Editor’s Picks

5 MOOCs For a Mindful Holiday Season

By Henry Kronk
November 19, 2019

It’s hard to believe that the end of 2019 is nearly in sight. Many learners and professionals are working hard to finish the year strong. But at the same time, a period of rest and relaxation is just around the corner. What’s more, many will soon escape the gathering gloom of the North American winter to head to sunnier climes. Whether you’re looking to take some time this holiday season to improve yourself, prepare for travel, learn a skill, or treat yourself with a dump of knowledge, there are hundreds of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that are set to start in the coming weeks.

Read on for our rundown of top MOOCs to recharge your brain over the holiday season.

Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential

Many use the holiday season as a time to recharge and build up momentum to unleash in the New Year. Whether you’ve hit a rut with your job or simply want to optimize how you learn, this MOOC promises to deliver.

Topics focus on making the most of training and online learning, finding mentors and learning from them, and “the value of selective ignorance over general competence.”

This class is taught by MOOC all stars Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski over the course of four weeks. It is one of the top-rated MOOCs on Class Central. The site ranks it among their All-Time Top 100 MOOCs. Of nearly 2500 learners who have taken the time to rate and review it, 84% have given it five stars. Audit for free via Coursera or pay for a certification. It launches this week, on Monday November 18.

International Travel Preparation, Safety, & Wellness

In 1994, just 10% of Americans owned a passport. In the years, since, however, passport ownership and international travel have surged. In April, the U.S. National Travel & Tourism Office announced that 93 million Americans had traveled abroad in the past year, marking a 5% increase.

But traveling abroad for the first time can be daunting and/or dangerous. Taught by Johns Hopkins Research Associate Anna Kalbarczyk, this four-week MOOC is perfect for any first-time international traveler.

Over four weeks, the MOOC will cover “Nuts and Bolts of Travel Preparation,” “Travel Health & Prevention,” “Staying Safe,” and “Cultural Competence and Ethics.”

The course begins this week on November 18.

Two MOOCs For Mindfulness

Everyone today seems to be emphasizing the virtues of being present and mindful. But what does that actually mean? Two MOOCs are launching this week over the holiday season that can clear things up. “De-Mystifying Mindfulness” from Coursera runs for six weeks and begins on November 25.

The course description asks, “what actually is mindfulness? Is it really good for you? Can anyone learn it?” MOOC instructor and Leiden University Professor Chris Goto-Jones promises to answer these questions and more.

For learners who might have more experience with the concept of mindfulness, “Maintaining a Mindful Life” from FutureLearn begins this week on November 18. This course builds off the introductory “Mindfulness for Wellbeing Peak and Performance.” Both are run by Monash University faculty. This one, taught by Associate Professor Craig Hassed, is another Class Central All-Time Top 100 MOOC.

Career Decisions: From Insight to Impact

It’s well-known that Millennials tend to change jobs more frequently than older generations (although some of this hype is over-blown). Like any big decisions, most probably want to make career decisions with as much strategy and forethought as possible.

Over four weeks, the director of Wesleyan University’s Gordon Career Center, Sharon Belden Castonguy (EdD), invites learners to explore their motivations, mindsets, and map for their careers.

Whether you’re planning a trip for yourself, your family, or your career, one of these MOOCs just might serve you well this holiday season.

Featured Image: Andy Holmes, Unsplash.