Naturally, December is a slower month for new online courses. But don’t worry, you won’t be disappointed. There are still some real gems that are opening up for online students this month.

I have already signed up and started taking the Science of Happiness course and the University of Maryland’s courses on entrepreneurship. I covered these entrepreneurship courses in my recent guide to getting your online entrepreneurship mba.

Here are my picks for the best new online courses and MOOCs this month:

1. The Science of Happiness

Starts December 1st. From UC Berkeley on edX (8 weeks long)

The first MOOC that dives into the fascinating principles of positive psychology. Learn science-based principles and practices for building a happy, meaningful life.

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2. Introduction to Astronomy

Starts December 1st. From Duke University on Coursera (13 weeks long)

This introductory course is an amazing opportunity to improve your understanding of the stars in the night sky, the greater Cosmos we are part of and what we do (and don’t) know about the Universe.

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3. Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies

Starts December 1st. From University of Maryland on Coursera (4 weeks long)

The most popular course on entrepreneurship with over 500,000 students so far on Coursera. This course guides you through how to identify and develop great ideas into companies that solve customer needs.

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4. Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace

Starts December 1st. From University of Maryland on Coursera (4 weeks long)

The course will help you develop insights on navigating the innovation process from idea generation to commercialization.  During the course, you build an innovation portfolio and business model canvas for your venture.

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5. How To Read A Mind

Starts December 1st. From the University of Nottingham on FutureLearn (2 weeks long)

An intriguing course on exploring fictional works of literature and cognitive poetics, which is the application of cognitive science to literary reading.

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6. The Data Scientist’s Toolbox

Starts December 1st. From John Hopkins University on Coursera (4 weeks long)

An introductory course for the Data Science specialization on Coursera. A good overview of the data, questions and tools that data scientists work with to understand and solve problems.

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7. Structured Writing for Technical Documentation

Starts December 1st. From JER Online on Canvas Network (6-7 weeks long)

Improve your technical writing skills so you can communicate in writing more clearly and concisely. This is a free self-paced course.

Technical Writing Course


8. Entrepreneurship 101: Who Is Your Customer?

Starts December 2nd. From From MIT on edX (12 weeks long)

You have an idea for a product, but do you know who will buy it? That’s a great question to answer! This course teaches you how to identify prospective customers, interview them and select the right customers for your business.

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9. Teaching Character and Creating Positive Classrooms

Stars December 11th. From Relay/GSE Graduate School of Education on Coursera (5 weeks long)

Apply positive psychology in the classroom to educate students in a more holistic way. With a strong character, anything is possible. Without it… not so much.

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10. Tinker, Make and Learn

Starts December 15th. From University of North Texas on the Canvas Network (2 weeks long)

Take an active part in the new Maker Movement. Learn how to create your own maker plan and then start making extraordinary things using DIY maker technology.

Maker Movement Course


Lot’s of interesting things to learn this month. I hope one of these online courses catches your eye and makes you want to learn something new.