Online course platforms make it easy for anyone to learn from experts on nearly any subject conveniently and affordably.
The best platforms offer a wide range of courses to choose from, making it easy to adapt the courses to your time and tempo, as well as many tools that improve the learning experience.
If you are looking for the best online course platform to either learn from or to create and sell your course, then this top 10 list is for you.
Tips For Choosing The Best Online Course Platform
Here are some important tips to help you choose the best online course platform.
- Identify Your Needs: Whether you want to learn or teach, you need to first look within to identify the exact features that you need from an online course platform.
- Check The platform’s Credibility: Learning is a serious business, so you need to make sure that the platform attracts the right crowd.
- Compare Pricing & Plans: For learners, this one is up to you. It all boils down to the quality of education you need and the price you are willing to pay. There is everything from free courses to those that cost thousands.
- Evaluate Ease of Use: The platform has to be good, provide an intuitive UI, or even offer mobile apps for on-the-go use.
- Check for Customization Options: If you are creating a course, then you want a platform that allows you the flexibility of customizing your content as you see fit. If you are looking to learn, then you want flexibility; the ability to pause modules, learn at your own pace, and so on.
Best Online Course Platforms
|1.||Coursera||1,700+ free courses, Pro certificates||Freemium||coursera.org|
|2.||Udemy||Affordable, buy & sell, extensive||Freemium||udemy.com|
|3.||EdX||IMT &Harvard, top professors||Freemium||edx.org|
|4.||Skillshare||For creative skills, 7 days free||$14 / mo||skillshare.com|
|5.||Freecodecamp||Free list of online resources||Free||freecodecamp.org|
|6.||Kajabi||Create courses & sell them easily||$119 / mo||kajabi.com|
|7.||MasterClass||Learn from recognized experts||$15 / mo||masterclass.com|
|8.||Udacity||Career building, industry degree||Freemium||udacity.com|
|9.||Khan Academy||Basic K12 & college education||Free||khanacademy.org|
|10.||Thinkific||Create courses & engage students||Freemium||thinkific.com|
Highlights: 1,700+ free courses, Professional certificates, industry collaborations
With over 100 million users and 5,400 courses on topics ranging from the financial markets to psychology, statistics, data science, marketing, programming, and nearly everything else you can think of, Coursera is an impressive online course platform for anyone serious to get ahead in life.
You can start for free with the roughly 2,000 free courses on the platform and learn as much as you can about your target subject. Then, when you need to move ahead with your career, you can enroll in one of Coursera’s numerous professional certificate programs.
Coursera collaborates with roughly 300 leading universities and companies to provide certification programs that can help you or anyone else to launch a new career in as little as 6 months.
These offers include Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs from top universities, as well as certification programs from top companies like Google, Meta, IBM, and Amazon. These certifications can last anywhere from 3 to 12 months at 4-10 hours a week and cost $29 per month.
Highlights: Affordable courses, extensive market, buy & sell
Udemy offers over 200k courses on everything from programming to making videos, Excel, drawing, Python, Marketing, personal growth, and so on.
Udemy is also a great platform to create and market a course if you aspire to become a tutor. You can teach your way, earn money, and get the satisfaction of helping people all over the world.
The platform has over 57 million users in 180+ countries and 75+ languages. Unlike most other platforms on this list though, you will have to buy each course that you want to take. But all purchases on the platform come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Although prices are quite competitive on Udemy, you will still find lots of free courses on a range of topics. What you won’t get on the platform, however, is certification to help you land a job like on Coursera and EdX.
Highlights: Professional certificates, IMT & Harvard foundation
If you can’t afford a Harvard or MIT education but can appreciate something pretty close, then EdX might be a nice platform to check out. It offers courses from the world’s best professors and industry experts for free. And everyone is welcome.
EdX is founded by a partnership between MIT and Harvard to provide free online courses from top schools and educational institutions around the world. And if you like, you can always buy the course certificate for a small fee, which can really boost your CV.
EdX offers over 5,000 courses ranging from business to art, biology, architecture, chemistry, computer programming, data analysis, law, math, history and so many more. And these courses are presented by some of the world’s best universities.
The platform has 40 million+ users and further offers the EdX Microbachelors and Micromasters programs that let you earn degree credits while learning relevant skills at your own pace and getting certified. You can later combine these real college credits to accelerate your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at participating universities if you like.
Highlights: Learn creative skills, video editing, music, art, business, and 35K+ classes
Pricing: About $14 per month, $168 per year
If you are looking for an affordable platform that enables you to learn a wide range of creative skills to boost your career or simply do what you have always wanted to do, then you may want to check out Skillshare.
The classes here range from animation to creative writing, film & video, fine art, music, UI/UX design, web development, business management, marketing, lifestyle, productivity, and so on.
Skillshare offers over 35,000 classes and you have unlimited access to all, including discovery and filtering functions. You can view and manage your classes, class reviews, and student profiles, download classes, and watch any video at home or on the go. Skillshare is also available for teams and includes an admin panel, customized experiences, and reporting.
This platform offers a 7-day unlimited access trial for new members. But keep in mind that you will have to cancel before the 7 days are over to avoid getting charged if you don’t want to continue.
