What Would You Like to Learn Online Today?

By Nina Anthony | December 18, 2012

Here are some of the interactive learning options I’ve discovered to help you master the skills you need for the job you hope to land or the business you hope to start or grow. There are courses available through online colleges and universities (many of which are free), as well as courses designed specifically for aspiring or established entrepreneurs. The one thing all courses have in common is the convenience and flexibility of taking the class when you have the time.

My Own Business
This site offers Free online training designed specifically for start-ups.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy offers 1000s of FREE courses for the student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, or adult returning to the classroom after a 20 -year absence from the academic world. Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.

Education Portal
A portal to free online business training programs for college credit.

Lynda is a subscription-based online learning library offering training through high-quality videos on a variety of subjects — from WordPress development to video production to Excel and other software training. Their basic monthly subscription is $25/month and offers access to over 1,550 courses.

Self directed and instructor-led training from the American Institute of Small Business. A sampling of course offerings: Accounting Fundamentals, Small Business Marketing on a Shoestring, Achieving Top Search Engine Positions, Creating WordPress Websites. Courses are 24 hours in length and run $249 per class.

FAMEE Foundation
The Foundation for the Advancement of Marketing Excellence in Entrepreneurs offers in-depth free marketing courses for entrepreneurs and consultants. There is no cost required to become a member in The FAMEE Foundation or to access our small business marketing tools and e-learning courses. Some of their course offerings include: Marketing Tips for Recession Stressed Entrepreneurs and Tips for Getting a Bank Loan.

Mango Languages
Mango Languages is an online language learning system that teaches actual conversation skills, vocabulary, grammar & culture for the world’s most popular languages. Mango’s lessons combine everyday conversation skills, memory building strategies, cultural insights and interactivity to make learning fun and fast. They claim that you’ll learn in just 15 minutes a day. Each language lesson costs $79.00. You can demo your first lesson in any language for free.

Open Courseware Consortium
This is a worldwide community of hundreds of higher education institutions and associated organizations committed to advancing OpenCourseWare and its impact on global education. The link will connect you to a huge catalog of free courses available in just about every imaginable subject. It’s sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlet Foundation.

US Small Business Administration
The SBA (a core funder of WESST) offer several free online courses to help prospective and existing entrepreneurs understand the basics of starting and running a business. 

FREE Courses Offered by Universities

Yale – 35 FREE Courses
Each course includes a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video accompanied by such other course materials as syllabi, suggested readings, exams, and problem sets.

Notre Dame – 72 FREE Courses
Notre Dame joins the OCW Consortium, “a worldwide community of hundreds of universities and associated organizations committed to advancing OpenCourseWare.” Notre Dame’s participation is consistent with its goal “to provide a forum where through free inquiry and open discussion the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect with all the forms of knowledge found in the arts, sciences, professions, and every other area of human scholarship and creativity.”

University of Michigan – 77 FREE Courses
The University of Michigan’s collection of openly licensed educational resources (OER) offers everything from course materials to videos to software tools to student work—this content. All ready for downloading and remixing, for FREE.

University of Cape Town – 148 FREE Courses
Learning content: syllabi, full courses, modules, learning objects, lecture notes, presentation and data collections. Tools: content development tools, online learning communities, and software to support the creation, delivery, use and improvement of open learning content.

University of California – 247 FREE Courses
The University launched its OpenCourseWare initiative in November 2006. As the first West Coast university and UC campus to join the OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCWC), our OCW project is growing rapidly with the addition of nearly10 new courses every month.

Tufts University – 49 FREE Courses
Tufts University is committed to offering the world’s learners free access to its many academic resources. Tufts OpenCourseWare (OCW) seeks to capitalize on the potential of the internet to eliminate borders and geographic distance as obstacles to the instantaneous exchange of knowledge and new ideas. Unlike distance learning programs that charge tuition, provide formal instruction and limit participation, OpenCourseWare offers all course materials free to everyone with online access.

Weber State University – 7 FREE Courses
Free and open educational resource for faculty, students, and self-learners throughout the world.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s OPENCOURSEWARE (OCW) project provides access to content of the School’s most popular courses.

IE University – 10 FREE Courses
Open collection of educational resources organized by courses.

Capilano University – 23 FREE Courses
Capilanou offers a complete range of preparatory courses, university transfer courses, business and management studies, creative and applied arts programs, health and human services programs, plus a range of services in support of student learning and success.

Kaplan University – 11 FREE Courses
Kaplan University’s mission is to “rewrite the rules of education with innovative technology and new ideas.” They currently offer 11 OCW courses free of charge.

Jersey Institute of Technology – 20 FREE Courses
NJIT is a member of the worldwide OpenCourseWare Consortium. NJIT’s OpenCourseWare (OCW) site offers free and open digital publication of high-quality educational materials, organized as courses. Some courses can be viewed in video, while others are only in audio. Course lecture notes and presentations are also posted for some courses.

Novell, Inc – 20 FREE Courses
Free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses.

People’s Open Access Education Initiative – 16 FREE Courses
Courses are based on the concept of open education resources (OER), freely available on the Internet. Peoples-uni develops a standardized educational context around these open resources.

The Open University – 606 FREE Courses
Try over 600 free online courses from The Open University. Available from introductory to advanced level, each takes between 1 and 50 hours to study. Complete activities to assess your progress and compare your thoughts with sample answers. Sign up for free to track your progress, connect with other learners in our discussion forums and find the tools to help you learn.

MIT – More than 2,000 FREE courses
MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of almost all of MIT’s subjects available on the Web, free of charge. With more than 2,000 courses available, MIT OCW courses help independent learners enrich their lives and help them learn more about marketing and organizational behavior to tackling some of our world’s most difficult challenges, including sustainable development, climate change, and cancer eradication.

Do you know of other free or affordable e-learning resources available online? Please share any resources you’ve discovered in the comments below.

About the Author

Nina Anthony

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