? ?We recently published an article that listed the free online learning resources offered by the best 40 colleges in America (here). In the process of doing so, we came into contact with all of the major, most important and professional FREE online education sites on the internet. This article will present you with ten of the best of these.There is a distinction between, on the one hand, sites that are driven by a concept or theme, and that have some form of evaluation and feedback, and sites that are simply video archives for lectures and events. This list will contain both, but the former were emphasized and given priority.
1. Khan Academy: online education for the masses –?that works
Concept|The brainchild of an MIT and Harvard educated Bangladeshi-American, the non-profit Khan Academy was started in 2007 with the mission of providing “?a high quality education to anyone, anywhere”?, and has delivered more than 160 million lessons since.| Course format|Video lectures, progress tracking, automated exercises, and peer-to-peer tutoring based on data collected by the system.| Topics|Five main areas: Math, Science, Finance and Economics, Humanities, Test Prep and ? TED-like talks and interviews, spanning ? more than 3200 creative-commons licensed videos.| Cost|Free|
Why we chose it|Because Khan Academy is able to reconcile its massive, global ambition with a system that apparently works and keeps learners coming back for more.| 2. Udacity: technology courses on the cutting edge
Concept|With the stated aim of ‘?democratizing education’?, Udacity, a for profit organization, is founded by two Stanford University professors in 2012 and has had enrollments in some of its classes in the tens (and occasionally hundreds) of thousands.| Course format|Video lectures, quizzes, and follow-up homework. “?Learn by doing”?| Topics|Computer science, software design and algorithms, physics, statistics, and the like.| Cost|Free|
Why we chose it|Because Udacity courses are in the cutting edge of their field; these are not you typical, run of the mill computer science classes.| 3. Coursera: free courses from some the best colleges in the world
Concept|Offers courses from top universities, for free. It’?s partners at the time of this writing includes Princeton, Stanford, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, and UC Berkeley. Like Udacity, Coursera was created by Stanford professors as a for profit institution.| Course format|Short video lectures with periodic weekly assignments. A peer review system is also used in some instances.| Topics|A wide range that runs the gamut from the Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Business, Computer Science, and many others| Why we chose it|Because Coursera delivers high-quality courses from some of the best universities in the world, for free. And because it isn’?t just an archive of videos, but employs a methodology for evaluation and feedback.| 4. Udemy: connects some of the best teachers with a worldwide audience
Concept|Launched in 2010, Udemy is a platform that allows instructors to create and publish online courses and reach their target audience without worrying about the technology that is needed to do so. Udemy provides both free and for-pay courses, and includes courses from instructors from the best colleges in the country.| Course format|Provides educational materials including videos, presentations, documents, and audio files. Online discussion boards enable students to connect with instructors.| Topics|A wide range of topics, including business and entrepreneurship, academics, the arts, health and fitness, language, music, and technology.| Cost|The majority are free courses but there are paid courses as well. The cost for the...