I recently caught wind of Openlearn, at Open University, which is a UK university that is dedicated to distance learning. Apparently started in 1969, and hosting part-time students who will received real degrees, the OU’s teaching quality was listed as the fifth best in the UK. “Now anyone can access free online learning,” and “the insidious link between exclusivity and excellence” has been broken, they say.
I don’t know whether this is an accredited learning resource, thus it should not substitute actual higher ed, but it does look to be an excellent resource. It has the beginnings of a good biology department, with a small handful of comprehensive classroom-like units. Most of them take 8-12 hours to complete a tutorial, which is a heck of a lot better than most short articles available on the web.
For the molecular and cellular biology scene, the lesson on Meiosis and mitosis appears pretty thorough. It covers chromosome segregation, recombination, and subsequent patterns of inheritance; concepts that are all important for any understanding of reproduction. And it offers open-learners a chance to discuss and rate topics in forums afterwards, to facilitate improvement on both the courses’ and students’ sides.
It does seem a bit weak on the references still, as students should be able to look up the pioneering studies that first showed how meiosis and mitosis work. Perhaps fixing that glitch with a tutorial on how to comb through the scientific literature would be valuable for advanced students.