East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Karavansara University

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Here is a good proposition for the coming year: expand Karavansara’s offer of topics and ideas, while remaining within the scope and theme of this blog. Keep talking about adventures, and history, and books, about fantasy and genre fiction, about the East and the pulps, but adding a little something you guys might like.

And you all know how much I love online courses and MOOCs, and how wonderful I think it is the opportunity of learning from home, and for free, about any topic.

So here is what I am planning to do – I’ll do a post, once per month, presenting a curated selection of online courses you might find interesting. Courses about history and literature, maybe writing, possibly languages. Archaelogy and art, and the topics you expect to find covered here on Karavansara. 
No more than four or five courses, all of them free.
No strings attached – just a way to promote learning and, most importantly, curiosity.
I will call it…


(because we have to stay humble)

I hope to have the first selection up between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, with courses for the early months of 2019.

In the meantime, because we need to start somewhere, here’s a list of the platforms I am more familiar with.
I hope you’ll find this new project interesting.
And if you have suggestions or ideas, please use the comments.

Iversity – mostly based on German universities, offers a limited but intriguing choice of courses, usually with a very innovative approach. Most courses ocme with a certificate of accomplishment of some kind.

FutureLearn – mostly courses from British universities, with a wide choice of topics and many courses aimed at specialists and professionals. Certificates of accomplishments can be free, certification is paid.

Coursera – one of the more popular platforms, with courses from international universities (a lot form the USA and from the East). A lot of excellent language courses. A double option is offered: a free certificate of participation or a paid diploma.

Open2Study, the foremost Australian MOOC platform.

Khan Academy, offers basic courses in sciences and other subjects, using a gamified model (the more you learn, the morepoints you get) and a strong social medium style.

Udacity – aimed at professionals and offering “nanodegrees” especially in the IT, programming and maths areas.

Udemy – offers self-paced courses on a variety of topics, from languages to arts to science and programming. Use the search filter to locate free courses. All courses are certified.

Udemy – offers self-paced courses on a variety of topics, from languages to arts to science and programming. Use the search filter to locate free courses. All courses are certified.

OpenLearn – the online platform of the British Open University, offers a number of courses on a variety of topics. Course material can also be found as a free ebook on Amazon.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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