Free Online Coaching and Leadership Classes
While there aren't very many online courses that focus specifically on coaching, individuals who are interested in this topic could find it useful to take courses in leadership and adapt them to suit their particular needs. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) OpenCourseWare program features the materials for a few free leadership courses that do not offer academic credit, but also don't require registration or tuition. Online course materials include lecture notes, PDF files, optional assignments for students to complete and readings for students who don't mind purchasing textbooks.
- Leadership and Personal Effectiveness Coaching was designed to help students learn how to communicate within a team and individually. Course topics include conflict resolution, setting goals and informational interviewing. Storytelling used for leadership and the ability to communicate one's own vision are also covered. The 12 labs for this course and the supplementary handouts for four of them are provided as .PDFs.
- Leadership Tools and Teams focuses on teaching students how to work as a team and exposing them to team models. Notes for the first two lectures of this graduate-level product development course are available as .PDFs. The interactive elements and presentations that were a large part of the original course are not part of the OpenCourseWare experience, but the lecture notes that are available cover the Distributed Leadership Model and an initial analysis of what makes a team work. The reading list for the original course references materials that need to be purchased. It's worth noting that the course was originally designed for students to work in teams.
- Practical Leadership offers users useful feedback on their leadership abilities. Notes for all six lectures of this seminar are provided as .PDF files via OpenCourseWare. Assignments are described, but none of the feedback or collaboration that was part of the original assignment is offered in the free online experience. The seminar's list of readings is provided, so it could prove useful for online students to purchase those materials. Reading topics include leadership frameworks, influencing others, decision-making and communication. There is also a self-assessment portion to the class, and users have the option of keeping a journal.