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Online Education and Training   Tags: education, learning  

A guide to eLearning
Last Updated: Jan 17, 2017 URL: http://guides.vpl.ca/elearning Print Guide RSS Updates

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Online Courses and Virtual Classrooms

About Online Courses (including MOOC's)

Online courses developed in the tradition of distance learning. With increased adoption and functionality of the interweb, more an more people, companies and institutions became involved. In 2008, major universities began putting their full course content online, available for free to anyone who wished to learn.

 

Online Course Providers

NAME TOPICS SCHEDULING COSTS & EXTRAS

Online education database offering over 3,000 video courses by top experts in the fields of: web design, business/marketing, software development, photography, video/music/audio editing, 3D animation, graphic design and more. Self paced courses Lynda.com is a subscription service available with a Vancouver Library card.  Sorry, at home access for Vancouver residents only.
Coursera logo

Most of Coursera's content comes from universities, so their course offerings are mainly academic, with a  heavy focus on business and entrepreneurship. Many of their courses are introductory, so no previous college experience neccessary.  Irregularly scheduled courses + self paced courses Individual courses are completely free with a personal Coursera account (which is also free).  Coursera grants optional Verified Certificates of completion for a fee.
Creative Live Creativelive live streams courses on photography, design and audio-visual production every day. 

These live lectures, led by industry experts, can last a full day, or take place over several days.
Irregularly scheduled courses Creativelive offers many (but not all) of its live streamed courses for free.

You can join classes already in session, or RSVP for future classes through their calendar.  You will need to register for a free account.

You also get notices of last minute invitations to classes that otherwise have a fee, if you allow for notices by email or through your social media accounts.

Access to the classes after they've been streamed comes with a fee.

The United Kingdom's major provider of MOOC's, content here is mainly academic.  One content partner, the Open University, provides introductory level courses that have broad appeal. Irregularly scheduled courses All course content – video lectures, online forums, readings – are available with a free account, at no charge to the learner.  FutureLearn grants Statements of Participation and Statements of Completion, which are optional and come with a fee. 
Udemy logo

Udemy has a technology focus, but plenty of fun options like cooking and crafts. Self paced courses Approximately 10% of Udemy’s courses have no cost, if you sign up for a free account.  To find free courses, click on a subject, then click “Browse All.”  You will then see an option to show only the free courses.

Udacity logo

Udacity has a heavy focus on advanced technology, as well as business and workplace applications. Irregularly scheduled courses  Anyone who registers for a free acount can access all course materials on Udemy at no charge.  The company charges for official enrollment, which entitles learners to individual support and feedback from an instructor.

Open2Study logo

This Australian eLearning provider offers introductory college courses with popular appeal, such as World Music and Chinese Language & Culture. Courses run for 4 weeks, and start on a 5 week rotation All Open2Study courses and course materials are available at no cost to anyone who signs up for a free account.  These courses are unaccredited, which means they come with no official school credentials.  For learners wanting official credentials, Open2Study offers access to these, for a cost, in partnership with Australia Open Universities and Australian Open Training. 

edX offers mainly academic, business and technology courses. Irregularly scheduled courses + self paced courses Learners get full access to all courses and course materials at no charge when they register for a free account. Some edX courses offer options Certificates of Achievement for a fee.
Business, design, academics, art - Canvas.net provides courses on a very broad range of topics. Irregularly scheduled courses + self paced courses Most of the courses from Canvas.net have no cost with a free account.  There is, at this time, no way to restrict your search on the Cavas.net site to the free material, but any course costs are listed right on the search page.
 

Featured Self Paced Courses

Food Photography: Shooting at Restaurants

Skillshare | 1 hr


From Plant to Cup: Brew an Amazing Cup of Coffee

Skillshare | 1 hr


Knitting 1: Learn the Basics with a Simple Scarf

Skillshare | 1 hr


Creative Problem Solving

Coursera | 6 weeks


Soren Kerkegaard: Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity

Coursera | 8 weeks


Introduction to Public Speaking

Coursera | 10 weeks


Survey of Music Tehcnology

Coursera | 6 weeks


Services Marketing: Selling the Invisible

Open Learning | 3 weeks


*note – course durations are approximate; estimates are based on 3-5 hours of class per week.

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