Every year, there seems to be more and more online learning platforms. As more companies enter the market, the quality of resources available to you increases.
However, it can be hard to keep up with everything that’s out there. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best online learning platforms – all in one place!
General Learning Platforms
The learning platforms in this section cover a wide variety of subjects, meaning they don’t cater to any one particular category.
If you’re unsure about what new skill you want to learn, then these websites are helpful to browse.
Udemy is an online marketplace offering thousands of user-created courses.
There are a huge collection of classes and courses on the platform. They cover everything from coding to cooking.
You pay for the courses individually, meaning you buy only what you need. You should know that Udemy uses a never-ending-sale model of marketing. If a discount doesn’t show up when you visit, try clear your browser’s cache.
Udemy has one of the broadest range of topics in the online learning sphere. Give them a visit if you’re struggling to find resources for a specific topic.
LinkedIn Learning is a course-based online learning platform with a focus on career-based skills.
The course provider Lynda was purchased by Linkedin in 2015, so you may see the same branding cross-over on both websites.
Their 15,000+ courses are organized into three main categories, ‘Business,’ ‘Technology,’ and ‘Creative.’ After completing a course, you will receive a certificate. While it’s no diploma, it’s an excellent way to display a commitment to learning to employers.
You can access the entire course library with a subscription or free trial. If you’re looking to swiftly move up the career ladder, Linkedin Leaning is a no-brainer. There are thousands of courses to help you excel professionally.
Masterclass is a learning platform that provides courses taught by the world’s top professionals.
Your instructor will be a well-known industry professional. For example, cooking by Gordon Ramsay, filmmaking by Martin Scorsese, and tennis by Serena Williams.
They offer courses on a mixture of subjects, however, there is a slight focus on creative topics. Their courses are created in-house, meaning you can expect the same high quality throughout their library.
Masterclass allows you to either pay for an individual course or purchase an all-access yearly subscription. If you’re learning one of the subjects they offer, it’s an incredible resource.
Blinkist is a learning platform that allows you to read and listen to condensed versions of non-fiction audiobooks.
They have thousands of books in their library covering a range of topics. Inside the application, you can highlight important parts of a book and even sync them with Evernote. You also have the option to listen offline, by downloading what you need.
Blinkist works on a yearly or monthly subscription model. If you sign up via the yearly option, you can access their free 7-day trial. Once subscribed, you will get access to their entire library.
If you have a busy schedule and often can’t find the time to read, Blinkist is really handy resource.
Creative Learning Platforms
The learning platforms featured here will help you improve your creative skills.
Whether you’re starting with a new creative skill or simply improving an existing one, these websites have got you covered.
Skillshare is an online learning platform that focuses on teaching mainly creative skills.
They offer both user-created and original courses. Their catalog covers a vast range of topics, including, writing, illustration, and photography – to name just a few.
You can use Skillshare by either subscribing or signing up for a free trial. With either option, you will get instant access to their 18,000+ course library.
Skillshare is a fantastic resource for any creative professional or hobbyist. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Creative Live is a learning platform that offers on-demand viewing of both live classes and pre-recorded courses.
The content they offer caters primarily to creatives and entrepreneurs. Creative Live’s content is all original, so you won’t find it anywhere else.
You can choose to either sign up for a subscription, which will give you access to their entire library, or pay for courses individually.
Creative Live has one of the best production value you’ll see in the online learning sphere. The classes are a little pricier than their competitors, however, you get what you pay for!
Tutsplus, which is part of Envato, is a creative-skills learning platform that offers written and video content.
It’s a little different from the rest of the resources featured here. Firstly, it has a large amount of free content, which is great! Secondly, it has a mix of in-depth articles and video resources. Sometimes learning primarily from the video can be a bit taxing as you’re constantly rewinding and re-watching sections of a video. Articles are nice in that you can freely hop between the tutorial and your work.
Envato has bundled their Tutsplus subscription in with Envato Elements which offer unlimited downloads on a massive amount of creative content such as themes, plugins, graphics, photos, fonts, and other media.
Academic Learning Platforms
Coursera is a MOOC based platform that offers degree-level education online. They are partnered with several highly reputable Universities in the States and around the world. Top instructors teach the courses. You’ll have access to recorded lectures, peer-reviewed assignments, as well as access to the discussion forum. Coursera gives you three options. Courses, Specializations, or Online Degrees. Specializations will take approximately 4-6 months to complete, whereas Courses and Online Degrees take 1-3 years. If you’re looking for a degree-level education online with official certification, then Coursera is a great option.
edX is one of the most comprehensive academic online learning platforms. Founded in 2012, edX has since partnered with many very reputable universities around the world, and you can earn a verified certificate with the associated school’s name on it. edX is what’s known as a Massive Open Online Course provider or MOOC for short. edX is a not-for-profit, meaning the money they raise goes back into creating more content. They currently offer more than 2000 courses online, most of which are free. You can choose to add a certificate for completing the course, although this will cost you a small fee.
