image of the best online learning platforms to access professional, educational, and creative courses

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Posted on 08/26/2022

Top Online Learning Platforms to Take Advantage of in 2022

Online learning platforms are evidence of the evolvement of the human learning process over the years. Life in itself is a constant cycle of learning, and growth is achieved through learning. It’s no surprise that many people refer to themselves as ‘students of life.’ Humans learned new strategies to adapt to the new development, one of which is online learning aided by digital technology. 

Basically, if you’ve been uncertain about choosing an online platform to take courses and stimulate your intellect, read this post to the end so that you learn about the different learning platforms you can access for your learning needs.

What are online learning platforms?

An online learning platform is a virtual learning system that offers students, professionals, and creatives access to a plethora of educative and informative materials upon which they may or may not receive certification.

Although online learning platforms are referred to as ‘marketplaces’ because learners purchase courses that are relevant to them on the platform, not every course is up for sale on some platforms. Other learning platforms are programmed to enable trainers to create courses and customize their students’ learning experiences. For education-based content, academic institutions strictly offer educational lessons. Having stated this, our focus is on learning platforms and learning management systems.

As a matter of fact, interest in online learning was piqued as the pandemic encouraged the drastic evolution of modern education. Certainly, pivoting to the online learning environment is more than a matter of convenience or obsession with devices, its unique selling point is affordability, efficiency, and flexibility, unlike traditional schooling. Little wonder it is a high preference by so many people.

Meanwhile, it’s high time you knew these online learning platforms, so let’s cut to the chase and explore the best online learning platforms for your academic/professional needs.

Best online learning platforms in 2022 and their value proposition

image for online learning platforms in the us

Best for unified courses: Coursera

Best for niche learning: Udemy

Best for creative disciplines: Skillshare

Best for corporate seminars, academic conferences, and webinars: InEvent

Best for lessons delivered by celebrity: MasterClass

Best for recruitment and professional courses: LinkedIn

Best for STEM education: EdX

1. Coursera

Coursera is in partnership with over 200 reputable universities and companies to offer supplementary courses in education and career development. It offers academic courses from actual professors at a fraction of the cost. Coursera Plus subscribers get unlimited access to over 3,000 courses for $399 a year. If you prefer to pay for only a select few courses, the cheapest course is $30 to $40. You can accrue professional benefits like raises, promotions, and more through certifications. The platform enables video uploads and class activities like quizzes. 

pros

  • Extensive courses developed by organizations and universities.
  • There are 1,500+ free courses
  • Employers regard certificates issued by accredited institutions as highly
  • It’s easy to navigate through the website
  • Adopts a multi-language learning system

cons

  • Rigid course timelines
  • Certification is not attached to free courses
  • It’s not enough to depend on fully, as degree programs require additional applications

2. Udemy

Generally, there are more than 100,000 courses on any topic you can think of. Courses are segmented into language, arts, music, fitness and personal development, programming, and IT niches. Each class is created and taught individually and prices start at about $11 for lifetime access. Learners can access the audio, videos, texts, reading materials, quizzes, and other activities. Students are offered a trial process to experience courses. And if they aren’t interested in the course, they can be refunded.

pros

  • There are over 183,000 courses for professional skills and hobbies
  • 30-day refund system
  • Multimedia lectures that incorporate study materials and engagement features
  • No study deadlines
  • Courses are taught in 65 global languages

cons

  • Not in partnership with accredited institutions and possesses no accreditation
  • Poor Q&A engagement
  • Some published the instructors don’t review courses

3. Skillshare

Skillshare is an online learning platform offering 35,000+ courses, albeit, it’s majorly focused on developing creative skills than traditional classes. It has a subscription model, rather than a per-course payment plan, so students can take as many or as few courses as they want while they’re subscribed. The platform does offer a set of free classes that are 20 minutes to 1 hour long, which are a good way to try out potentially interesting topics. The current pricing plan is $168 per year, costing about $14 every month.

pros

  • Broad course range
  • Lessons are taught by skilled instructors, including celebrities
  • Majorly all areas of creativity are covered
  • Provides team subscription model for 20+ people (great for companies to train their employees).
  • Offers free seven-day trial 

cons

  • Only a few courses are free
  • Only premium subscription is Ad-free
  • Language limitation: all courses are taught only in English

