If you find yourself stuck at home with nowhere to go and nothing to do, why not spend some time improving or adding to your skills?

The world of distance learning has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years. What was once a complex and difficult way to learn is now common and recommended. Many colleges and universities offer free distance learning courses you can use to bolster your experience or just learn something fun.

Read on for a guide to finding distance learning classes

What Is Distance Learning?

Put simply, distance learning occurs when you are taking a class or a course in a different physical location than the teaches and, oftentimes, the other students. Distance learning has made it possible to earn degrees on an alternate schedule, start new hobbies and attend a school or class you would not otherwise be able to attend.

You can use distance learning for paid and free online classes. Here are 8 websites you can use to take free, college-level classes completely online.

1. Coursera

Coursera is a platform that gives you free access to hundreds of the best college courses you can take. Their mission is to help transform lives by giving people access to free classes and the worldโ€™s best learning experience.

On this platform, you will find more than 3900 courses and specializations, more than 13 professional certificates and more than 20 degrees and certificates. Coursera partners with world-class universities and companies to bring you the education you need to improve your skills, have a successful career change, and earn a professional degree.

While Coursera offers free classes, you can also pay a fee to obtain a certification or degree.

2. FutureLearn

FutureLearn has a mission to transform access to education by offering a variety of courses from institutions and universities around the world.

On this platform, you will find hundreds of courses in a variety of subjects that you can take as a single course, as part of a microcredentials program or as part of a full degree program. FutureLearn helps you develop your professional skills, learn a new hobby, prepare for a promotion, and prepare for your career.

While every class is free, you have the option to purchase an upgrade or unlimited membership that comes with extra perks.

3. edX

edX is one of the best resources for online learning. This website was founded by Harvard and MIT with a mission of increasing access to quality education for every single person.

On this platform, you will find more than 2000 courses and more than 200 programs you can take to get a better understanding of a subject. You can also earn a certificate, or earn a MicroBachelors, MicroMasters, or Masters degree. edX brings you higher learning in professional subjects that can boost your earning potential or give you the confidence to take your career to the next level.

While the individual courses are free, you can pay a fee to earn a full degree.

4. Alison

Alison offers some of the best college courses online. Their mission is to create equality, opportunity, and prosperity by making it possible for anyone to learn any subject from any place.

On this platform, you will find more than 1000 courses you can take to learn something new, obtain career skills, or earn a certificate or diploma. While Alison courses are free, you can purchase a monthly subscription for extra features and benefits.

5. OpenLearn

OpenLearn is a platform created by The Open University. Their mission is to open up learning for everyone, everywhere.

On this platform, you will find more than 900 courses with interactive games, articles, quizzes, videos, and audio you can take to earn a Statement of Participation and a digital badge. OpenLearn also offers helpful resources like a TV and radio show, studying resources, and life resources to support the overall wellness of the learning community.

All OpenLearn courses are free.

6. Canvas Network

Canvas Network has a mission of providing a true โ€œopenโ€ experience in terms of:

  • Content
  • Access
  • Data
  • Platform
  • Neutrality
  • Ecosystem

This platform is a little different than others because it focuses on providing a place for educators, institutions, and other academic professionals with a learning management system that allows them to deliver an easier and better learning experience to their students.

While to focus seems to be on the educators, there are courses available for students to take. The website has a comprehensive catalog with courses in many different subjects from many different institutions.

All Canvas Network courses are free.

7. Academic Earth

Academic Earth has a mission to increase access to a world-class education.

On this platform, you will find a carefully curated list of online courses and degree programs from various participating universities and institutions. Youโ€™ll also find in-depth information on what you can expect when pursuing an online certification, associates, bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. for a variety of subjects.

While the online courses and degree programs are not offered through Academic Earth, you will find a library of helpful and thought-provoking videos that are engaging and informative.

8. Open Education (Powered By Blackboard)

Blackboard Learn is an online teaching application, used to share knowledge, build community and give students a place to collaborate and learn. Itโ€™s a flexible, open platform that is focused on creating an environment that supports and nurtures learning and achievement.

Open Education is an online learning platform that is powered by Blackboard Learn. Their mission is to be the largest free learning community in the world. On this platform, you will find a simple interface with a catalog of courses you can start taking for free. This is a no-frills site that is focused on providing a quality education to everyone who wants and needs one.

College-Level Distance Learning: The Bottom Line

By taking advantage of one of these distance learning platforms, you can beat your boredom while learning something new or getting the education you need to increase your income level at the same time.

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