Top 10 best online learning platforms to boost your academic portfolio

Online learning

Education systems are changing rapidly, taking on a new shape that will make learning easy and fun. Online learning is now the new language for every student and learner.

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic that threatened the world in 2020 has expanded the online learning technique, with low and middle-income nations embracing the new norms to keep education alive.

The deadly disease forced people to stay indoors, leaving students with the option of studying at home through an online education system.

In a finding released by Classcentral on November 30th 2020, the number of students/learners who registered for massive open online courses (MOOC) increased to 180 million, excluding China.

According to the data, one-third of these groups joined in 2020. There was also a massive increase in online courses to 16000+, with 2800 added in 2020.

As of 2021, there are thousands of online learning platforms that offer millions of online courses to learners all over the world. They work tirelessly to provide their users with a high level of education.

What is online learning?

Online learning is a way of studying offered through a virtual process, unlike the traditional face-to-face learning in school buildings.

It was established in the mid-1990s to support distance learning and connect learners worldwide. The learning process has presented scholars worldwide with the opportunity to study from any part of the world.

Since its invention, thousands of online learning platforms have been established, with over 950 universities imbibing the idea of learning online, according to data from Classcentral.

Even though many online learning platforms exist, some are ranked higher than others based on performance and the rate of their services.

If you are looking for the best online learning platform to pursue your academic career, here is your answer. Check out our top 10 best online learning platforms globally and settle with one.

Top 10 best online learning platforms in the world

  1. Edx
  2. Coursera
  3. Udemy
  4. Udacity
  5. LinkedIn Learning
  6. Codeacademy
  7. Skillshare
  8. FutureLearn
  9. Pluralsight
  10. Thinkific

1.0 Edx

Edx's massive open online course (MOOC) is number one on our best online learning platforms list. It is an American-based online learning platform invented by a private land-grant research university, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.

The online learning platform offers university-level and other high-level courses such as business, computer science, communication, data science, and healthcare.

It holds a weekly learning series, with each sequence composed of short videos. Interactive classes back up the weekly online learning section for broader understanding.

The Edx platform also supports an online discussion forum, where you can share ideas and get answers to your questions. To help you with further learning, Edx shares an online e-book where you can research and read more about the knowledge from the tutorial videos.

For practical courses, Edx provides an online laboratory to help you practise more on the topics you learnt in the tutorial videos.

In partnership with different higher institutions, Edx offers a blended learning method to upskill its students and reduce the rate of academic failure.

Open edX, which is open-source software, allows universities, non-profit institutions, national governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations to run online teaching through its platform.

Edx also offers upskilling and training for business owners, teams, or aspiring business owners with high-quality learning in business areas.

Edx courses are free, but some require a monthly or annual payment to gain full access.

2.0 Coursera

Coursera is another American massive open online service provider founded in 2012 by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, two computer science professors at Stanford University.

The online platform partners with over 200+ universities and companies to provide online courses, certifications, and degrees for learners. Coursera also supports online master's degree programs and many job landing courses.

Coursera, in partnership with notable companies such as Facebook, IBM, and Google, offers IT courses such as data analysis, data science, UX design, Python, and many more.

The Coursera online courses can last four to twelve weeks, depending on course choice. You will be provided with one or two tutorial videos that last for two hours for your learning.

You will be given quizzes, weekly exercises, and peer-graded and reviewed assignments at the end of every video. Coursera also offers on-demand courses, which provide you with time to complete a particular course.

Coursera's affiliate marketing program allows you to choose from 4,000+ courses and specializations to promote. You will be provided with Coursera custom banners and text links.

With the Coursera affiliate marketing program, you will earn 10%–45% commissions on any eligible purchases made by your users within 30 days of clicking a qualified link, plus bonuses for exceptional performance.

Like Edx, Coursera also offers upskilling and training to business owners and aspiring business owners to prepare them for a more fantastic future in the business world.

