can start a free preview and watch a handful of lectures the instructor has selected before committing. And if you buy it and aren’t satisfied, every course from Udemy can be refunded within 30 days of purchase.

The 10 best deals from Udemy:

Udemy financial health

  1. Character Art School: Complete Character Drawing Course, $15.99 (originally 149.99) [You save $134]
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  3. Become a Game Designer the Complete Series Coding to Design, $15.99 (originally $139.99) [You save $124]
  4. 2021 Complete Python Bootcamp: From Zero to Hero in Python, $17.99 (originally $159.99) [You save $142]
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  6. Microsoft Excel – Excel from Beginner to Advanced, $15.99 (originally $149.99) [You save $134]
  7. The Complete Digital Marketing Course – 12 Courses in 1, $18.99 (originally $169.99) [You save $151]
  8. The Web Developer Bootcamp 2021, $18.99 (originally $169.99) [You save $151]
  9. The Complete JavaScript Course 2021: From Zero to Expert!, $18.99 (originally 169.99) [You save $151]
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Shop all Udemy classes that fit your interests or professional goals here.

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