Iversity is similar to Coursera in that it offers University level education. Instead of full course options, Iversity focuses more on a module or elective type system. Iversity provides both free and paid courses. Unlike Coursera, Iversity offers more self-paced classes, which is excellent for part-time learners. Some courses offer a final exam and online certification. Iversity offers some quite specialized courses, so be sure to check them out!
STEM Learning Platforms
11. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is an educational website aimed at providing a quality free education. The subjects and level of difficulty are modelled after the US school curriculum.
Khan Academy is a fantastic tool for both younger learners and those looking to brush up on those foundation skills. As well as the school curriculum, Khan Academy offers test preps for things like the SATs. You can also study for college admissions. You can choose to study both by area and grade level.
Brilliant is a learning platform focused on helping people achieve their goals in the STEM fields. The majority of their courses focus on teaching concepts in Maths, Physics, and Computer Science. Brilliant aims its service at students, professionals, and lifelong learners. Although Brilliant is a subscription service, you can sign up for a free account and join in with the daily problem-solving puzzle and join in with the community forum.
Coding Learning Platforms
Treehouse is undoubtedly one of the best places online to learn how to code. Especially for beginners! Their content is incredibly digestible, with each course broken down into short videos. After each section there are interaction quizzes to make sure you’ve absorbed the information.
Their model is subscription-based. So you pay a monthly fee and then get access to all of their videos. They offer a pro plan, which gives you the option to download videos for offline use, access to members forums, and talks from industry leaders.
Pluralsight is a subscription-based online learning platform that focuses primarily on industry technology software and coding. They also offer various practical business courses. You can study anything from game development, JavaScipt, 3D modeling, all the way through to topics like project management. For those looking to advance or learn technical skills for their career, Pluralsight is a fantastic tool.
Bloc.io is a technology-based learning site. It offers you the opportunity to follow either a design or developer route. Bloc’s focus is getting you an industry job within six months of completing their program. They don’t give too much information on their website, but they do offer a chance to speak with an adviser if you want more information. Their courses are quite intensive, so if you’re looking for a fast route to a job, check out Bloc.io.
16. Code Academy
Code Academy is undoubtedly one of the largest online learning spaces around today. It boasts a huge 45 million users around the globe. Unsurprisingly, Code Academy is focused on teaching people to code. They offer their complete course catalog for free, however, there is an option to upgrade to a pro account that provides access to an adviser, projects, and quizzes. The Pro accounts offer a little more direction in your learning and are a good option for complete beginners.
Language Learning Platforms
Duolingo is a freemium online language learning platform which you can access it either through their website or mobile app. Duolingo’s method is to game-ify the language learning process, to keep you motivated along you language learning journey. You earn experience points as you progress through the different levels, and have access to stats to see how you’re progressing. In
Duolingo’s own words it’s “It’s 100% free, fun and science-based”. Duolingo is a fantastic free resource. However, we wouldn’t recommend only using Duolingo as a language learning method, but it does make a fantastic addition to your toolkit.
iTalki is a website that helps you find an online teacher for your target language. You can browse the available teachers by hourly rate and level of proficiency to help you find the right match. iTalki has almost any language you can think of. So, it’s especially helpful if you’re learning a lesser known language with not many resources to learn from.
An online teacher is a great way to practice speaking the language. It also allows you to get feedback in real-time. iTalki also offers the chance for users to take part in a language exchange, whereby you trade your time teaching your native language to a foreign user, and they will do the same for you.
Babbel is a rapidly growing web and app based language learning platform that focuses on ease of use and interactive lessons. The app is gamified, much like Duolingo, designed to make the process fun and engaging. It can feel like Babbel throws you in at the deep end, but you’ll be surprised just how fast you retain the information.
If you’re looking to learn on the go, you can download some of the content to be used offline. So there is no worrying about data usage (especially abroad!). Babbel makes a great addition to any language learners kit, if you’re not currently using it. It’s definitely worth a try!
Memrise is our only addition here that isn’t actually solely a language learning platform. It is a app and website founded by Greg Detre and ‘Grand Master of Memory’ Ed Cooke. The app utilizes flash cards and the principles of the memory palace to maximise your memorising capabilities. The content is generated by the community, so there is plenty of content to get through. Although Memrise’s main focus is now languages, users have set courses up on various topics that you may want to remember. The app itself is similar to Duolingo, Babbel and Busuu, in that it’s gamified. It’s a great addition to any language learners kit.
Ed Cooke has a lot of interesting content online about the memory palace that you should check out, as well as a book. He featured prominently in Joshua Foer’s book Moonwalking with Einstein, a book about memory and the subculture of memory champions. To check out more about the memory palace, we’d recommend checking out Joshua’s TED Talk as a starting place.
LingQ is a subscription based online language learning platform. It is and app based. Its founder Steve Kaufman is a serial language learner and polyglot. He also has a language learning YouTube channel, which you should check out!
LingQ works by giving you a series of text and with accompanying audio, that you work through with the built in online dictionary. As you work through the text you create ‘LingQs’, which turns a word yellow. A yellow LingQ, when hovered over, shows your chosen definition from the available dictionaries.
Lessons can be submitted by users, which means there is a huge amount of content available. It’s a fantastic tool for anyone who’s serious about their language learning.