3.0 Udemy

Udemy is one of the best online learning platforms globally in our list of top online learning platforms. It is an American massive open online course provider founded in 2010.

The online learning platform has over 183,000 courses and 44 million students learning 75 different languages. Some of the top course categories in Udemy are design, development, marketing, IT and software, business, and music.

It also offers tutors the opportunity to work on its platform, allowing them to build on their preferred topics. The Udemy development tool can help you upload videos, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, audio files, ZIP files, and live classes.

Users can also interact with instructors via the online discussion forum, finding answers to their academic problems and learning new ideas.

Udemy enterprises can create a custom learning portal for their team training using the Udemy business platform. It will help you upskill your business team for more incredible achievements.

The online learning platform changes learning by helping companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations explore business with excellent skills.

Udemy has over 6,000+ courses for business owners and large enterprises for upskilling their business strategies, including product management skills, complete financial analyst training, innovative marketing with price psychology, and others.

Udemy offers an affiliate marketing program with a high commission, like other online learning platforms. All you need to do is promote Udemy's product and earn a reasonable commission.

Some Udemy courses are made available for free, while some require some money to access; the prices depend on the courses you are interested in learning.

4.0 Udacity

Udacity is an American online learning platform founded in 2012 by Sebastian Thrun, David Stavens, and Mike Sokolsky at Stanford University.

It is the fourth-best online learning platform in our list of the best online learning platforms in the world.

The online learning platform focused on offering university-level classes in artificial intelligence before adding vocational professional courses to its platform.

Today, Udacity partners with many technology companies, offering high-tech courses in many categories, such as data science, programming, business, product management, cloud computing, and cyber security.

Udacity offers students free access to enrol in over one course simultaneously. With your enrollment, you are provided with different online tutorial videos and quizzes that will help you understand more about your course.

The great thing about Udacity courses is that students may complete their studies at their preferred pace, giving you more room to relax while mastering your course.

In each online tutorial video, you are given follow-up homework that will help you learn more about what you have been taught and get used to your course by practising.

Upon completing Udacity courses, you will be offered a certificate of completion, helping you build your academic portfolio. The online learning platform focuses on pursuing a mission to democratize education.

The Udacity online learning platform also specializes in the upskilling of the workforce in industries with many business-wise strategies.

5.0 LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is an American massive open online course provider generated from a business and employment-oriented online platform, LinkedIn.

The online learning platform was founded by Lynda Susan Weinman, a business owner and author before LinkedIn.

The platform offers over 1600+ courses, focusing on three categories: business, creative skills; technology for business owners; higher education; government agencies; and libraries.

LinkedIn Learning offers on-demand courses that will help you prepare for any professional certification examination.

It also offers a weekly tutorial video to enrolled students on its platform. Every week, the online learning platform produces over 60 courses that help its students further their studies.

At the cause of study in the LinkedIn Learning platform, online tutorial videos and online e-books are provided for you to help build your skills.

Quizzes and assessments will also be provided for you, which will help improve your learning and knowledge.

One of the unique things about the LinkedIn learning platform is that it recommends courses for your upskilling based on your profile and the profession you are aspiring for with the help of data from a vast professional network.

6.0 Codecademy

Codecademy is an American online learning platform that focuses on teaching code classes in twelve different programming languages such as Python, Java, Go, JavaScript, Ruby, SQL, C++ and others.

On joining Codecademy, you will have full access to online tutorial videos followed by code challenges that will help you master your coding skills through practice.

Community-driven code documentation in popular programming languages will also be available to read up on and master your skills.

During online learning with Codecademy, you will also have full access to real-life projects that will help prepare you for a company job.

Codecademy has individual plans and expertise plans. The individual plans have student and pro membership plans. The pro membership is differentiated from the student plan because it includes:

  • Career paths and skill paths tell you what to learn and in what order. So you won't waste time learning the wrong thing.
  • Unique projects that let you try it yourself, then explain where you made a mistake.
  • You can make use of our entire catalogue of curriculum and content. You will also earn a certificate of completion for each course you finish.

