Personal Development MOOCs: Cultivate Yourself in 2020

By Henry Kronk
January 22, 2020

Many take the New Year—not to mention the new decade—as an opportunity to turn a new leaf, launch a new healthy habit, or generally better oneself. Online learning via massive open online courses (MOOCs) mark an excellent way to go about this process. Below, we’ve compiled four highly-rated personal development MOOCs spanning a broad range of categories. Each course starts soon and is free to audit.

To compile this short list, we turned to Class Central, which allows one to search existing and upcoming MOOCs.

Upcoming Personal Development MOOCs

Learning How to Learn for Youth

The original Learning How to Learn MOOC taught by professors Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski has long been one of the most popular offerings on Coursera. The version for younger learners is also considered by Class Central to be one of the top 100 MOOCs of all time.

Free to audit, the total course time requires four-five hours over a three-week period. The personal development MOOC begins on January 24. Learners can expect to better understand the process of learning and acquire tips and tricks to boost memory, improve studying, and avoid ‘rut thinking.’

As one reviewer writes, “I am a high school teacher and have completed the adult version of this course twice. I am recommending this new course to my students. It is certainly pitched at the right level for high school students and is equally interesting for adults. Well done.”

Access the MOOC here.

Critical Thinking at University: An Introduction

Maybe you’re a high school senior about to enroll in college. Maybe you’re a current university student. Maybe you’re simply looking to improve your critical thinking skills. This MOOC offered via FutureLearn is laser-focused on the actual process of critical thinking.

Taught by University of Leeds student affairs admins Jiani Liu and Michelle Schneider, this MOOC lasts only two weeks but includes eight total hours of instruction. Like the previously-mentioned course, this MOOC is among Class Central’s All-Time Top 100.

Access the MOOC here.

Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator

Whether you’re about to meet with your boss to discuss a raise or make a big purchase, like a car or a house, you’re going to want to know the basics of negotiation before you walk in the room. This personal development MOOC, taught by Yale School of Management Professor Barry Nalebuff and offered via Coursera, promises to introduce you to that knowledge and skill set.

It begins on January 27 and lasts nine weeks. Over that time, learners will get introduced to the art of negotiation and investigate numerous case studies. The final three courses are led by other negotiation experts, each of whom brings a unique experience and outlook to the course.

Access the MOOC here.

Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence

You don’t need to be in a leadership role to benefit from this course. You also don’t need to be lacking in emotional intelligence. Professor and psychology expert Richard Boyatzis has published, coached, and taught widely. He currently serves as the Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Psychology at Case Western Reserve University.

This MOOC is both unique and wide-ranging. Besides going over the link between positive leadership and emotional intelligence, Professor Boyatzis also covers factors such as chronic stress, the virtues of positive hope and vision, and bringing about sustained change. The course involves three-four hours of instruction each week over an eight week period. It begins on January 27th.

Access the MOOC here.

Self improvement and personal development—like MOOCs—come in many forms. The above mark some of the highest-rated personal development MOOCs that are beginning soon. But there are also many more available, and many that will be starting in just a few weeks. Find out about more on Class Central.

Featured Image: Markus Spiske, Unsplash.