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5 April 2016

Free online education resources

Improving your knowledge is now really open to all. With online education offering thousands of study options, learning is only a click away.

Learning has never been more accessible, thanks to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). There are thousands of tertiary education facilities that provide coursework, tutorials, videos and tests online. Previously one of the major issues with online study was the lack of certification, but this is set to change in 2016 with these 'nanodegrees' being accredited and recognised by international qualification agencies, according to Stacey Vee in her article about e-learning trends. Read more here »  

Whether you want to dabble in a bit of ancient Greek mythology, update your IT skills to improve your CV, or study engineering, pretty much everything you can think of is available at the click of a mouse. We rounded up some of the top sites offering online courses from multiple institutions. Many top-notch universities such as Harvard offer courses too, while University of London and University of Oxford have dedicated sites for podcasts of lectures.

Coursera 

One of the top sites for e-learning is Coursera. It has partnered with universities and you can watch lectures, do tests and interactive exercises at your own pace. Quizzes and projects add to the interactive aspect and subjects range from medicine and biology to maths, business, IT and the humanities. With its peer assessment system and immediate feedback on troublesome questions or topics, learners are aided to master their chosen subjects. Coursera also offers certificates. 

Udacity  

With a strong focus on IT and tech-related courses, Udacity offers nanodegrees and originated at prestigious US university, Stanford. Their mission is 'to bring accessible, affordable, engaging and highly effective higher education to the world'.

Academic Earth 

This site prides itself on its curated list of courses. Academic Earth offers courses for beginners and experts from a vast range of academic institutions and also covers a broad range of subject matters.

Khan Academy  

This institution focusses on personalised learning, where students can work at their own pace with the help of interactive challenges, videos and assessments. Along with a vast range of maths, science, IT, economics and humanities courses, they have also partnered with places such as NASA, MIT and The Museum of Modern Art. Expect fascinating and cutting edge art and tech content.

Udemy 

While Udemy combines free and paid content, its main drawcard is its customisable courses. Top educators and institutions are part of this site and the course content is top notch.

EdX  

EdX offers courses that range from communications to engineering to literature. In addition, they provide an official credential and certificate. Founded by Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Berkeley, these prestigious institutions also create and supply the courses' contents.

MIT OCW  

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare site offers material from 2 260 courses. Videos, lecture notes and assignments from this top technology institute are available around the globe.

Memrise 

With a focus on learning through play, Memrise offers a desktop and an app version. The use of games in study make it a fun space for integrated study. While they offer a range of subjects, it's especially good for learning languages.

For more ideas and courses, click here for a comprehensive article by study.com on online courses ». Or visit Open Culture Online Courses for its listings of courses here ». Lifehacker has a great summary of the latest courses to start off now around the world: check it out here »

Vodacom e-school   

Great resources for high school learners, from grade 10 to matric, are available from Vodacom e-school. It’s free to use, and, if you’re a Vodacom customer, it’s zero-rated as well, which means it won’t use up your data. Vodacom e-school offers quizzes, homework questions and useful notes, designed around all major subjects. It’s accessible from smartphones, laptops and tablets, and it's quick and free to register online »