List of Free Online Computer Hardware Courses and Classes

Learn about computer hardware with these free online courses. See the full list of free computer hardware courses and find the class that's right for you.

Online Course Requirements and Information

Those interested in learning about the technology behind computer hardware can take free courses available online through such sources as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The Open University. Lessons are delivered via lecture notes, slides and video. Familiarity with computers, programming and electronics is recommended. Free courses listed below don't lead to credit, and most have no educational prerequisites. However, a strong background in computer sciences is recommended for many of these courses. Some courses require special software and make reference to textbooks.

Free Online Computer Hardware Courses and Classes

Computation Structures at MIT

This course's introductory exploration of digital system engineering takes students from the basic beginnings to gaining a full understanding of a computer system. Problem sets allow students the opportunity to design a digital system. A full range of lecture notes, assignments and tutorials is available. A downloadable PDF file includes a students' guide to the digital world.

Computer System Engineering at MIT

A combination of lecture notes, exams, videos and assignments guide the student through the processes of engineering computer hardware and software. The student is asked to complete two system design projects. Case studies are used to illustrate in-class technological concepts. Topics of study include computer software and hardware systems, security, encryption, client-server design and virtual memory.

Theory of Parallel Hardware at MIT

This graduate-level course is aimed at individuals with knowledge of algorithms and computation structures; online instruction may be available through MIT OpenCourseWare for students who want instruction in these areas prior to taking this course. The physical design of computer systems is examined. Computer system architecture knowledge is not required, though advanced concepts, such as clocking methodologies, Boolean logic, systolic arrays and VLSI layout theory, are discussed.

Computers and Computer Systems at The Open University

Through the use of visualization, students will gain an understanding of computer components and systems in everyday life, including the storing of personal and business information. After gaining a basic definition of visualization, students study ways to interpret information depicted visually on a computer, They then move on to study various models for presenting data, such as cartograms and hyperbolic trees, before choosing one to create their own representation. At the culmination of this course, students will have broadened their understanding of the computer tools available in displaying various data.

The Incredible Shrinking Chip at The Open University

This class features a combination of lectures and videos covering how microchips work. The evolution, application and inner workings of the microchip are discussed, along with the future potential of this technology.

Computer Hardware Repair at YouTube

This video lecture offers instructions on how to repair most basic computer hardware issues. Students learn about powering off and on, cleaning CD/DVD drives and replacing parts. The course also offers tips on the benefits of repairing computers vs. replacing them. The video lasts slightly less than an hour.

Intro to Computer Hardware at YouTube

This free lecture video offers students information on the basics of computers and computer hardware. Students learn how computers are connected together as well as their many functions. Computer languages, binary numbers and bus connections are discussed.

This Week in Computer Hardware at YouTube

Individuals interested in learning about computer hardware can do so through free online classes offered by TWIT.TV, an online network offering more than 30 hours of weekly content on technology. This Week in Hardware, from the network, has over 100 lecture videos to choose from. Each video covers a different topic, although they're all related to computer hardware. Students can learn about motherboards, CPUs (central processing units), RAM (random-access memory), drives, monitors and routers.

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