4. MasterClass

MasterClass courses are video-based, with practical advice and demonstrations mixed in with straightforward lectures, workbooks, and class discussions. You can get TV writing advice from Shonda Rhimes or learn to cook from Gordon Ramsay, take a film class from Martin Scorsese, or explore creative leadership with Anna Wintour. Finally, MasterClass is a subscription-based platform, you can take as many sessions as you want within a monthly subscription.

pros

  • Access to Global Instructors
  • Unlimited access to all classes through membership
  • High-quality video production
  • Courses have a comprehensive curriculum
  • 30-day guarantee
  • The quality of the courses is consistent

cons

  • No free trial or free courses
  • No certifications
  • Fewer number of courses than competitors
  • Only annual subscriptions are available

5. InEvent

InEvent is a video-first solution for live, virtual, hybrid interactions and remote lifestyles which includes online learning. With an affordable subscription offering a wealth of video solutions, InEvent has powered events, conferences, academic presentations, and meetings for world-class corporate institutions including Sony, Santander, Bayer, Coca-Cola, and Bosch. Comparative to other online learning marketplaces, InEvent is actually a learning management system that enables institutions to customize the platform to suit their needs and provide lessons to learners.

Pros

  • High-quality video production
  • Can be used for long-term courses
  • All study materials can be hosted on the InEvent server
  • Instructors can issue certificates to students
  • High video engagement
  • Peer-to-peer networking
  • The class assessment features: polls, quizzes, comments, questions
  • Offers real-time content editing
  • Offers trials to test the platform
  • Institutions can customize the platform to administer courses

Cons

  • Not a marketplace to sell courses
  • Not popularly used as a classroom but for educational presentations and panel discussions
  • Only annual and monthly subscriptions are available

6. LinkedIn

LinkedIn Learning was previously known as Lynda.com, it is a well-known educational platform that provides multimedia professional courses in business, technology, and creative sectors. Courses are available to premium LinkedIn members and include over 16,000 courses in 7 languages, with the intent of helping individuals invest in their career growth.

Pros

  • Well known and cherished in the B2B community
  • one-month free trial
  • Ability to personalize course recommendations for users
  • Offers certification 
  • Measure performance using quizzes
  • Offers offline learning 
  • Automatic access to other premium career features

Cons

  • To vet the quality of the course, you need to conduct some research before enrollment.
  • It may be challenging to sign up as a tutor

7. EdX

EdX is in partnership with Harvard, MIT, and Berkeley, possessing over 15,000 instructors who teach education-oriented courses across several different categories. EdX’s unique selling point is that most of its courses are free—however, there’s a catch. Additionally, if you’re just taking the class for the sole purpose of learning, the free version will work, but if you are seeking professional accreditation, the ‘verified certificate’ enrollment is $49 per class. 

Pros

  • Free classes are available with no certification
  • Offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs
  • Provides maximum of 90% financial assistance 
  • 14-day trial period
  • Recognized for STEM-related courses

Cons

  • Limited courses are available for creative and humanities fields
  • Financial assistance doesn’t cover all courses

Online learning vs traditional learning: which should you choose?

image of online learning platform

To answer this question, you need to, first of all, identify your learning needs. Generally, traditional learning controls what you learn, how you learn, and for how long you need to learn to be accredited; Online platforms, on the other hand, allow people to control their learning processes in the palm of their hands. 

Simply put, online learning lets you customize your learning experience. You can take control of your academic life and learn at your own pace without being in a hurry, and there is no better and easier way to do that than by taking online classes. Although, let’s not be too hasty to write off traditional education, as it has its pros. TFormallearning enables face-to-face interaction which to many, improves learning capacity.

Conclusion

Finally, online platforms are here to stay, obviously not because of the pandemic because it’s fizzling out quickly but because it offers convenience and a multiplicity of options to learners. It’s not a bad idea for corporate institutions to offer courses in their area of specialization to professionals, just like HubSpot is doing. It’s an excellent way to garner huge traffic to your websites as well which impacts positively your marketing performance. Lastly, People don’t just want brands to always take value from them without yielding any in return. Notwithstanding, a great way to establish an equilibrium is to provide value whilst ensuring that value is provided to clients so that you can establish dependability, trust, and sustained patronage, and develop meaningful relationships.

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