Online Computer Courses for Credit
Most of the free online computer courses and tutorials listed in this article are made available to the public by the OpenCourseWare (OCW) project but they do not award academic credit. Individuals interested in learning about computer applications while earning college credits might benefit from the online courses available through Study.com.
These resources offer an affordable alternative to enrolling in a typical college course by providing registered members who pay a nominal fee with access to short, illustrated video lessons and interactive quizzes they can use to earn credit by examination. Available computer courses include:
- Business 109: Intro to Computing - Students get an introduction to computer input and output devices, types of databases and the uses of word processing and presentation software. Chapters also discuss Web scripting languages and Internet communication standards and provide a short history on the social impacts of computing.
- Business 104: Information Systems and Computer Applications - This course teaches students about data management, hardware and systems technology, network types, information technology in the business world and applications software. An introduction to programming and systems development is also included.
Free Online Non-Credited Computer Courses
The free courses listed below cover common software applications, programming, Mac OS and the Internet and can be used by online learners for self-enrichment purposes. Students who complete the courses and tutorials are not awarded academic credit.
Harvard Extension School
- Introduction to Computer Science is a free online course that teaches students the basics of computer science. Through lecture videos, students study various computer-related topics like operating systems, data structures, debugging, computer forensics, computer networking and algorithms. The 2-hour videos are offered in QuickTime and MP3 formats.
- Computer Graphics is a free online course that introduces individuals to algorithms, computer graphics and computer software. Students learn from lecture notes and assignments. While it includes exams with solutions, there are no solutions to the assignments. This course includes links to C++ and ray tracing resources.
- Computer System Architecture focuses on the software and hardware elements that go into computer systems. This lecture-based course provides assignments and exams but does not provide learners with solutions. Students have notes to help them complete the problem sets.
- Computer System Engineering is an undergraduate course that teaches students about computer hardware and software systems. They also learn about security, encryption, networking and virtual memory. The course includes video and lecture notes, projects, assignments and exams. Students are required to complete written communication exercises and two design projects.
- Introduction to Algorithms teaches students the connection between computer programming and algorithms and how they're used to solve computing problems. Exams with solutions are also included in this course.
- Introduction to Computer Science and Programming provides students with the skills to write basic computer programs. The Python programming language is used in the course. In addition to 24 video lectures, this online course includes assignments and exams.
- Introduction to C++ can be taken by students with little or no programming experience, those that have programming experience may have an easier time. Students learn through lecture notes and assignments complete with solutions.
- Introduction to Programming in Java is a free online course that introduces students to software engineering. Utilizing lecture notes and assignments, this course teaches students to develop software programs with problem-solving features. Individuals taking this course should have some programming experience.
- Mathematics for Computer Science teaches students the role of discrete mathematics in computer science and engineering. This online course focuses on three main areas: discrete structures, fundamental concepts of mathematics and discrete probability theory. While exams provide solutions, assignments do not.
- Network and Computer Security introduces students to various network and computer security-related topics like cryptography, firewalls, intrusion detection and secure operating systems. This course provides students with assignments and exams, each with solutions.
- Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs online course focuses on the principles of computation. Upon completion, students can apply programming theories to solve abstract problems. The curriculum includes lecture notes, video notes, projects and exams. An online textbook for this course is available.
Utah State University
- Computer Applications for Instruction and Training is aimed at candidates interested in learning more about the Macintosh Operating System. Apple iMovie, MS PowerPoint, Adobe GoLive and Adobe Photoshop are introduced in the course. OCW users should have these programs installed before beginning the course tutorials. The course consists of nine lessons for which video tutorials and assignments are available.
- Microsoft Office Training covers tutorials for all Office programs, including Office 2007, Office 2010 and Office 2013 versions of the software suite. The training tutorials are free and can be accessed by anyone. These tutorials are not associated with the OCW project. While students can become proficient in Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint, they can also learn about OneNote 2007, MS Outlook 2010, SharePoint 2010, Access 2010 and Publisher 2007. The 2013, 2010 and 2007 MS Office tutorials all contain MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint.