6 Platforms with the Best Online Video Courses

We live in an amazing day and age where we can receive an education online without going to a brick-and-mortar institution of higher learning. There are numerous e-learning websites online that are fashioned for adult, online learners who want to receive a quality education. Some of these websites will make you pay up in certain circumstances, though most are free if you just want to learn for your own enrichment. Here are some of the best online video courses.

woman taking notes as she's watching something on her laptop

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1. Edx

Pros

The pro of Edx is that it is a MOOC, which stands for Massive Open Online Course. They provide free, well put together, college level courses in a wide variety of subjects. For course materials, they give interactive video lectures, reading assignments and discussion forums. The courses in Edx are free of charge.

You can earn certifications and qualifications for taking courses if you are willing to spend money on the classes. This website is geared toward independent online learners, and with all of its features is one of the best online video courses.

Cons

A big con with Edx is the fact that they have a somewhat limited selection of subjects. Even though they do offer a lot of courses in many different types of subjects, there is still a lot more that they could offer that they just don’t. For example, they only offer instruction of several languages – French, Spanish and Chinese.

If you are thinking about learning Swedish, German, Russian or Korean, then you are out of luck. Another downside is that if you don’t have the money to to pay for certifications on your learning adventure, then you cannot get the credentials.

Website: edX.org.
Certificate: Yes ( Micromasters Certificate, Professional Certificate and Xseries Certificate)
Cost: You can take the courses and watch the videos for free. To get an Xseries Certification, the courses are about $49 each. To get a Professional Certification, the courses are $99 each. To get a Micromasters Certification, you must pay roughly $1,000. The price varies, based upon what subjects you are taking.

2. Khan Academy

Pros

Khan Academy provides some of the best video online video courses for many different subjects. They also have categories of subjects based upon grade level, from Kindergarten to 12th grade, as well as subjects that prep you for AP tests. There are also video tutorials that prep students for a variety of career tests, such as the NCLEX-RN, the GMAT and the IIT JEE. Even if you aren’t in P-12 or taking a specific test, these videos are still pretty informative.

There are videos for various subjects that are not specifically marked for those who are taking AP tests or are in school. Another pro of this website is that you don’t need to sign up for an account to view the videos. You can watch videos for free without logging in, though an account is completely free and easy to create.

Cons

There are very few problems with this site, if any. One problem may be that the topics that you want to learn aren’t on this website. For those of us who have a tendency to struggle with certain topics and need to have things explained in a million different ways before understanding, there is a chance that the explanations in a given video may not be the ones that make us understand the given topic. However, the videos are generally very good.

Website: Khanacademy.org.
Certificate: No.
Cost: Free.

3. Lynda

Pros: Lynda is another great elearning website that gives the best online video courses. The great thing is that where Khan Academy and Edx leaves off, Lynda picks up. There are many video tutorials for subjects on Lynda that you would not particularly find on Khan Academy or Edx.

Lynda provides videos for a variety of interesting, practical and thought provoking topics. Many of the videos have to do with Design, IT, Business, CAD photography, video and web. You can access the videos on this website for free if you have an online account at an organization like a school, library or company.

Cons: The con to this website, just like all of the others, is that there may be a specific topic that you want to learn that isn’t on Lynda. Also, another con is that if you do not have an online account at a participating organization, you cannot log on for free.

Website: Lynda.com.
Certificate: No.
Cost: $19.99 for a basic membership and $29.00 for a premium membership. Free if you have an online account at a company or organization that allows you to access Lynda.

4. Udemy

Pros: Udemy allows people to create, publish and sell tutorials to other people. You can sign up for a free account of Udemy, though if you want to view the tutorials that other people create you must pay however much money the tutorials cost.

The tutorials are usually very cheap and affordable, though the prices vary. Udemy is good because there are some subjects on here that you would not find on other elearning sites, making it one of the websites that gives the best online video courses.

Cons: Of course, there is the possibility of the website not having video tutorials on the subjects that you want. Also, the fact that you have to pay money may be a nuisance for some people, even if the courses are cheap.

Website: Udemy.com.
Certificate: No.
Cost: Free to sign on, though to view video tutorials you must pay the prices that the creators of the tutorials set.

5. MIT Open Course

Pros: MIT Open Course is a website that provides people with free videos of online lectures pertaining to many different subjects. This website makes it so that you don’t have to spend all of the money in the world to get a taste of an MIT education.

Cons: The selection of topics is somewhat limited, though it gives the best online video courses if you are really into what they do have.

Website: Ocw.MIT.edu.
Certificate: No.
Cost: Free.

6. Open Education Consortium

Pros: The Open Education Consortium is a website where more than a dozen educational institutions and organizations come together to provide the best online video courses with lectures. Through this website you can find free lectures and tutorials that a variety of different colleges make avalable. When you click on the links for the courses, you are usually directed to the Opencourseware websites of the colleges.

Cons: The biggest con is the usual unavailability of some topics.

Website: OEConsortium.org.
Certificate: No.
Cost: Free.

Summing Up

Coursera, Khan Academy, Lynda, MIT Open Course and Open Education Consortium provide the best online video courses if you want a great-quality education for free. Try these different e-learning sites and shares your experiences in the comments below.