BE SMART – 9 BEST MOOC AND E-LEARNING PLATFORMS
Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are gaining in popularity and are being accepted more and more as equivalents to regular university classes. While there are many MOOC platforms available, not all of them are appropriately accredited and worth pursuing. Here is a list of the top 9 trustworthy platforms to consider.
Stanford professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller created and launched Coursera in 2012. Partnering with top universities around the world, it’s one of the most popular e-learning platforms. Coursera offers free and paid courses online including specializations and full degrees. What makes it even better is that top professors from all over the globe teach the courses.
Coursera’s course programs to allow students to learn a new skill in four to six weeks. Free courses don’t apply towards certificates, specializations or degrees. But the cost is reasonable at $29 to $99 per month. The longer Specializations are also offered with a monthly fee of $39 to $79 per month. To earn a Specialization takes four to six months and students get a certificate at the end.
If it’s an online degree that’s desired, Coursera offers programs that range from one to three years. In the end, students have a recognized online degree from an accredited university. Students can even pursue a Masters degree but it does require online admission. The programs range in price from $15,000 to $25,000. But they are affordable and highly convenient when compared to studying at a traditional college or university. Curriculums offered include accounting, analytics, computer science, data science, marketing, and much more.
Financial aid is available.
Founded the same year as Coursera, EDX excels in online courses. It’s perfect for those interested in independent learning or offering courses for their faculty or staff. Easy to use, EDX courses include weekly learning sequences made up of videos and interactive experiences to build on the video lessons. It has a great online forum where students can post questions and help each other in answering.
Funded by supportive contributions, EDX is a non-profit education project. While students can take independent courses at EDX, they do provide Verified Certificates for those who need proof of completion. The minimum fee is reasonable and financial aid is available.
EDX offers MicroMasters Certificates in Masters-level courses, Professional Certificates designed by industry experts and top universities, and XSeries Certificates crafted by world-renowned experts and top universities.
Udemy launched in 2010 in the heart of Silicon Valley in an effort to enrich lives online. With more than 10 million students enrolled in a variety of subjects from yoga to programming, Udemy is world-renowned. The industry experts teach the courses and the platform is versatile enough to allow instructors to create courses on any topic. The platform also allows for the use of a wide variety of media including audio, live streaming, PowerPoint, PDFs, videos, and more. Online discussion is also available so students and instructors can interact with one another for a richer experience.
Udemy doesn’t partner with any colleges or universities. It also doesn’t offer courses with credentials. There are no certifications or degrees offered that would be accepted at any university. That aside, it’s still a highly useful medium for learning new skills for a job. Many businesses and corporations use it for training their staff on a huge scale.
Udacity is Silicon Valley’s tech platform. There are frequent changes to the courses offered and what they cost. It’s worth the changes because the quality of the courses is good for technical fields. Many of Udacity’s courses are free so students can try it out and make sure Udacity is a good option for them. It will cost money for some content and any certification that’s pursued.
There’s only one formal degree offered and it’s a master’s in computer science. Otherwise, the certificates are “Nanodegree” and are skill-based certificates often used for hiring, promotion, and building one’s portfolio.
Based in the UK, Futurelearn is owned and operated by the Open University which is a British distance learning university. There’s much diversity here in courses offered which makes it appealing to a wide range of students. Many courses are available for free but students can upgrade many to work towards a certificate or degree.
Futurelearn offers mostly technical master’s degrees. There are a couple of undergraduate offerings available too. As with the other platforms we’ve discussed, students can pay to work towards certificates here. And they’ll mail students a printed, physical copy upon completion.
6. Khan Academy
For those with children in school to those pursuing higher education, Khan Academy is worth a look. The non-profit educational company offers interactive activities and exercises along with free video tutorials. Their mission is “changing education for the better by providing free world-class education to anyone anywhere.”
While the courses and lessons offered center around distance learning and those interested in it, they can also be easily used in physical classrooms. The course style is predominantly informal for a more relaxed experience and designed to build knowledge. Using electronic blackboard talks, the subjects are presented by instructors who are clearly interested in the subject matter.
Users on the Khan Academy website can track their progress and instructors can do the same. It’s convenient and all courses are free.
Edureka stands out because of its unique engaging and interactive teaching process. It’s possibly the most interactive platform out there. Offering courses in technical subjects like big data, business management, computer science, data science, Python, SQL, statistics, and more, it has a lot to offer. They offer Master’s programs also for those seeking a Master’s degree in Data Science, professional certificates in a variety of subjects, Micro Masters, and more. Industry experts craft project scenarios to enrich curriculums with real-world scenarios.
Skillwise offers a lot of great affordable courses in business, coding, design, investing, marketing, and much more. They’re sorted into categories like behavioral skills, communication skills, domain skills, enhancement skills, social skills, and others. Students have many opportunities to work independently and gain life and work skills as they progress. With more than 400 courses, Skillwise appeals to a wide audience including those who work in IT and software design and development.
Simplilearn is one of the top platforms for certification training. Offering a blended learning method that combines online classes, virtual instructor-led sessions, and project assignments with teaching assistants available 24/7. The majority of the courses focus on business and technology.
Students can earn professional-level certificates from Simplilearn. They can also coordinate with individuals and companies to fulfill the needs of their students. Over 40 global training organizations give Simplilearn authority as an official provider of certification training.
There is a wealth of online learning platforms available for a variety of different needs. For those who can’t find a platform to suit their individual needs, they might consider building a MOOC platform and developing it for people in similar situations.
Thanks to the internet, distance learning is a wonderful opportunity for many to learn new skills for school, work, or personal interests.
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