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What is it like to be an online student? There is no better way to find out than experiencing it firsthand. Browse our free online sample lessons and test drive six of our most in-demand online courses.

Each sample includes real course content with video clips, interactive quizzes, exercises, and messages from the instructors.

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1. Creative Writing and Storytelling Essentials

There is a story inside you waiting to be told. In this introductory creative writing and storytelling course, explore new skills to craft your story and find a receptive audience. You’ll cultivate a personal writing style as you close-read work from multiple genres and share constructive feedback with fellow writers. You’ll also work directly with Sam Weller—Columbia College Chicago professor, award-winning author, and public speaker.

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2. Data Visualization Using Excel and Tableau

Learn how to transform data into compelling graphics and dashboards using Excel and Tableau. During this course, you’ll become fluent in the necessary tools to create elements of dashboard design, analyze social networks and generate basic statistics. You will also learn why analytics are essential to successful organizations and explore contemporary issues in data ethics.

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3. Foundations of American Sign Languages

In this introductory American Sign Language course, you will learn basic ASL vocabulary and build conversational skills to communicate with Deaf individuals in your personal and professional life. Explore this vital communication skill that can open doors to a career as an ASL interpreter and help you advocate for the Deaf community.

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4. Foundations of Swift Coding and iOS

Swift’s speed and efficiency have attracted a large community of coders at all experience levels. As Apple’s official language, Swift is designed to be easy to learn and use. During this introductory course, you’ll learn the basics of working with computer programs, data types, operators, conditionals, and data structures. Using Xcode, you’ll create Swift projects, including a simple algorithmic program that expresses results with basic media elements.

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5. Game Development with C# and Unity

Learn how to design and program your own video games in Game Development Using C# and Unity. This 8-week course provides a hands-on introduction to the Unity game engine and C# coding, two of the most in-demand skills in immersive media industries. Through creating a 3D first-person narrative game, you will learn how to write clean code, craft a compelling game, and prepare yourself for a future career in Unity game development. No previous programming or coding experience required.

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6. UX/UI Design Essentials

Learn how to develop customized and intuitive experiences through the process of UX/UI Design. This course will introduce you to concepts that puts your user at the center of the design process. You’ll learn how an understanding of design thinking, empathy, and user psychology empowers you to build highly-intuitive and engaging user interactions. While taking your own projects through the design, development, and prototyping processes, you’ll also develop skills that you can leverage immediately toward your current business or career goals.

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Columbia Online students get the benefits of:

  • Flexible scheduling: All courses are asynchronous in format and taught 100% online to let you study anywhere and learn at your own pace.
  • Low prices: Both for-credit and non-credit courses are kept at a competitively low rate to make online learning more accessible for students and working professionals.
  • Tangible career outcomes: Assignments and final projects are designed to give you practical takeaways that can be immediately added to your portfolio or resume.
  • A network of industry professionals: Each course is taught by experts and pioneers in their fields. From Disney content producers to Google software engineers, our instructors are bringing cutting-edge perspectives and industry insights to each course.

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