Codecademy also offers internal training skills and upskilling to company teams for a better workflow. It has a forum where you can chat with fellow coders, share ideas, and get solutions to your challenges.

The pro membership in Codecademy is $15.99 per month if paid yearly, while its regular monthly subscription is $19.99.

7.0 Skillshare

Skillshare is another online learning platform on our list of the best online learning platforms in the world to boost your academic portfolio. It is an American-owned online learning platform that focuses on imparting knowledge to people through sharing educational videos.

Skillshare's primary method of learning focuses on interaction with its students rather than lecturing, a process they believe would help you develop your skills more through practice.

The Skillshare online learning platform has 39,000+ classes and over 60,000+ student projects that focus on illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and more, prepared by professional industry leaders and professionals.

You can also become a Skillshare affiliate marketer by sharing the online classes and content created by Skillshare each week.

The online learning platform also offers scholarships in different areas of study, including the Mailchimp Scholarship for small businesses, which helps provide small business owners with one year of unlimited access to the entire Skillshare catalogue of online classes.

Another scholarship program is the VSCO Scholarship for Aspiring Photographers, which provides up-and-coming photographers with unlimited access to Skillshare classes for one year.

8.0 FutureLearn

FeatureLearn is a massive open online course provider owned by the UK's Open University and SEEK Limited of Australia. The online learning platform focuses on short courses, ExpertTrack, micro-credentials, and degree programs.

FutureLearn's ExpertTrack programme will help you focus on a particular course and master a new skill in a specialist area.

The topic in the ExpertTrack programme comprises two to six courses each, while the length of training depends on the type and number of courses involved.

You will have access to a seven-day free trial before you can continue your learning with a payment of $39 per month. After every course in the ExpertTrack program, you will earn a digital certificate of completion.

In FutureLearn's short course programme, there are over 1,337 courses, with each course assigned two to six hours of training per week depending on the course.

The FutureLearns micro-credential courses comprise undergraduate and postgraduate courses that take 1 to 15 weeks to learn, depending on the courses.

FutureLearn's degree programmes focus on many subjects, such as business and management, creative arts and media, healthcare and medicine, history, IT and computer science, and others.

The online learning format in FutureLearn is through watching tutorial videos, reading articles, and completing tests and assessments online. You will also participate in discussions with experts who will give you feedback on your review.

You will be given access to join the FutureLearn peer group and gain the advantage of sharing ideas and getting answers to your questions from your fellow students.

You will have full access to university libraries and resources as well as complete support.

9.0 Pluralsight

Pluralsight is an American online learning platform established in 2004 by Aaron Skonnard, Keith Brown, Fritz Onion, and Bill Williams.

It offers online course training on software development, IT operations, information and cyber security, cloud computing, and machine learning through tutorial videos, online documents for your upskilling, and live classes.

It also offers a free assessment to understand your skill IQ to help you choose a suitable career path. The online learning platforms partner with well-talented professionals to ensure that their training is up to standard.

Pluralsight also offers training to business teams, helping them upskill and increase their working pace. The online learning platform has two subscriptions: the standard and the premium.

The subscription for the standard plan is $7.93 per month billed in a yearly payment, while the premium plan costs $11.93 per month billed monthly.

10. Thinkific

Thinkific is a Canadian online learning platform that was founded in 2012. It focuses on optimizing online learning experiences for scholars and tutors, partnering with high institutions, corporations, and many educational platforms to offer the best courses on its platform.

Thnkific supports over 30 languages, diversifying its offerings worldwide. With Thinkific online learning platform, you will be provided with a complete online tutorial video and hosting, a built-in content creation tool that will help you practice your skills.

You will have full access to course reviews and discussions with tutors. You will also have full access to four live workshops featuring special guests and a weekly live question-and-answer session with the course instructor.

Thinkific also provides a community network of peers that will help you interact with other students and share ideas.