For the past year and a half, I have been been doing "senior college" as I take course through our local Olli program at DU. For the most part I have really enjoyed these courses and found them to be challenging and fun, especially the Great Decisions courses. This fall though, I am probably not going to be able to take a course through Olli, so I am asking my fellow bloggers and readers their thoughts.
I tend to not be a person who likes to over schedule-I keep my mornings for at home time, exercise class, and nesting. In the afternoon and occasional evenings is when I have meetings and volunteer and do other things. Even so this fall has led to a situation where I will probably not be able to take any in person classes, at least through Olli. This is mainly because the classes that interest me conflict with knitting and volunteering this year and the classes on my free days are really not inspiring me, if you will. While Olli is very, very reasonable ($130 a semester for as many classes and seminars as you choose), I don't want to spend on classes that are not truly holding my interest.
In order to keep myself challenged, I do want to take a course-at least one. The question of course, is where and how. I could take a "real" college course-but these can be expensive and I get plenty of socialization, so maybe I should look at taking courses at home? I can take them whenever I want, spend as much time a s I want in a single day on a topic, and not have to leave the house.
So far I have looked at MIT open courseware, Open Culture, and Coursera. All of these options are free, and there are more courses to choose from than I can say. I am sure these are not the only free options.
I've also looked at the Great Courses-which are not free. If you have not checked them out, Great Courses has literally thousands of courses to choose from. Classes range from fifteen lectures (most are thirty minutes) to as many as 48 (History of European Art). A class on the world's greatest paintings has 24 lectures. In the same way, price varies from as low as $60 a course (the Greatest Paintings above, on sale), to $400, depending. In other words, not free.
Free is not always necessary though, and there seems to be some very good classes in this mix, although I have not tried them out yet. More importantly, there is now a subscription service, Great Courses Plus. For a monthly fee (which seems to be $14.99), you can access as many courses as you would like in their library.
Now admittedly the subscription service does not have as many course options as the full Great Course program. It also does not have the DVD option vs streaming that I can see that the regular Great Course website does. But there are A LOT of choices, and more being added regularly. More importantly, it will let me to check out the quality of the programs for a low monthly amount, and allow me to consider if the high fee courses would be worth the money . Actually, it looks like they have a free trial right now. I believe I will begin with How To Draw, and move on to perhaps Genealogy!!
Meanwhile, fellow bloggers, readers and passers by............what was your favorite non-required course, in retirement or anytime. Would you rather take and in person class, an online class, both, or does it matter??