Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, allow people to take classes from some of the world's top universities and institutions at no charge. Because the courses are delivered over the web, they offer access to learning opportunities for anyone with an internet connection.

Why pay for a degree these days?

You've probably heard of MIT's OpenCourseWare program by now; or at least, you will have heard that some universities are offering versions of their courses online for free…