Got time to kill? Try these 6 offbeat online courses

20th Oct 2016
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The internet might be best described as that one family member without whom our lives are incomplete. From ordering food, to shopping, to even fixing doctors’ appointments, there is little that the web cannot help us do. With a myriad of options available, the internet might be too big for people to fully cash in on the many opportunities it presents. And if you have some time on your hands and would like to do something useful, the web also offers you a plethora of online courses that not only unleash your creative forces but also add to your productivity. We bring to you six new courses that you might have never heard of. Far from the run-of-the mill kind, their content is what set these courses apart.

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Dog Emotion and Cognition – Duke University

If your four-legged canine is indeed your 4 am friend, then this course meant for you. Conducted by the department of evolutionary anthropology of Duke University, this online course aims at introducing students to the nuances of a dog’s psychology and would help you bond better with your pet dog. Launched in May 2015, students are mentored by Brian Hare and also get an opportunity to be a part of a research project on dog cognition.

The Music of the Beatles – University of Rochester

Believe it or not, the Beatles are a legitimate enough excuse to enrol in an online course. One can actually study about the Beatles and their music at this online course by the University of Rochester. From their early days as struggling artists to walking down the success of Abbey Road to the singers who inspired the band, the course’s instructor and music director, John Covach, will expose students to a wide range of knowledge about the transformation of George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon into the hallowed musicians they are today.

How Can I Change The World? – Wesleyan University

While Superman might need the sun for his super powers, you only need a six-week online course to become a world hero! This massive online course by Wesleyan University teaches students how people can come together to solve some of the world’s most telling problems — poverty, climate change and education, just to name a few — and become agents of change.

A Life Happiness and Fulfilment – Indian School of Business

Ever wondered what is the secret behind a happy life? If you do not have the answer, don’t worry because there is a course just to teach you that. Conducted by the Indian School of Business under the supervision of Professor Raj Raghunathan, the six-week course is not meant for those who don’t like their views to be challenged or are suffering from clinical depression.

The Upside of Stress – Wesleyan University

If asked for a word to describe our daily lives, then most of us would say ‘stressful’. Unlike what most people believe, there is ample scientific evidence available which indicates that stress can aid personal growth and increase resilience. This course by Stanford University teaches students how to manage stress more effectively and discover how stress can be good for us. The scientific methods and course paraphernalia will help people adopt a more optimist approach to life. So are you ready to put your ‘Stressful side up’?

Chocolate, Culture and Politics of Food Harvard Extension School

Keeping connoisseurs and food junkies in mind, the Harvard Extension School has this course to educate people about the sociological and historical elements of chocolate. Taught by Harvard professor Carla Martin, students get to understand how the growth of cacao and consumption of chocolate have affected international trade, food movement and international politics. Assignments include discussions and writings on how chocolate consumption has a bearing on social justice, empowerment and sustainable development.

These courses are just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many more such online courses that cater to different requirements. While some of these courses are available free of cost, others are paid. Moreover, aided by interactive videos, presentations and lectures, these short courses enable people to acquire a parallel training in a wide variety of subjects.

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