More Unique Online Courses Being Offered in a Variety of Fields

Posted April 13, 2011 03:55 PM

Unique Online Courses and Degree Programs
Unique Online Courses and Degree Programs
Artists, musicians, carpenters and professionals in a wide variety of other fields may be surprised to learn that a growing number of institutions are offering online learning opportunities in their industries. As web-based learning becomes more popular, educators are aiming to provide students with an array of nontraditional course offerings.

For example, Edward Weiss, a pianist and composer, recently launched a website on which users can access New Age piano lessons, according to a press release. The genre of music, which was most popular during the mid-1980s, is making a comeback, notes Weiss.

"I was looking for an approach that would allow anyone to simply sit down at the piano and play what they feel," said Weiss. "The New Age style offers is unique in that you don't need to spend years and years learning theory. Just a few chords and students are off exploring on their own."

The site, which currently has more than 1,000 subscribers, offers 100 lessons. The online courses come with a complimentary workbook, called Free to be Creative at the Piano. David Lanz, a Grammy-nominated pianist and well-known figure in the New Age music community, has endorsed these programs.

Other unusual online courses include the one offered by Globus Cork. According to a press release, the cork flooring manufacturer is offering a green continuing education credit (CEU), which can be used toward certification in a variety of industries. The class, which is free of charge, was created to benefit architects, specifiers, green builders and designers.

Those who complete this course can help companies achieve LEED points and meet state and city green requirements.

Schools such as Bethel College are increasing their arts-related online courses, according to a press release. The institution recently announced that it will offer music appreciation, art appreciation and world literature via the Internet.

Bethel - which is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas - will offer these courses as part of its Common Ground curriculum distribution requirements. Within this curricula, the school also offers online classes in U.S. History, Intermediate Algebra and Macroeconomics.

The three-credit courses are currently being offered at a reduced rate of $200 per credit hour.

According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, nearly 30% of all college and university students now take at least one course online.

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