E-learning is also referred to as online learning or online education. There are so many e-learning courses online that you’ll feel like a lost ship captain on the sea when trying to choose the right course for yourself.
Whether you are looking for an academic course or non-academic course, in this article I will help you find the perfect course.
But before I start with finding your perfect course, I’m going to give you a little overview of the pros and cons of online courses.
Benefits of online learning
Online courses have a lot more advantages than traditional offline courses. There are uncountable benefits of online courses compared to traditional courses.
Here are some key benefits of online courses-
1. Online courses cost less and save time
There are almost unlimited free learning resources on the internet. What this means is that no matter whatever you want to learn, there are more than enough online resources for you to access.
You can even find expensive books for free on websites like the Internet Archive. You can find free Massive Open Online Courses in websites like edx.org, coursera.org and khanacademy.org
Online resources save you an enormous amount of time because you can access everything while sitting at your home, having a cup of coffee.
But sometimes you might have to pay for professional courses or certifications. Even this kind of cost is way less than traditional offline learning costs.
2. Online learning is more effective
Online courses are proven to be more effective than traditional courses. It’s because the learning environment can be whatever the student or learner feels comfortable with.
The students have plenty of different materials to choose from and they can only choose whatever they are interested in. This is why students learn more effectively with online courses, they have the freedom and flexibility to choose what they learn and how they learn.
Disadvantages of online learning
The disadvantages of online learning are pretty clear to everyone. The good thing is that these disadvantages are not permanent or constant in all cases. Many online platforms are working on overcoming the disadvantages of the use of technology.
The disadvantages of online learning are-
1. No development in communicational skills
We all know how important communicational skills are in the current competitive world. The more people you can connect with, the better your chances are to survive in the competition. Besides, communicational skills are the key to succeeding in any kind of teamwork.
Traditional courses help students build up their communicational skills by connecting and discussing various topics. Because it’s easy to do that in a classroom full of students.
But when you’re sitting at your home, taking lessons from an online course, there is no direct way to communicate with other students. You’ll feel very isolated and have to do all the work by yourself. That’s why online learning can’t help develop the communicational skills of the students.
2. It’s hard to prevent cheating
The teacher can’t prevent the student from cheating in their assessment when he’s teaching an online course. But this problem has a very easy solution.
And many of the online learning platforms have already implemented the solution. The solution is to avoid giving the students assessments that can be plagiarized or copied.
They have created an environment where students can check their knowledge by themselves and the test marks don’t even matter to them.
How to choose the right e-learning course?
Now I am going to help you choose the right course for yourself. I will give a small description of the websites where you can find courses and learning resources. The websites are divided into two sections- 1. Websites for academic online courses 2. for non-academic or professional online courses.
Websites for academic e-learning course
If you are looking for academic courses to learn, I must say that you are very lucky. You are lucky because there’s plenty of free courses that aimed at academic students in these websites I am listing:
1. Khan Academy
Khan academy is one of my most favorite online learning platforms. I also love the organization for their vision which is to provide free education to everyone.
If you are a high school student or a university student looking for basic courses, you will most definitely find your desired course at khanacademy.org. You can access all the material of this website with a free account.
A little downside of this website is that they don’t have an effective peer-to-peer communication feedback system.
EdX is a free online learning platform that was founded in 2012 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. This website offers slightly advanced courses that are aimed at mainly university students.
All of the courses offered in this website are MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). This means there is an effective peer-to-peer feedback system through which you will be able to collaborate with other students and learners from all around the world.
If you are a university student or want to learn about a subject that is most likely to be taught in a university, edx.org is a good website for you to check out.
All you need to do is go to the search bar of the website and type in your desired topic.
Coursera is a similar website to edX in terms of the courses (MOOCs) it offers. Initially, Coursera also started with a lot of freely accessible courses from top universities of the world.
But now, you’ll have to acquire a Coursera Plus Membership for accessing some of the top courses on the website.
If you are looking for academic help in any field of study like science, humanities, or business, you will find courses in coursera.org.
Again, you can start by searching for the topic you want to learn and see what kind of courses are available here for you.
4. MIT OpenCourseWare
If you need help with any kind of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subject, then I recommend you to go and check out MIT OpenCourseWare.
This website has hundreds of MIT courses taught in MIT classrooms by the greatest teachers of our time. MIT OpenCourseWare is the most popular online learning platform for STEM students.
Unfortunately, there is no way for you to communicate with other learners or teachers through this website. But many of the courses of MIT OpenCourseWare are also offered on edx.org.
So, if you find a course that you like, be sure to check out if there is an edX version of the course or not.
5. Open Yale Courses
Open Yale Courses is similar to MIT OpenCourseWare. But the difference is the courses on this website are from Yale, instead of MIT. I am listing this website as another choice if you are looking for university tier courses.
Because you’ll find non-STEM courses alongside STEM ones on this website. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to take lessons from an Ivy League professor?
Websites for career-based e-learning course
While most of academic education in the world is still based on traditional learning environments, online learning environments are being mostly used for career-based online courses.
That is the reason why we see these career-based online learning platforms gaining so much traffic and learners from all around the world.
Here I have listed 5 of the best career-based online learning platforms in the world.
Udemy is the biggest and most popular website for professional online learning. It was founded in 2010 aiming for professional learners and students.
As of January 2020, Udemy has more than 50 million students worldwide and 57000 instructors teaching various courses in more than 60 languages.
You have to pay for most of the courses, but Udemy offers various types of discounts on courses.
If you are looking to improve your existing skills, or learn new and exciting skills that will help your career in the long run, Udemy is the first place you should go to.
Lynda.com was founded by Lynda Weinman and her husband in 1995. The platform was initially limited to online classes and books by Lynda Weinman. But the platform started offering online courses from 2002.
Lynda.com is very similar to Udemy when it comes to the types of courses and resources it offers.
The difference is that Lynda.com courses are on average shorter in time length in comparison to Udemy courses. Nonetheless, the instructors are super helpful in what they are trying to do.
You can rest assured that you will learn something more than worthy of your money.
Udacity is a website that primarily focuses on offering courses related to technical skills and knowledge.
We are living in the age of 21st-century’s technological revolution. And with that revolution, the technology industry is bigger than any other industry in the world.
That’s why there are so many jobs and new skills in the tech industry.
If you are looking to start your career in tech, or boost your tech skills, learn a new programming language, Udacity is the perfect online learning platform for you.
They have a nice list of categories under which courses are offered. That makes it easy for you to find what you need. The instructors are all specialized in the areas they are teaching.
We all love free courses that are not useless. Alison.com is a career-based online learning platform that offers FREE courses!
That’s right, you will learn new skills and acquire important knowledge that will boost your career without paying a single dime on Alison.
There are 1500 essential courses on this website as of 2020, and they are under a lot of categories.
Alison.com also has a list of categories and subcategories that helps you find the best course.
Masterclass is very different from the other learning platforms in this category. What makes it different is the instructors you’ll find on this website.
All of the instructors are famous and successful in each of their fields, the true masters of our current world. And like you would expect, the courses on this website cost a lot more than the others on this list.
You wouldn’t learn any specific skills by doing homework and stuff from these courses. What these courses stand for is the inspiration you will get from these people.
You can find plenty of online courses that will teach you a skill you want to learn, but you won’t find courses that are taught by legends of our era.
I hope this article has been helpful and now you will be able to find the perfect course for yourself. If you have any feedback or opinion about this article or any of the websites mentioned, please let me know in the comment section below.
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