Are there any free MOOCs and free MOOC certificates?
Yes, there are, and for those looking to find them on Coursera here is a helpful article that explains how to enroll for free Coursera courses. The article states that “MOOC providers across the board have stopped offering free certificates for completing their online courses” but that is not the case. There is still at least one outlier on Coursera, and that is Modern & Contemporary Poetry offered by UPenn. The most recent information is that this course is absolutely free to everybody. There isn’t even a paying option even if you wanted to pay. Also, if you complete the requirements for that course, you will receive a certificate of completion. It comes directly from UPenn.
So it might be that MOOC platforms, such as Coursera and edX have stopped handing out free certificates, but the providers, meaning the creators, of MOOCs have not all gone that route. There was even an instructor on edX last year who sent an e-mail to participants of his course offering to send them an e-mail recognition of their completion since he knew edX would not offer a free record of their completion.
However, there are other ways to find free MOOCs where all the content is free and even be able to receive a free certificate for completing the MOOC. Sometimes courses offered on Canvas or SAP offer free completion certificates. Also, there are some universities and colleges that offer MOOCs on their own institutional systems using Moodle, or Blackboard, or another learning management system.
There are still free MOOCs and free certificates out there. You just need to look for them. There are other MOOCs besides those offered on Coursera and these other MOOCs are just as good and often better because the aim of those free MOOCs is educating, not profit-making.