University for Free: The 10 Best iTunes U Courses

There are so many courses available through iTunes U. It can be difficult to know which courses provide the most information about a topic in a way that is interesting and engaging. The guys at Marked By have provided us a list of the 10 specific courses on iTunes U that have become incredibly popular because of the topics that are covered, the oration of the professor and the quality of the information provided.

1. Environment Psychology from the University of California (UC) Irvine

This course covers a very modern topic. Environmental psychology studies the effects that noise, room design, traffic and social trends have on the actions and attitudes of people. The course covers how society, geography and architecture can change the perceptions that people have about the world and themselves. It also covers how all of these environmental factors are interdependent on each other.

2. Introduction to Computer Science from Harvard University

Computer science is one of the first courses that anyone pursuing a career in information technology (IT) or programming must take. This course provides an introduction to how computers and software operate. It covers everything from memory management to concepts of object-oriented programming (OOP). The course is popular because it is presented in a way that is accessible to everyone regardless of previous computer knowledge.

3. Financial Markets from Yale University

This course from Yale University is of interest to anyone who wants to fully understand the complexities of the financial markets that control commerce around the world. The course covers basic principles and then moves into actual financial instruments like securities and derivatives. Some time is also spent explaining the details of risk management and how this affects the decisions that are made by large financial institutions.

4. Exploring the Evolution of Language from the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) Conference

This course has several different speakers giving detailed lectures that examine how modern language developed. The speakers each examine the development of language from a different perspective. These perspectives encompass a biological and neurological view as well as a social and psychological angle. The lectures attempt to track how humans have gone from no language to the complex written and spoken communication systems that we all use today.

5. Daring To Do Mathematics by the Open University

This course is a collection of shorter lectures that are focused on explaining the basic concepts of math. The course also covers the history of math and how this sometimes confusing topic fits firmly into the world in everyday life. Most of the work that is provided is fairly simple but establishes a firm foundation for more advanced mathematical understanding.

6. The Early Middle Ages from Yale University

This is a comprehensive course that covers a variety of historical topics from the perspective of Western Europe. The course takes a broad approach and connects social, economic and geographic factors in order to show how history unfolded. Events ranging from the dark ages to the Viking invasions are all covered ending with the Renaissance.

7. Principles of Physics from La Trobe University

This course starts with the assumption that the listener does not have a background in physics. Simple and complex concepts are introduced in a clear way that builds on previous lessons. The result of completing this course is that an individual will have the ability to solve basic problems in physics dealing with momentum, kinematics and thermodynamics.

8. General Chemistry from Ohio State University

This is an amazingly comprehensive course that covers the basics of general chemistry. It takes each topic and explains it from a broad perspective. The topic is then narrowed progressive in each lesson until the specifics of a concept are fully revealed. This course is only the first half of a larger curriculum so certain more advanced aspects of chemistry are not fully covered.

9. Philosophy and Science Of Human Nature from Yale University

This course focuses on the study of human nature as seen from three different perspectives. These are happiness, morality and social structures. A study of the major philosophers is part of the course including Plato, Hobbes and more modern thinkers. The course also delves into adjacent fields of study and looks at how research in cognitive sciences and sociology are revealing more information about human nature.

10. Ancient Greece: Myth, Art, War from La Trobe University

This is a sweeping overview of ancient Greece. The course uses the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Peloponnesian War as backdrops while explaining exactly how the Greek people lived life each day. It highlights some of the more amazing accomplishments of ancient Greece while also using historical context to provide a grounded view of what the culture was really like.

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