There are any number of free introductory science courses available as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). This one, however, is the first that I’ve seen that includes a laboratory component. It looks like all that you need to participate in Introductory Physics with Laboratory from Coursera is a smartphone with a camera or a webcam to capture video. They will provide the open source software for analyses.
Writing is not only a duty for the students in humanities and social science majors, students in sciences at different levels all face the challenge of good writing. As a librarian in a science and engineering library, I often receive questions on this matter. A hands-on course with quality examples and practice may address this need.
Starting tomorrow, Sep 24th 2012, Kristin Sainani, a professor at Stanford University and also a health and science writer, will offer an online open access course on Coursera, Writing in the Sciences. As the introduction says, “this is a hands-on course that focuses on examples and practice. In the first four weeks, we will review principles of effective writing, examples of good and bad writing, and tips for making the writing process easier. In the second four weeks, we will examine issues specific to scientific writing.” Read more at Writing in the Sciences.