Enrich Life with BYU’s Free Courses

  • 8 November 2010

Flexing your mental muscles doesn’t have to be this hard.

Article Highlights

  • BYU offers free online courses through its Independent Study program.
  • Classes range from family history and world geography to gardening and public speaking.
  • Courses provide opportunities to participate and apply concepts.

Church leaders have long urged members to gain as much knowledge as they can. In keeping with this direction, the Independent Study program at Brigham Young University offers free online courses. These courses can be found in two sections of the Independent Study Web site: the Free Courses section and the OCW (Open CourseWare) section. There are no exams, grades, or time limits for completion, and courses can be accessed online at any time.

In the Free Courses section, prospective students can select from classes ranging from Astronomy: Stars and Constellations to Huguenot Research to Personal Finance. Throughout the courses, opportunities are provided for students to apply concepts and to assess their understanding of the material. For example, Finding Your Ancestors uses reviews at the end of its lessons, and Gardening 72 has application questions and activities along with quizzes. Courses in this section require an e-mail address to log in.

In the OCW section, courses are drawn from materials used in Independent Study’s university and high school course portfolios. Some course options are Earth Science, World Geography, and Public Speaking. Each course has different opportunities for student participation. World Geography includes a map-labeling activity, while Cooking in the Home begins with a pretest of students’ knowledge of basic cooking information. Some courses in this section may require outside materials (for example, Cooking in the Home uses a particular cookbook). Courses in this section do not require a login.

These courses enable Church members to access further education at no expense and at a pace that can be customized to fit any schedule. For additional courses and programs of study, see other sections of the Independent Study site.