10 Best Free Online Learning Sites for General College and University
10 Best Free Online Learning Sites for General College and University

The first term of student life in University is well underway and they should be busy adapting to student life. Lectures, making friends, settling into your new student room and just adjusting to a new city can be difficult at times. The internet is one of the most helpful resources during this time and throughout the course at university.

Some courses are instructor-paced with a set schedule and required attendance - keeping your teen motivated and on track. Most are self-paced with recorded lectures - benefiting teens that may otherwise have a busy schedule but would still like to be efficient with their spare time. Beware that taking college credit courses in high school does not necessarily mean the credits will roll over to their future college -- it depends on each university’s rules and requirements. Even if credits do not roll over, taking college classes in high school may be useful for students that are not challenged by their current curriculum. College courses may be a way to explore interests since the breadth and depth of University course offerings widely surpass what is traditionally found in high schools. For certain talented students, college courses may even be used to supplement formal and informal research they are participating in or would like to get into.

Here are the top 10 websites that offer the best information, advice, and help for students. Whether it’s time management, digital flashcards, self-made quizzes, study games, or other educational tools, these sites and apps can help students of any age get ready for upcoming tests, all for the low, low price of absolutely free.

What are the free online sites for General College and University?

1. EdX

2. Khan Academy

3. MIT OpenCourseWare

4. Learning Space: The Open University

5. Carnegie Mellon OpenLearning

6. OpenLearn

7. Coursera

8. FutureLearn

9. Stanford Online

10. Quizlet

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Top 10 Best Free Online Sites For General College and University In the World

1. EdX

Photo: blog.freec.asia
Photo: blog.freec.asia

EdX is one of the largest massive open online course providers in the world, giving over 14 million users access to free courses from universities. Originally founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the site now includes courses from the likes of Boston University, Caltech, and dozens of other prestigious universities from around the world.

You can study courses in a wide range of fields on the website---including science, education, history, medicine, and more. There is also a wide range of free computer programming courses available.

While the courses are free, verified certificates and degrees are not. EdX offers certification and online master's degrees on the website, but these require users to pay fees or tuition.

2. Khan Academy

Photo: hola.edu
Photo: hola.edu

Khan Academy is another amazing option for those who want to study and learn more outside the classroom. This free resource presents you with class options tailored to your education level and interests. You can find information on basic geometry, electrical engineering, organic chemistry, microeconomics, personal finance, and more.

Once you select your interests, Khan will set you up with courses to get you on your way to your goals. The program tracks your progress to help you stay on track!

Many of the sites on this list have upgraded packages or “pro” accounts for some cost. However, every single one has free tools ideal for any student. Give them a try and see which ones help you out the most.

3. MIT OpenCourseWare

Photo: al-fanarmedia
Photo: al-fanarmedia

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was a pioneer in offering online college courses. The university gives you the ability to download and follow their archived courses through its OpenCourseWare platform.

The benefit of using the platform is that you get access to a huge range of actual courses that the university has offered over the years. The downside is that you may still need to purchase textbooks to follow the curricula.

The website also doesn't offer accreditation or certification, since these are archived courses. But they are a useful resource if you want to expand your knowledge on certain subjects.

4. Learning Space: The Open University

Photo: prisonerseducation
Photo: prisonerseducation

OpenLearn is an educational website. It is the UK's Open University's contribution to the Open educational resources (OER) project and the home of free, open learning from The Open University. The original project was part-funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

This website offers downloadable free online courses in lots of different categories like youth and children, languages, business, engineering, and others. When you look through the coursework, you can view them according to rating. Other users can rate the class, which may help you in deciding what course to take. The main page does warn that there is a new site design coming in the fall of 2012, so there may be changes soon.

5. Carnegie Mellon OpenLearning

Photo: lumenlearning
Photo: lumenlearning

Carnegie Mellon University provides free online courses for anyone wishing to access them. In fact, it even offers materials for instructors who wish to teach their students these courses.

For independent learners, there are short courses on topics such as computer science, biology, psychology, and more. The downside is that the number of open courses is much more limited than other open learning websites.

Carnegie Mellon's open courses are similar to what a paying student would receive minus the course credit or access to an instructor.

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6. OpenLearn

The OpenLearn platform offers content from The Open University--- a university that pledges to be open and offer free learning to as many people as possible. While the university has physical classrooms based in the UK, it has also opened its content to anyone online through its OpenLearn website.

The online college courses are laid out extremely well and cover many different topics. A great feature is that it offers courses for differing skill and knowledge levels, from beginners to experts.

Once you have completed a course, you can receive a statement of participation to show potential employers. While this does not count towards university credits, it provides evidence that you have successfully completed courses from The Open University.

7. Coursera

Photo: cellphones
Photo: cellphones

Coursera is another online learning platform through which many universities and companies offer their open courses. Like other course providers on the list, you can access courses for free, but you won't receive accreditation or a certificate without a fee.

Nevertheless, the site provides a great platform for online learning. Major universities such as Duke and Columbia offer courses on the platform. Meanwhile, you can also access online courses from Google and companies such as Intel or Amazon.

If you wish to access the certification and specialization features on the platform, there is a monthly subscription you can buy. However, all individual courses are available to view for free if you choose the audit option. This gives you access to all the material and lectures in the course, minus a certificate or accreditation.

8. FutureLearn

Photo: riba
Photo: riba

FutureLearn is another platform that offers courses from universities and organizations around the world. Like the other open learning platforms, courses are available for free but certificates require a fee.

The website has an impressive range of courses across different fields, as well as various courses aimed at improving life skills. For example, FutureLearn has courses dedicated to improving your budgeting skills, online research skills, critical thinking, and job interview skills.

A platform is a great tool for those looking to expand both their academic knowledge and useful everyday skills.

9. Stanford Online

Photo: scholarship-positions
Photo: scholarship-positions

Stanford Online is the website through which Stanford University offers all its online courses. While you would have to pay tuition to complete a certificate or degree through the platform, the university's open learning courses are available to anyone for free. This includes courses offered by the different university schools, such as Stanford School of Medicine and Stanford Business School.

These open courses are particularly useful for those looking for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, which can be earned by completing certain courses on the website without needing to spend a cent.

10. Quizlet

Photo: quizlet
Photo: quizlet

With this site, you provide the information and Quizlet provides the study tools. Users can create “sets” in any subject under the sun. Based on the set, the website will generate flashcards, quizzes, practice tests, matching games, and even auditory tools. Quizlet also has a free app for learning on the go and studying even offline.

The two games, Scatter and Space Race, allow you to learn the material and have fun doing it. In Scatter, users drag definitions or information to their related counterparts as quickly as they can, clearing the screen.

In Space Race, definitions scroll across the screen and you type in the correct word or phrase associated with it before the definition reaches the end of the screen. With leader-boards and high scores, you can compete to get the best times, adding the motivation of competition to your studying.

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