Best Distance Learning Programs

Best Distance Learning Programs

Online education has gained prominence in recent years with MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) taking the spotlight. But it’s not the only option for students looking to study at a higher level.

With online communication technology constantly improving, studying from a distance has never been more accessible. Online students can learn from renowned universities around the world without leaving home.

1. Coursera

One of the most popular online learning platforms, Coursera offers a wide variety of courses and programs. Founded in 2012, it has partnered with top universities and companies to offer free and paid learning options. Courses typically last 4-6 weeks and include weekly video lectures, a student project and peer-graded assignments. Some courses also have a final exam. Coursera also offers Specializations which are groups of intertwined courses to develop deeper knowledge on a topic.

While most of the courses and programs on the site are free, paying students have the option to earn a verified certificate of completion. This is known as the Signature Track and costs a few dollars per course. Coursera also offers MasterTrack programs which are more advanced degrees backed by top universities. Students who successfully complete these programs earn a micro-credential and college credit.

2. Udemy

Udemy is a massive open online learning (MOOC) platform that provides flexible and affordable self-paced courses. It offers a vast library of courses from individual instructors, many of which are highly specialized and focused on skills-oriented subjects.

It also hosts a community where students and instructors interact. Students can post questions on discussion boards, request clarification from instructors, and provide feedback in course reviews. The platform also offers an enterprise solution called Udemy for Business, which caters to organizational training needs.

Udemy is a great option for professionals looking to gain new skills or hone existing ones. Their courses are largely practical and can help you advance your career or improve your personal life. Most paid courses also come with a certificate of completion that you can include on your resume or CV.

3. edX

EdX is the online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT back in 2012. It’s one of the biggest providers of high-quality, university-level courses and programs, offering verified certificates to learners. Its courses cover a wide range of topics including biology, architecture, business communications and data science.

Unlike many other MOOCs, these courses are free to take, although you’ll have to pay if you want to get a certificate. The price varies depending on the course, but is usually around $50-100. The platform also offers longer programs such as MicroMasters.

edX has a more academic focus than other platforms and focuses on courses created in collaboration with prestigious universities and institutions. You’ll find a lot of popular subjects, such as introductory computer science or how to build a miniature zoo. They also have a wide variety of career-focused subjects such as data science or machine learning.

4. Coursera & Udemy

Coursera offers specialized courses and degree programs that allow students to study in-depth on a particular subject. The platform partners with prestigious universities to ensure that their educational content maintains academic standards and is reputable. Courses on this website include videos and assignments and can be completed at your own pace. Certificates are awarded upon completion of a course. Some courses also include a hands-on project.

Udemy has a huge pool of online courses that can help you to improve your skills in photography, language learning, or writing. The company offers a 7 day free trial on most of its courses and offers financial aid for some. Udemy also offers lifetime access to its courses.

Both platforms offer a great variety of online courses, but you should choose the one that best suits your goals and preferences. Coursera is favored for its prestigious partnerships and structured learning paths, but Udemy has a more user-friendly interface and design.

5. edX & Coursera

Both platforms have a lot to offer students, but which one is best? Both sites are considered top-tier providers of online education, both offering a range of courses from the world’s leading institutions. It really depends on your goals and what your needs are.

Coursera has partnered with many elite institutions such as Stanford, Google and Yale to provide 9,000+ courses (some up to Master’s level). Like edX, you can take many courses for free or pay to receive a verified certificate.

Coursera offers a variety of learning formats including video, readings and quizzes along with discussion forums. Some courses are also offered in a blended format which includes classroom-based activities. They also offer a specialization series that include hands-on projects and job-ready certificates.


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