6 best websites for free online education

6 Best Websites for Free Online Education

(Last Updated On: August 31, 2018)

6 best websites for free online education

Further your education with these 6 best websites for free online education.   I did some research online and I have rounded up 6 websites that offer free or very affordable courses.  All you need is a computer, an internet connection and a couple of hours a week.

When I sold my retail business I really needed a break from the hustle and bustle of the retail world. I wanted peace and quiet and the way to achieve that was by working online from home. I have always wanted to write so starting a blog seemed like a brilliant idea. The problem was that I had absolutely no idea how to even begin. Fortunately, my brother is a serial researcher on Google and he discovered uDemy.

UDemy is an online learning platform with thousands of courses and millions of students. We selected a course that takes you through the steps of starting a blog for beginners. It covers absolutely everything you need to know and while not free it was only R100 (about $6). Within a month I had my blog up and running, with posts, images, autoresponders and all sorts of things I had never heard of.

The serial Googler (my brother) was so impressed with my blog that he suggested I do a course on Web Design through Coursera. This could be a potential business designing websites for paying customers. He clearly has a lot of faith in me! This course includes a lot of website codings like HTML, CSS and Javascript. So far it’s been a great course. Very easy to follow, with quizzes and a forum for discussions on each module.

This got me to thinking that there must be plenty of people who want to further their education or just learn something for fun.

6 best websites for free online education

1. uDemy.com

“At Udemy, we’re improving lives through learning”

uDemy has thousands of free courses from cooking courses, social media, copywriting, learning Javascript to photography. Each course has reviews and star ratings from students that have completed the course. The site is very user-friendly and each course tells you exactly what you will learn, what educational requirements you require and the course duration.

uDemy also has thousands of paid courses, which for the most part are R100 (they also seem to have a sale on!). They have a 30-day money back guarantee and best of all you get lifetime access to the course. You will also receive a Certificate when you have completed the course, for both the free courses and the paid courses.

2. Coursera.org

“We envision a world where anyone, anywhere can transform their life by accessing the world’s best learning experience.”

Coursera has partnered with universities around the world to provide online courses covering dozens of different subjects. The courses on Coursera cover everything from history, business, musical theory to psychology. Many of the courses are free for *audit.  A cost is involved if you would like to get the official certification at the end. Some of the courses, however, provide an option to apply for financial aid which would enable you to obtain the official certification.

3. Alison.com

“We believe that free education, more than anything, has the power to break through boundaries and transform lives.”

Alison was founded in Galway, Ireland, in 2007.  Having grown organically since then it has become a major force in free online education and skills training. Alison.com has more than 12 million learners in 195 countries. All Alison courses are absolutely free to complete and there are over 1000 courses available. The courses offered vary from health, science, business to IT and maths. Once you have completed your course you will receive a learner record as proof of your achievement.  An official Certificate or Diploma is available for purchase should you require something more official.  Alison offers free standard shipping worldwide.

4. edX.org

“Accelerate your future. Learn anytime, anywhere.”

edX was founded in 2012 and is a nonprofit organisation governed by various colleges and universities. edX has students that come from every country in the world. The edX courses range from computer science, languages, engineering, psychology, writing, electronics, biology, and marketing. They currently have nearly 2 000 courses available. You can *audit a course for free. If you *audit a course and pass, you will not receive a certificate, but you can participate in all activities and exams. You can print your progress page for the course if you want evidence of your achievement.  There is a Verified Certificate available should you wish to purchase a course.

5. Open2Study.com

“Open2Study provides free, specialised short courses, entirely online, across the world, in a range of subject areas”

At Open2Study the course categories range from education and training, science and technology, business, finance, health right down to arts and humanities. Open2Study has over a million students from 250 countries. The site does not say exactly how many courses they have but looking around the site there seems to be something for everyone. Each course is divided into four modules, designed to be studied over the course of a week. You will be able to take part in a multiple-choice pop quiz, or a simulator exercise, to help you test your learning. Each module ends with an assessment and if your average score is at least 60%, you’ll receive a FREE Certificate of Achievement once the course finishes.

6. Futurelearn.com

“FutureLearn’s purpose is to transform access to education”

FutureLearn is a private company which is owned by The Open University. Since FutureLearn launched its first courses in 2013, they have had over 8 million students.  A quick scout around FutureLearns’ website shows over 200 courses in a wide variety of categories. I found some of the categories quite different to the other websites. These were law, literature, nature and environment, to politics and the modern world. They also have business and management, creative arts and media, tech and coding and lots more.  Like a lot of the other platforms the courses are free to *audit but you would have to upgrade to receive a certificate. The free course includes access to articles, videos, peer review and quizzes but no access to course tests.

*(NB: Free to audit allows a student to take a class without the benefit of a grade or credit for that course.)

If you decide to take a course please comment below to let me and other potential learners know how you are enjoying it.  Happy learning!!

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