Two big questions we get are, "When does the course start?" and "How long will the course take?"
Our courses are self-paced, so you can start at any time and take as long as you need. There are no set start or end dates and no deadlines.
Course length is a more complicated question. The simple answer is that most of our courses are designed to last about a semester (12 weeks) with the devotion of a few hours per week. We provide a general estimate of the number of hours in the course introduction or syllabus and often in unit introductions.
However, no two students are the same in terms of prior knowledge, study habits, goals, or interests. Some people may be able to race through a course and get exactly what they need from it; others may take a more leisurely pace, reading closely and taking extensive notes; still others may meander through the course, taking it out of order, skipping parts, bringing in outside materials, and eventually ending up with the final exam.
If you have a very specific need to complete the course and earn a certificate (or, the case of a few of our courses, earn a credit recommendation), you may wish to allocate yourself several weeks and a few hours per week to learn and understand the material. Pay close attention to the learning outcomes in the course syllabus and unit introductions -- it is these concepts that will be specifically tested in the final exam.
If you have a less pressing need to complete the course or simply wish to learn, the meandering method may be best for you -- engage closely with materials that appeal to and stray sometimes from the path we have set out to follow up on your curiosities. Use our course as a blueprint and guide for your learning rather than a strict set of instructions.
Overall, it is a good idea to think about your learning styles and to budget your time and choose your activities accordingly. One person might be able to zip through a course that has a lot of reading while another person may linger over texts or want to take lots of notes. "Know thyself" and set a schedule that works for you, whether or not that schedule matches our educated guess on how long a course "should" take.