Highlights: Free list of online learning resources
Freecodecamp is different from most other learning platforms on this list because it does not offer access to courses for a fee. It is rather a free service to learn coding for free, with the opportunity of getting certified.
Freecodecamp also shows you all the places on the Internet where you can learn stuff for free. From lists of universities teaching various science, engineering, business, etc topics for free, to thousands of detailed tutorials about nearly any programming topic on the site.
This platform is great if you are into coding, or else you might want to look elsewhere.
Highlights: Create & sell, marketing tools, automation, 14-day free trial
Pricing: From $119 per month
Kajabi is an online platform for course creators of all types that includes everything a tutor needs to excel and make money. It lets you focus on teaching what you know best by providing all the research and marketing tools.
There are 3 plans on Kajabi, the least is the Basic for $119 per month, which allows you to create and market up to 3 products using 3 funnels. It offers 1 website, 1 admin user, unlimited pages, marketing emails, up to 10k contacts, and 1k active customers.
The next plan is the Growth for $159 per month. This plan allows up to 10 admins, 15 products and funnels, 25k contacts, and 10k active customers. Plus you get 24/7 chat support and advanced automation features, and you can remove the Kajabi branding.
Kajabi’s next plan is the Pro for $319 per month with even more features. Needless to say, this platform can be a great help if you want to create courses and earn from them. It boasts over 100k businesses, with 300k+ courses created, and over $5 billion earned.
Highlights: Learn from recognized experts, masters, & celebrities
Pricing: From $15 per month
Interested in learning stuff from a recognized expert, craft master, or celebrity? Then, Masterclass might be for you.
Masterclass gives you the opportunity, for instance, to learn comedy from Steve Martin, tennis from Serena Williams, acting from Samuel L. Jackson, cinematography from Martin Scorsese, plus Pharell Williams, Spike Lee, and so on. You get the drift.
The platform offers unlimited access to all these courses for $15 per month and you can learn everything in 11 categories from food to business, music, writing, science, wellness, and so on.
On the other hand, successfully becoming a tutor on the platform will require that you are an outstanding expert in your field or a celebrity. All memberships include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Highlights: For career building, tech, AI, machine learning
Pricing: Freemium, $399 for a degree
Udacity is a great platform for anyone looking to advance his or her career in tech by upskilling and getting certified. It can easily help those with the talent to prepare and land real-world jobs.
The Udacity platform offers a combination of free and paid courses. Then there are the Nanodegree programs that start at $399 per month and last for 3+ months.
Though a relatively steep price, it includes real-world projects from industry experts, mentor support, and career service support to help you land the dream job.
If you are looking to advance your career in fields from artificial intelligence to machine learning, data science, programming, autonomous systems, cloud computing, and cyber-security, then a Udacity Nanodegree program might help you achieve your goal.
9. Khan Academy
Highlights: Kindergarten, primary, secondary & college education
Khan Academy is a unique offer on this list because it is a non-profit focused on basic K12 education through early college.
The platform provides free learning materials for students, teachers, and parents. They range from math to chemistry, biology, reading, economics, physics, computing, finance, life skills, history, and more.
Kahn Academy is fully customizable, so you get the right education in a step-by-step manner. Teachers can also assign lessons to students with an end date and so on. You can further use Kahn Academy for test preps, as well as to start kids aged 2-7 off in the right direction with Kahn Kids.
The platform is available online and in the Android version here, while the Kahn Kids app is here and the iOS version is here. Another interesting Kahn Academy feature is Kahnmigo, an AI-powered guide that functions as a tutor for learners and an assistant for teachers.
Highlights: Create courses & engage with students
Thinkific is another course creator platform, just like Kajabi, however, it offers a freemium model that allows you to test run the system with just 1 course, 1 community, and 1 admin for $0 per month.
With its Basic plan for $36 per month, however, you get unlimited courses and up to 5 community spaces. This plan also allows a custom domain, as well as marketing with affiliates. Other plans include the Start for $74 per month and the Grow plan for $149, each with more features.
All Thinkific plans allow you to create your course using a drag-and-drop builder. You can also add quizzes and surveys. Plus, e-commerce payment handling is included with 0% transaction fees and many more features.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions about online course platforms.
They provide convenience and the flexibility to choose, as well as easy access to a wide variety of courses. They are also less expensive and can enhance the learning experience with their interactive tools. And for course creators, they offer a global reach, as well as monitoring and analytics features to help make improvements.
Each platform is unique in its way, so the best platform for you depends on your needs and career goals.
Yes, many platforms either offer free courses or are completely free to use, like the Kahn Academy, EdX, and Freecodecamp.
Yes. The first is the lack of in-person interactions. Second, you will need some self-motivation to carry on and finish your courses.
Sure, if you are an expert in your field. Many tutors from around the world are earning an income by teaching what they know best online.
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and it refers to courses that are available for anyone to enroll in. They are usually designed for large-scale participation through the web and offer a flexible and affordable means for people to learn new skills.
Coming to the end of this list of the web’s 10 best online course platforms, you can see that quite a lot of people are actively upskilling themselves and moving on with their careers and private lives.
Whichever of the above platforms you end up choosing, however, is up to you. As they are all the best in their respective ways, you should choose the one that best meets your needs.