Here is a list of great websites providing free online courses and open learning resources worldwide. These, some of the best providers of e-learning content and services for online education and training, are listed in alphabetical order.
Representing 16 Universities, mainly in the US, but including the University of Toronto, the University of Edinburgh, and Swiss Bases Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, provides open access to a range of courses across 17 topic areas.
Sites like these will without doubt change the face of Higher Education, and are partially responses to the growing indebtedness of many students in the USA, as well as extending reach and innovation to Higher Education.
Ed Ted from TED
Following on from the hugely successful TED Talks comes TED ED, covering a range of topics – Arts, Business, Design Engineering and Technology, Health, literature and language, mathematics, Philosophy and religion, Psychology, Science and Technology, Social Studies, Thinking and learning. Take a look at the TED Flip and the principles of design of these animated videos. Do note that they do not align to any curriculum, but they are really well done!
Launched in 2012 to huge excitement, this collaboration from initially US Universities MIT, Harvard and now Berkeley at the University of California as well. This open learning resource is another potential game changer to the way universities now supply learning….that much of the learning materials is becoming freely available is quite significant….I guess as cynic would say you pay for the assessment (exams) and in the final analysis a certificate that says you actually have the qualification.
We’re firm believers that mastering spreadsheets, especially Microsoft Excel, is one of the most effective ways to progress your career and one of the most important skill sets to have within a business.
Excel Easy is one of the leading free online resources for learning this spreadsheet software, and has over 300 tutorials for beginner to advanced users.
Well-organised and simple to use, this is an excellent resource website to keep coming back to.
The KHAN Academy – “SKV” is now shorthand (after the founders initials) for an educational video, and this is an exceptional learning resource addressing a wide range of topics with over 3000 videos to date on the site, all provided absolutely free.
This very interesting site has a strong community orientation focus:
To quote: “So with our community we’re building a kind of multimedia wonderland of learning, where videos, audio, usage, mnemonics, eymologies and much more bring your learning to life.
We believe that every learner is partly a teacher, and we hope that once you get started, you’ll soon be supplying little nuggets of wit and wisdom to help the rest of the community as they learn!”
So you can create your own courses!
They go on to say…..”We want to reinvent the way people learn. We want to make learning as easy and fun as it can be, using the best technology and science around. We want to take learning out of the classroom and turn it into play. Our dream is for Memrise to be a self-generating hub of imaginative learning that improves and expands with the people who use it. Until then, we’re working hard to make it better every day.”
The principle focus appears to be on language training, and there are many language courses indeed. There is also an eclectic range of other topics to choose from, ranging from History and Geography to Sports Trivia and Stock Tickers!
The Guardian also provides its Wall Chart series for this site.
How and to what curriculums or levels of learning the content is aligned to is not too clear, but a great resource underscored by solid learning science.
This is a web based learning resource aggregation site managed by Dan Colman, with a huge range of free resources to choose from.
How Dan keeps up with this I do not know, as this is a wonderful resource in the truest sense of the word!
Study Guides and Strategies
Study Guides and Strategies….this site has been going since 1996 and is just full of the most useful stuff, my personal favourite……with it’s very simple but superbly effective guides to support learners and learning, in over 30 languages, a true learning resource, it will support both the student and the teacher….no need to worry about curricullum alignment and the like, the site is all about helping people get the most and succeed with their learning and teaching.
The higher education world are getting very excited about this concept. More than just an open learning resource, this is all about solving problems and collaboration. Udacity has a huge community of learners and local events worldwide.