Free Online Course Info
Materials from the following courses are offered in text, audio, or video formats and may require certain software or technological components to access. Though many of these courses are similar to those taught to enrolled students, none of the classes listed here offers learners actual college credit.
Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
This class is divided into five modules that students may reference at any time. The modules can be reached through the left sidebar of the main teaching page. Each module has sub-categories that display as a labeled list when a given module is in use. Plant Biotechnology covers areas ranging from crop improvement to metabolic engineering, providing instruction on such topics as protoplast regeneration, electron microscopy, plant engineering bioreactors, molecular farming, and techniques in plant tissue culture. The course is viewable online in text format, with no materials available for download.
The National Academies Press
This book-length resource was created by the National Research Council's Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources and is for sale as a published paperback volume. It is also viewable online in chapter increments free of charge, and students may additionally register on the site (which involves providing an email address) in order to download Publicly Funded Agricultural Research and the Changing Structure of U.S. Agriculture, either as an entire document or by individual chapter. Topics covered include technological implications in agriculture, current structural trends in U.S. farming, and issues of agricultural capital and labor, among others.
These online courses at Open University are organized by linked and labeled sections and sub-sections in outline form. The course outline remains in view in a left sidebar, while the main content may be accessed and browsed on the rest of the page. How Do We Adapt Agriculture to Climate Change? discusses such topics as greenhouse gases, food security, and industrial agriculture, as well as a call for structural shifts in agriculture to account for climate change. A link is provided to a printable version that displays the full content of the course on one page. Social Issues and GM Crops addresses effects, implications, and ethical questions regarding genetically modified (GM) food and crops. Students will learn about GM food safety assessment, the experiments and findings of scientist Arpad Pusztai, and food production considerations, among other subjects. This class is also viewable in printable form.
Rather than college courses per se, these resources are written expositions that were researched, composed, or made with significant contributions by Purdue University faculty members. The articles listed here are only a few in a catalog of such resources with categories like agribusiness and farms, crops, and livestock. Agricultural Biotechnology gives an overview and definition of biotechnology, along with a discussion of its potential effects, uses, and implications in the contexts of food and agriculture. The document is viewable online but not available for download. Pesticides and the Environment addresses ways the interactions between pesticides and environmental factors influence the effect pesticides have on the ecosystems to which they are introduced. This article may be viewed online but is also not downloadable. Weed Control in No-Tillage Systems outlines strategies for establishing and maintaining weed control, incorporating issues such as weed identification, herbicide application timing, and postemergence procedures. This paper may be downloaded as a PDF file and includes a chart delineating weed types and the recommended herbicides for controlling them among different kinds of crops.
The University of Florida
These free courses are accessible online in audio format and include corresponding PowerPoint slides. Though each course may play as a single audio file, a list of the content areas is also viewable in a sidebar, so students may click on a link any time to go to a particular topic. Irrigation Components teaches students about controllers, electrical valves, backflow prevention implements, and sprinklers, among other subjects. In Soil Sampling and Testing, students receive instruction about soil nutrients, how to interpret soil test results, and fertilizer suggestions. Information on the materials and steps required to obtain a soil sample is also provided.
University of Nottingham
- Orchestrating Cell Separation in Plants: What Are the Risks and Benefits?
- Sustainability: The Geography Perspective
These University of Nottingham courses are available in various configurations of video, text, and audio formats. All files are accessible online or available for download. Orchestrating Cell Separation in Plants: What Are the Risks and Benefits? is an audio lecture that describes observations and phenomena related to plant cell separation and the implications they may have on crop development. Ethical questions about influencing the natural processes of plants are also introduced. Sustainability: The Geography Perspective encompasses discussion about the definition of sustainable agriculture, utilizing sustainable water and energy, and issues like global trade. The course comprises written lectures that include references or further reading suggestions and sometimes incorporate video or audio files.
Utah State University
These free Utah State University classes offer session notes, reading materials, and video lectures. In order to access the video format, students will need to utilize Internet Explorer version 5.0 or higher. The Irrigation and Conveyance Control Systems course offers downloadable notes from all lectures, which address topics such as open channel current metering, canal gate calibration, and culvert design. PDF files of course exams and assignments with the solutions included are available for download. Sprinkle and Trickle Irrigation also includes lecture notes that are downloadable as PDF files and cover subjects like center pivot operation and sprinkler uniformity, as well as planning considerations and types of irrigation systems. This class, too, offers assignments and tests with answers provided. Surface Irrigation Design comprises video lectures that cover such subjects as soil infiltration, tailwater reuse systems, and land leveling. A separate reading file available in PDF form covers topics like water management, different irrigation configurations, and a glossary. This class also offers a software download that allows students to design and simulate an irrigation system.