4 Open Courseware Opportunities for Every Aspect of Online Business

Over the past decade or so online learning and online education has gained considerable steam in the academic and professional world. More and more individuals are seeking non-traditional academic routes to a college degree. As online universities and online degree programs gain in popularity and legitimacy, other avenues for online learning are opening up as well. Some of the world’s most prestigious institutions for higher learning are offering open courseware opportunities for free online. These opportunities include classes and programs on academic subjects of all kinds. Classes are free and flexible to use. This new approach to free and easily accessible learning material for anyone seeking it is an interesting and revolutionary step in the world of academia, reaching realms much beyond just the world of colligate education and degrees.

Open courseware has the potential to help business professionals of all types. Free online resources can help online entrepreneurs master important business skills and better understand fundamental aspects of marketing. Whether you’re a blogger looking to gain more revenue or an online marketer looking for revised techniques, the web is full of useful educational resources. These four open online classes touch on aspects of marketing, business, and blogging that can guide online entrepreneurs to stronger online business campaigns.

Entrepreneurial Marketing

This class, offered by tech-giant MIT, can provide a wonderful foundation for individuals looking to devise marketing plans and strategies for their online business or blog. Whether you are a business professional running a major companies’ blog or you are a “small town” blogger working to earn money online, a thorough understanding of marketing basics can be extremely useful. This course in particular dives into key marketing concepts, methods, and strategic issues relevant for start=up and early-stage entrepreneurs. The open course provides the class syllabus, calendar, lecture notes, assignments, readings, and other useful tools for online participants. While “marketing” itself may not be your main focus as a blogger or website manager, understanding some of the central ideas and themes of entrepreneurial marketing can never hurt.

Communicating in Cyberspace

This course, also offered by MIT, falls within the department of  Writing and Humanistic Studies. As the web continues to become more and more fundamental in our everyday lives and money-making efforts, communications online become more and more important. The class looks at the analysis, design, implementation, and testing of various forms of communication. Though the course is based on when it was originally taught in 2003, many of the ideas and concepts covered can be very useful today. Students think in terms of both web and other digital media interactions. Online communication is one of the most essential aspects of successful online marketing and business. The class includes the course syllabus, calendar, readings, projects and several related resources that offer guidance on topics within the class.

Designing Sociable Media

Offered by the Media Arts and Sciences department at MIT, this course can be extremely useful for entrepreneurs and business professionals online. The course is project-based, looking into design strategies for social interaction online. Social media and social interaction within the computer mediated world is one of the most central elements of online success. This course can teach individuals about online conversations, online visual elements, mobile social technologies, and much more. The course emphasizes developing visual and interactive literacy among its students, remaining extremely relevant to online marketers today.

Writing on Contemporary Issues: Culture Shock! Writing, Editing, and Publishing in Cyberspace

In the online world, Google is king. As an online marketer one of your major concerns is how highly your website ranks in search engine queries. While the parameters that determine these rankings are constantly changing, one of the major factors is content. If a blog provides strong, well-written, and useful content, it will almost always rank more highly than one that does not. That being said, whether you are a blogger, marketing, or major corporation, the quality of your writing is paramount. This MIT course can help guide students on better elements of writing, editing, and publishing in the online realm. Use this course to explore aspects of contemporary American popular culture and engage a vivid personal voice and presence in your writing. Success online is all about clicks and views—the better your content, the more followers and views you will receive.

Maria Rainier makes her living as a freelance blogger. An avid follower of the latest trends in technology and education, Maria believes that online degrees and online universities are the future of higher learning. Please share your comments with her.


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Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online colleges, online degrees etc. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

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