For the past couple of years, Skynet University has made its introductory-level undergraduate observing course Astronomy with Skynet: Our Place In Space! available to anyone who wants to try their hand at using its global network of robotic telescopes, through its Skynet University program.
Skynet recently opened its two non-observing courses, Astronomy 101: The Solar System and Astronomy 102: Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology, to everyone as well.
These are the same courses that about 1000 undergraduates at the University of North Carolina take each year. The only expense is a $35 account on WebAssign, for automated assessment, and a textbook, which can be purchased used on Amazon for even less. Completion of the courses earns you a certificate from the Skynet University program. Anyone can enroll here.
Skynet is a global network of fully automated telescopes serving professional astronomers, students of all ages – graduate through elementary school – and the public via the Internet. Headquartered at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and funded primarily by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and private donations, Skynet’s telescopes span four continents. They have captured over 16 million images for tens of thousands of users.
For the most part, access to Skynet is limited to the institutions that have contributed the telescopes (each $100K or more). However, Skynet is also open to anyone who takes its tuition-free, self-paced Astronomy with Skynet courses through Skynet University.
Skynet University offers the same introductory astronomy courses that were developed for its students at UNC to everyone everywhere. These courses are taken by both science and non-science students, and are now offered at other institutions as well.