Online learning, elearning, distance education or whatever combination of words you choose, is becoming more popular among students and learners world wide. When a group of online learners where asked what they liked about taking courses only, the predominant response was that it allow for freedom to learn at your own pace. All you need is a computer; laptop, iPad, iPhone- internet connection, commitment and a self-made schedule.
Universities around the world are already incorporating online learning courses at different levels; from diploma and certificate courses to bachelors, Masters and up to Doctoral degrees. However most of these universities offering online learning courses are not easily affordable for most people in Africa and developing country.
Interestingly, there are for-profit and not-for-profit online learning Universities and Academies offering free and/or affordable online learning courses that are worth considering. These online Universities and academies have different learning interface. Some offer text-based content, while some offer a mix of text, audio and video course contents. With some, once you register, you can get on with any of the already created courses while others operate on enrollment bases where you register and wait for the an interactive course. Each course programme has a community of learners where you can meet and discuss with other learners with similar interest.
Below are 6 Awesome online learning universities and academies offering free and low cost learning.
ALISON (Advance Learning Interactive System Online) offers Free Online Courses, Workplace Skills, Interactive Education and Multimedia learning. With ALISON you can self-certify, at Certificate or Diploma level, on a wide range of courses across ten subject areas. ALISON Certificate-level courses take on average 1 to 2 hours to complete while the Diploma courses take approximately 10 to 11hours. Through your study you will be assessed and, should you achieve a pass rate on your assessments, you will become an ALISON graduate and be entitled to purchase a certificate or Diploma Parchment (as low as $20).
Udemy’s goal is to disrupt and democratize the world of education by enabling anyone to teach and learn online. Just as blogging democratized the publishing industry (enabling anyone to instantly become a journalist), Udemy seeks to dramatically change education by empowering millions of experts around the world to teach & share what they know.
Udemy online learning courses are built on an incredible platform that makes it easy for anyone to build an online course. Instructors can use video, PowerPoint, PDFs, audio, zip files and live classes to quickly build a course and share their expertise. Students can take courses across a great breadth of categories, including: business & entrepreneurship, academics, the arts, health & fitness, language, music, technology, games, and more.
Most courses on Udemy are free, but some high quality courses are paid. Paid courses typically range in price from $5 – $250.
Coursera offer high quality courses from the top universities, for free to everyone to improve your resume, advance your career, expand your knowledge, and gain confidence by successfully completing one of the challenging university courses. This online learning platform currently host courses from Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and University of Pennsylvania. With a Coursera account you can enroll in multiple courses and keep track of them all in one place.
At Khan Academy, you learn almost anything for free. With over 3,100 videos on everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and hundreds of skills to practice, the online academy is on the mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.
The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere. All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.
Udacity believe university-level education can be both high quality and low cost. Using the economics of the Internet, it has connected some of the greatest teachers to hundreds of thousands of students all over the world.
Udacity was founded by three roboticists who believed much of the educational value of their university classes could be offered online for very low cost. A few weeks later, over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled in the first class, “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.” The class was twice profiled by the New York Times and also by other news media. Now the organization is a growing team of educators and engineers, on a mission to change the future of education, offering all courses for free.
EdX is a transformational new partnership in online education between The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University to offer online learning to millions of people around the world.
MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a permanent free web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content and is open and available to anyone around the world. The over 2100OCW course materials reflect almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT. Whether you want to improve on your present skill, refresh your memory, decide on the right field for you to go into or want to learn at your own space for your own benefit, MIT OpenCourseWare provides the opportunity.
University of the People (UoPeople) is proclaimed the world’s first tuition-free online university dedicated to the global advancement and democratization of higher education. The University embraces the worldwide presence of the Internet and dropping technology costs to bring tuition-free undergraduate degree programs to qualified high school graduates around the world. UoPeople offers Associates and Bachelors degree programs in Business Administration and Computer Science.
University of the People is a tuition-free, non-profit institution. The University does not charge students to take classes.However, In order to remain sustainable, the online University charge small processing fees for application and examination processing.