Online courses from prestigious universities are available for everyone for free. On www.coursera.org there are numbers of different courses from computer science. They seem to be quite interesting, for example at Stanford you have: „Machine Learning”, „Natural Language Processing”, „Cryptography”.
I think that this is a good opportunity to learn new things, or just refresh old knowledge. In my case some courses have already been done during studies, probably in different form, so this could give a comparison between the same courses on different universities.
Last year somebody let me know about free online courses at Stanford. I enrolled in two of them: Databases – www.db-class.org and Artificial Intelligence – /www.ai-class.com classes. From that I have fully finished only one Database Class, both courses were great but I didn’t have that much free time. I have finished Database class with 97% score, I think it’s good, but before I started I was already after 3 different DB classes at my university. I think that level of this particular class is good where I studied, so exercises, and exams were not very difficult for me.
As for DB class at Stanford, it was the first time that I took part in such interactive course. There were a lot of exercises, tests, videos with theory, also two main exams (midterm, and final exams).
At first there was a video with theory (sometimes some exercise in the middle of it), and then you had test questions or/and practical exercises (writing a SQL query etc.). You could do it all with your internet browser, and in some cases there were tutorials on e.g. how to setup a database (but it wasn’t required to do this, although could help in future).
In my opinion the course was well prepared, and you can learn quite quickly this way. I think it would be a good idea for my university professors to see how you can run a class.
Anyway I encourage everybody to try some online class this autumn.