Here’s my top 10 list of favourite free learning resources on the web that can help us learn more about ourselves and about our interactions with each other (appearing in alphabetical order):
Arts & Letters Daily This a wonderful one-stop location to capture ideas, criticisms, debates, and articles from various higher education journals, magazines, publications, blogs, and newspapers from around the world. A heads ups for you though… in my opinion this web site can be a bit overwhelming when you first visit. If you can stick it out past the initial overwhelm, there’s lots of learning waiting for you. I suggest you start investigating the site by navigating down the left side, or scan down the “Articles of Note” column for snippets on the latest additions. New material is added six days a week.
DISC personality test This is a free personality test that contains 28 groups of four statements and determines how your DISC factors of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance predict your interaction behaviour. Every year millions of people take DISC personality tests! For free, you will get a report that explains your personality profile; and for an additional fee, you can upgrade to an extended report if you choose.
Keirsey Temperament Sorter®-II Here’s another free personality test for you. This one, often called “the Keirsey” is touted as the most widely used personality instrument in the world. It asks 70 questions to determine an individual’s 4-letter personality type. It is based on Keirsey Temperament Theory™, published in the best-selling books, Please Understand Me® and Please Understand Me II, by Dr. David Keirsey. For free you will get a report that explains your personality profile; and for a fee, you can upgrade to a more detailed report if you choose.
Mental Floss This is a super fun website filled with articles, big questions, lists, and quizzes. It’s entertaining but also makes me ponder, it teaches me a thing or two, and often leaves me smiling. On my last visit to the site I learned some interesting insights about the origins of the word “um,” and from the archives I read Forbes’ “The 10 Most Annoying Things Your Coworkers Do.” I wonder how many of the office behaviour pet peeves on the archived list would appear on today’s list all these years later.
MIT OpenCourseware – Free access to a number of MIT courses from various departments including the Sloan School of Management and the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. “The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone.” There is an enormous library of courses to choose from such as “Managerial Psychology” and “Getting Things Implemented: Strategy, People, Performance, and Leadership.”
OpenCourseWare Consortium This website offers a collaboration of higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. They offer an impressive array of free courses and digital educational materials from colleges and universities around the world. Interested in learning about Alternative Dispute Resolution? Human Resources Management? or maybe something like Living Long and Well? These courses and many more are available anytime via the internet, openly licensed, accessible to anyone, and in multiple languages!
Open Culture This gem of a site receives about 2.8 million visits per month. It is a collection of free learning resources, including courses, textbooks, and educational videos for adults and children. I’d suggest you start by searching the archives for a topic you are interested in learning about or scroll down and select from a prepopulated list of categories such as “Business” and “Psychology” or maybe try “Random” if you like surprises.
TED Talks Ideas worth spreading! This site offers a collection of Technology, Entertainment, and Design talks (TED) in which knowledgeable contributors speak on a variety of fascinating educational topics. A few of my fav speakers are Dan Gilbert, Shawn Achor, and Malcom Gladwell.
unplugthetv.com Feeling like learning something new and unexpected? This site can help you do just that as it randomly selects a mind-opening educational video for you to watch. Don’t like the video that was selected for you? No problem. Just hit “I want to watch something else” and another random video will appear for you to consider. This site has hundreds of educational videos to help you learn or gain a new perspective on topics like “What If We Could Look Inside Human Brains?” and “The Science of Persuasion.”
Zen Habits – A blog full of practical material that suggests ways we can improve our life and our interactions with some simple habits. Consider taking a peak at it on your coffee break. You’ll likely go back to work with a new perspective…and maybe even bring on a “ah ha!” moment. A couple of my favourite posts are “Breathe” and “How Not to Hurry.”
Do you have any favourite self-help or learning sites to share? I’d love to hear from you!