Margaret Eby
September 06, 2014 12:00 pm

If you’ve got a yearning for learning but your higher education days are behind you (or even if you’ve just got a hankering to expand your courseload), don’t worry: there’s a website for that. Coursera, a free online education company, has hundreds of online classes (also known as MOOCs, for Massive Online Open Courses). There are classes on everything from calculus to cryptography to equine nutrition from places like The London School of Economics and Stanford University. Here is a little survey of some of the coolest offerings we found on Coursera. Now go get schooled!

1. Songwriting from The Berklee College of Music

According to the description, this class is all about learning how to match words to music and writing melodies that fit your lyrics. Peers review the snippets that you put together to assess the quality of your song.

2. The Fiction of Relationship from Brown University

This courses examines the relationships we have with people, places and things through works of literature like Jane Eyre and Light in August.

3. Cryptography I from Stanford University

An introduction in forming and breaking codes, like spies! Or mathematicians? Or both.

4. Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life from the University of Edinburgh

Do aliens exist? This class takes a look at the history of the evolution of life on Earth and “its potential to exist elsewhere.” OOoooooOOOooooo.

5. Global Warming: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change from the University of Chicago

Ever wonder how to tackle the inevitable Thanksgiving table conversation about global warming? Well here is an actual class on the subject, complete with an examination of related options we may have to alleviate the situation.

6. Social Network Analysis at the University of Michigan

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn: Social networking is big business right now. If you’ve ever been curious about how it all works, this course offers analysis and insight from computer scientists, economists and sociologists to better understand the way we communicate in the 21st century.

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