Time to go back to (online) school

If you are reading this article than the thirst of knowledge always pulling you to learn a little bit more about the world. It is a valuable personality trait that should be fed. Entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn said, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” However, with so much information available at our fingertips all the time it is hard to sort through the sand to find the diamond. As British author, Samuel Johnson famously said, “The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it.”

Many sites that are happy to charge you for knowledge but why pay for a monthly subscription, or worse a large lump payment when there are many sites out there that will quench that thirst of knowledge without costing a dollar.

Backed by the Open Universities Australia, who has over 20 years of education experience, Open2Study is their free platform that shares courses curated by Australia’s best universities into self-paced programs in a variety of subjects. Some of the subjects include Financial Planning, Early Childhood Education, Sociology, and Writing for the Web.

Courses with Open2Study run for two to six weeks and will require between two to four hours a week to finish the sections. Each lesson contains video and quizzes so that you can test what you have learned.

If you want accreditation for your courses, there are options with Open2Study, but these do cost money.

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Future Learn
A website owned by the UK’s Open University, who have 40 years experience in distance and online learning. They have partnered with 91 organisations from around the world including the British Council, British Museum, British Library, and the National Film and Television School to offer a broad range of free online courses.

The courses that Future Learn offer varies from Business & Management, Health & Psychology, and Online Development to the most creative categories including Creative Arts & Media, Languages & Culture, and Literature. Courses are designed with a traditional learning method which releases content a week at a time. Courses run from one to eight weeks and will require from one to six hours a week to complete each section. You also able to work at your pace but the set schedule works in with live streams with the educators and online discussions with other students. It is a safe space to learn, and the sheer number of course on offer will make sure that you are never going to get bored.

While the name might not be the one you would think of when it comes to eLearning, it is meant as the counter site to the popular online learning site Lynda.com which charges for its courses. As stated on the site, ALISON is “a seven million-strong, global online learning community, filled with free, high-quality online education resources”.

Like the other sites, ALISON offers an extensive range of subjects with varying course length and required hours to complete. Where it stands out from its competitors is a comprehensive section on Languages that could get you speaking French quicker than you could say “très vite”. Another great feature on ALISON is the ability to get accreditation for the competition of the courses you have already done. This feature isn’t offered on every course and will cost you around $50 per course, however, it is a nice feature if accreditation is something you desire.

No matter if you decide to go with just one website or all of them these sites prove that there is quality knowledge available with the only cost being your time.

Have you taken an online course before? Are you going to try one? What would you like to learn from one of these sites?