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List of Free Online Management Courses and Lessons

Colleges and universities across the globe offer online courses in management you can take anytime and free of charge. To find out which management courses are available, what topics they cover and which ones lead to real college credit, keep reading.

Online Management Courses for Credit

A variety of free business management courses are available online that don't require students to register or pay tuition. Some free courses have minimal registration requirements like name, email address and country of residence, making the process of learning very simple. However, most free courses offered online don't lead to college credit. Students who want to earn credit may want to check out options that charge a nominal fee in exchange for access to online lessons. These fee-based courses help students prepare to earn alternative forms of college credit.

Study.com features this type of online learning through its engaging and informative video lessons, self-assessment quizzes and practice exams. There are also written transcripts available for all of the video lessons. Both the transcripts and the video lessons can help students earn real college credit. Students who explore the Business 101: Principles of Management course will find lessons on workplace communication, work teams, leadership theory, organizational change and more, including:

  • Classical School of Management - Examine Max Weber's impersonal management theory, Gantt charts, Henri Fayol's management principles and Chester Barnard's informal organizations theory.
  • Behavioral School of Management Theory - Learn about the human relations approach, the Hawthorne Effect and the Needs theory in this chapter.
  • Motivation in the Workplace - Topics in this chapter include the Pygmalion Effect, Herzberg's theory on hygiene and motivation, equity theory of motivation and employee empowerment methods.
  • Human Resources - Find out about the hiring process, employee orientations, training programs, employee compensation and collective bargaining.
  • Production and Quality Assurance - Subjects covered in this chapter address managers' role in quality assurance, total quality management principles and ISO 9000 certification.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Actuarial Sciences
  • Business and Commerce, General
  • Business Statistics
  • Customer Service Management
  • eCommerce
  • Logistics, Distribution, and Materials Management
  • Management Science
  • Office Management
  • Operations Management
  • Public and Nonprofit Organizational Management
  • Purchases, Acquisitions, and Contracts Management
  • Transportation Management

Free Online Business Management Courses

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers MIT OpenCourseWare, which provides an opportunity for students to access up to 2,400 free online courses. Subject areas available include linear algebra, gender studies, chemistry, economics and legal studies. The following courses teach students various aspects of management through lecture notes, assignments, problem sets and more. MIT OpenCourseWare courses do not offer academic credit.

  • Management Communication for Undergraduates is a course focused on the process of communicating within a work setting. Students learn through lecture notes how to analyze an audience and strengthen writing and speaking skills. In addition to lecture notes, this free course offers written assignments and presentations. The course examines the book Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times among other recommended readings.
  • Managerial Psychology focuses on behavioral science theories that can be used in a work setting and the analysis of modern industrial society as it relates to work and organizations. Students are taught through lecture notes, assignments, recitations and quizzes. Lecture note topics include motivation, negotiation, organizational change and presentation skills. Recommended textbook readings include Managing Behavior in Organizations and Influence: Science and Practice.
  • Strategic HR Management is a graduate course students can take to learn how to create and carry out human resource management strategies. Central themes of this course include the management of human assets and implementation of management policies. Course materials consist of assignment questions, readings, case write-ups, quizzes and a final exam.

MasterClassManagement.com

MasterClassManagement.com aims to provide individuals at all levels in the business world with the unique opportunity to learn business management principles free of charge in an online environment. Students can take advantage of an online training program that offers a variety of low-cost certificates based the lessons completed within the course below. Registration is not required.

  • Master Class Management & Leadership Training is 10-lesson course consisting of numerous sections per lesson. The lessons delve into a variety of management and leadership topics, including how to become a great manager, build a strong team, meet departmental goals and manage conflict. Other topics include business communications, employee hiring, time management, and business basics such as economics and marketing. All lessons in this course include a short quiz at the end, and some lessons provide students with short stories about the main topic. Studying the course online is completely free; however, it is also available at a cost in book format at Amazon.com.

The Open University

The Open University offers OpenLearn, which makes available more than 1,000 courses, videos and other learning materials, free of charge. Students can take a variety of language courses, develop an understanding of money and business and strengthen their knowledge of science, politics, math and history. Anyone ready to learn can dive right in without registering or formally enrolling in a course; however, signing up for a free account offers perks like the ability to track one's progress and download course materials. The following management courses do not require textbooks or additional readings and can be downloaded via PDF, Microsoft Word, Kindle or other formats.

  • Discovering Management is an advanced course that introduces users to management activities for operations management, project management, finance and stakeholder management. Students will enjoy access to 15 hours' worth of learning materials. A glossary is included as well as a list of references. Upon completion, students can receive a free statement of participation.
  • The Understanding Management introductory course helps students cultivate their own method of management, manage their time and develop people skills. Additional topics covered in this course include decision making in management, problem solving and performance monitoring. Included in this course are five hours of study materials and the option to obtain a free statement of participation.
  • Understanding Operations Management is an advanced course in which users can learn about supply and demand, manufacturing production and customer satisfaction. The focal point of this course is to understand the basics of operations management in voluntary and other sectors. Completion of this course generally takes about four hours.

Modern States

Modern States Education Alliance offers a variety of programs designed to help students gain access to college-level material at no cost. Programs like Freshman Year for Free allows students to earn up to one year's worth of college credit without paying for textbooks or tuition costs. Modern States courses typically provide students with online lecture notes, quizzes, exams and textbooks, free of charge. In addition to the principles of management course discussed below, students can learn American literature, calculus, biology and more.

  • Principles of Management is an introductory-level course designed to help students develop a quality understanding of basic management principles. Lessons closely examine what it takes to lead, plan and organize in management. The self-paced course provides students with learning materials that are the equivalent of about four weeks of six hours per week of study. The course has no prerequisites and is available as a part of the Freshman Year for Free program. Students who take this course will be prepared to pass the College Board's CLEP exam.

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan offers Open Michigan, which provides numerous open educational resources (OER) for students interested in learning subject areas like math, law, public health, chemistry, statistics and global health. All of Open Michigan's OER resources are free of charge and require no registration to begin learning. Available resources include class lectures, videos, student work and more.

  • Policy and Management in the Nonprofit Sector is a graduate-level course that teaches students about issues related to the nonprofit sector, including sector tensions and helping future policymakers develop positions on policy issues. Materials provided in this course include the complete syllabus and lecture notes, both of which can be downloaded as PDFs and PowerPoint files.

University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide in Australia offers a variety of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for students interested in a variety of subjects, including Shakespeare, risk management, music technology, big data and human reproduction. All MOOCs offered by the university can be audited for free or taken at a small cost to receive a verified certificate.

  • Introduction to Project Management allows students to learn the basics of project management and take a look at initial and planning phases, project risk, communication among project teams and more. Students are granted six weeks' worth of study materials to be completed at a suggested rate of 2-3 hours per week, though the course is self-paced. Assignments provided do not have due dates.

Australian National University

Students looking for free courses can take advantage of Australian National University's MOOCs. Courses offered by the university include astrophysics, actuarial science and evidence-based technology management. Most of the MOOCs offered through this university are self-paced. A verified certificate upon completion is available for a small fee.

  • Evidence-Based Project Management is an intermediate-level, self-paced course covering management of programs and portfolios, initiation of projects, limitation of risk through contingency strategies and ways to monitor and control resources. The course offers six weeks' worth of materials at a pace of 8-10 hours per week. While no longer an active course, students can still access all archived materials, including the syllabus, lessons, topic quizzes and final exam.

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