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Looking for out-of-the-box ideas for things to do while stuck at home? Here’s one suggestion: Try out some MOOCs that are offering free certificates of completion if you sign up ASAP. Coursera has a large list of courses that are being offered with this promotion. Here’s the blog post that leads to all the courses. Make sure you use this link or the ones below. You’ll see the promo banner in yellow at the top of each individual course page, once you click on the ones you want to learn more about. Without the promo banner, you can’t get access to the free certificate option. In the following blog post, I offer my brief thoughts on some of the courses I’m currently taking.
Weeks: 4 (Completed in 3)
A quick and simple course that helps get your creative juices flowing. You do have to submit pictures of you doing a creative activity, but I was able to do that without my face being seen on screen.
Recommended? Only if you really want to be able to say you have a certificate for this course.
Weeks: 7 (Completed in 5)
This one will take more time to complete, as you have to apply what you’re learning in the homework activities. It offers a lot of interesting ideas for brainstorming that I’ve really been appreciating. I can see myself applying some of these strategies to my teaching.
Recommended? Yes, even if you don’t complete the assignments and get the certificate, the information included can be helpful in various areas of life.
Weeks: 7 (Completed in 5)
A very simple course that just involves listening to video lectures and passing quizzes. I’ve been familiar with a lot of the research examples, but have learned some new information, as well. The action plan in the end is easy to create, but a great activity nonetheless.
Recommended? Eh, it depends on how interested you are in learning about research related to success. Might as well try it out.
Weeks: 5 (Completed in 5)
My favorite course, by far. Involves the creation of an eportfolio (I created a free WordPress site). There are so many tools included in the wiki for this course that I can see being useful in my teaching. I already have plans for creating a video series where I share tutorials on how to use some of these tools.
Weeks: 4 (3 Weeks Completed So Far)
Includes a major final project that will take some time, but includes a lot of good information and advice related to working in groups. A good course to take for those in the corporate world, but I can also see myself applying some of these ideas in academic settings, as well.
Recommended? Yes, I think this course has enough information worth learning. Plus, the practical application of the information takes some time, but not tons of time. Keep in mind the final project is a major one. I haven’t completed the course yet because I haven’t done that project. It can be turned in late, though.
Weeks: 4 (Completed in 2)
This is a very simple course of video lectures and quizzes. Takes little time to get through and provides some interesting information and tips. I loved that the last module was about creating a MOOC.
Recommended? It’s easy to get the certificate, but I wouldn’t say it’s a must-watch.
Weeks: 5 (Completed in 3)
A very simple course on creating a personal brand online. Little work involved, but if you’re completely lost about how to start with creating your personal brand, you might as well take this quick course.
Recommended? A bit too simple for my taste. But, easy to get a certificate.
Weeks: 4 (Completed in 4)
I just have the final major project left to complete, which shouldn’t take too much time. [Update: Completed!] This course offers A LOT of great advice and tips for communicating not just online, but in person, as well. Whatever job you have or field you’re in, I suggest taking this course.
Weeks: 6 (4 Weeks Completed So Far)
This course has a really interesting assessment tool that will make a great activity to complete for those on the job market. Using the tool is required for completing the course, so it will take some time to do that activity. Still, it’s a complex Excel spreadsheet that creates documents for you that you can use when on the job market or researching what skills you need to learn to become a better job candidate.
Recommended? Worth taking just to get access to the assessment tool. Truthfully, I probably won’t finish this course, but I’ll use the assessment tool in the future.
Weeks: 7 (Completed in 5)
It’s a simple course to get through that offers some good tips. No major homework assignments to complete. Just some videos, readings, and quizzes. Good basic tips on LinkedIn, asking for help, networking, etc.
Recommended? Eh, I didn’t learn anything that pushes me to the “would recommend” side, but it would be good for someone who’s just starting to think about career development.
There are dozens of other options to choose from, if these topics don’t interest you. Definitely check out the other options available when you click through all the links above. Keep in mind that you have a limited time to “buy” the course and complete it before the promotion ends. And if you’re looking to keep all your course notes organized in one easy to navigate PDF, I recommend using a digital journal. I’ve been taking tons of screenshots and adding them to the section of my notebook dedicated to each particular course.