Pajamas Allowed: 500 Free Online Resources For Learning From Your Couch

Business attire aside, you know the true mark of a professional is the knowledge that the individual possesses. At a business meeting, a colleague is talking up a storm on a wealth of topics you always wished you knew more about. Bet you’re currently wishing you took that class back in college so you could comment, right? No need to audit the class. Little did you know you’ve got it a computer screen away. This class is waiting for your participation; pajamas allowed. Want to engage in those business conversations, but feel you lack the knowledge to participate? It’s never too late. There is a wonderful online resource that gives you access to over 500 online courses from some of the top U.S. Universities.


We all have the ability to choose to be continual learners. There may be some college lectures you wish you could have the opportunity to sit in on. Maybe you feel you don’t have the money or the time to make it a reality. What if courses at some of the top U.S. Universities were offered to you free of charge? You’d take it, right? Instead of online television channels, exercise your brain and take advantage of these amazing resources through Open Culture. It’s not to late to attend classes and learn more.


There are a wide variety of online courses available, but searching for exactly what you’re looking to learn can be a daunting task. Open Culture has put them into an easy list format that categorizes them by subject. Want to know about art history, psychology, business, or philosophy? Look no further, it’s all conveniently on this site. Nine of my top picks for online courses are reviewed below:


Introduction to Visual Thinking, UC Berkley (YouTube video)

No more staring at art and feeling disconnected. This course explores critical thinking and will assist you in finding a connection to the art you view. It also shows various art pieces through the professor’s prepared slides. You will feel connected to this course and the professor because he explains art through relatable everyday experiences, gives the background of various artists, and is playful with the students he instructs.


Entrepreneurship & Business, Carnegie Mellon University (iTunes audio podcast)

You’ll feel a part of this course, indeed. The professor has a website that includes the handouts and presentations. You can walk away with an array of material to reinforce your learning. The professor is an active entrepreneur who has started over 10 companies and easily interprets the language of business. If you want to gain more knowledge on business fundamentals, this course is for you.


Human Happiness, UC Berkeley (iTunes audio podcast)

The Human Happiness course gives you insight on practical ways to cultivate happy emotions as well as responding to stresses of modern living. The professor discusses happiness and emotion in relation to the “good life.” You’ll enjoy these lectures because he uses humor. He is often referring to himself as a “Happyologist,” and explaining that happiness and positive emotions are vital to physical robustness and longevity. Want to live longer? Want to radiate positivity? Maybe it’s time to learn about the studies of happiness.


Capitalism: Success, Crisis and Reform, Yale University (iTunes video/audio podcast)

In each lecture a segment of the economy is featured. The professor gets input from his students and uses concrete examples. Very interesting subject that he explains in-depth. You may be a bit lost if you do not have foundational knowledge of this subject. This may be a topic that can be explored in business situations, so prepare yourself.


Romp Through Ethics for Complete Beginners, Oxford University (iTunes video)

Talking about ethical ideas like consequentialism and utilitarianism will open your mind to a whole new realm on the subject of ethical practices. The professor compares reason versus passion and identifies areas of discourse. She will also help to bridge your understanding on the idea of logic in the “Making up your mind” lecture.


Foundations of American Cyber-Culture, UC Berkeley (iTunes video/audio podcast)

This course may not have been years ago due to the nature of the subject. The course is intended to help us discover our online identities and ourselves. The mission of the instructor is that you will leave the course with the ability to be a maker of tools to help advance the culture. Power once was attached to people of influence or an institution, and now the new way of powerful influence is to “search and recommend,” through sites like Facebook where all have the ability to post their own content. Understand this power shift and how it can help you.

Truth & Subjectivity/The Culture Of The Self, UC Berkeley (Ubuweb: Sound)

The words of Michel Foucault express his nature as a rather controversial historian with very unorthodox views. Foucault was a French philosopher, social theorist, and is often associated with his work on the history of human sexuality. His writings on power, knowledge, and discourse have been an influential topic in many academic circles. These lectures will enhance your understanding of Western Philosophy.


Communication and Conflict in Families and Couples, UCLA (YouTube)

Based on data-driven analysis of intimacy and intimate relationships, this course is an interesting way to learn what scientists have discovered about the meaning of relationships scientifically. Professor is animated and keeps the lectures interesting throughout. Gain a better understanding of relationships and the studies that reveal tools for success.


Marketing 321, Texas A&M (iTunes audio)

Look at retailing, product positioning, integrated marketing, and communication in a whole new way. In this course the professor speaks about giving your consumers a consistent message and explains what you can do to maintain a good relationship with your customers. She also touches upon spending wisely in advertising.


Again, it’s never too late. Be inspired and be assured that if you take advantage of the resources out there you will begin the journey of learning and self-improvement. Show that you have the skills and knowledge of a true professional, business attire aside.


Jean Klewitz is a Resident Manager at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and a Multimedia Communications graduate student with the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is creative communicator who freely gives messages through video, music, writing, and public speaking. Jean is extremely supportive of helping women to continually grow and learn and helps to provide students and colleagues with support and leadership.

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