Online learning is such a big resource nowadays. But did you know that many online courses are available for free? Here are our 3 recommendations for great online learning platforms!
FutureLearn’s purpose is to transform access to education. It was launched with 12 university partners, seeking those who “consistently rank at the top end of the…league tables”. The 12 founding partners are The Open University, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, Cardiff University, University of East Anglia, University of Exeter, King’s College London, Lancaster University, University of Leeds, University of Southampton, St Andrews University, and University of Warwick.
FutureLearn offers you a powerful new way to learn online. Every course has been designed according to principles of effective learning, through storytelling, discussion, visible learning, and using community support to celebrate progress.
Each partner university has designed a complete learning experience, presented by leading academics in their field. Rather than broadcast long classroom lectures, ideas are introduced via high-quality videos and articles. You can then discuss what you’ve learned, testing your new knowledge with interactive quizzes that offer helpful responses and the opportunity to try again if an answer is wrong. Every course tells a story, step by step, with challenges and helpful tips along the way, to test and build your understanding.
Coursera Inc. (/kərˈsɛrə/) is a U.S.-based massive open online course provider founded in 2012 by Stanford University computer science professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller. Coursera works with universities and other organizations to offer online courses, certifications, and degrees in a variety of subjects. In 2021 it was estimated that about 150 universities offered more than 4,000 courses through Coursera.
edX is an American massive open online course (MOOC) provider created by Harvard and MIT. It hosts online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide student body, including some courses at no charge. It also conducts research into learning based on how people use its platform. edX runs on the free Open edX open-source software platform. 2U is the parent company, with edX operating as its global online learning platform and primary brand for products and services.
edX courses consist of weekly learning sequences. Each learning sequence is composed of short videos interspersed with interactive learning exercises, where students can immediately practice the concepts from the videos. The courses often include tutorial videos that are similar to small on-campus discussion groups, an online textbook, and an online discussion forum where students can post and review questions and comments to each other and teaching assistants. Where applicable, online laboratories are incorporated into the course. For example, in edX’s first MOOC — circuits and electronics course — students built virtual circuits in an online lab.
edX offers certificates of successful completion and some courses are credit-eligible. Whether or not a college or university offers credit for an online course is within the sole discretion of the school. edX offers a variety of ways to take courses, including verified courses where students have the option to audit the course (no cost) or to work toward an edX Verified Certificate (fees vary by course). edX also offers XSeries Certificates for completion of a bundled set of two to seven verified courses in a single subject (cost varies depending on the courses)
(And here are our tips to make the most of your online classes!)
By: Alessia Cuofano, University of Naples L’Orientale ’22