Saturday, November 2, 2013

Free Online Courses that give Certificates upon Completion

Whether it is for better job prospects, or personal growth, education can improve life. As such, I have put together this list of free online courses which anyone with an internet connection can access.

ALISON (Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online)

ALISON is a training website providing around 400 free, open courses, diplomas, and certificates in a wide variety of subjects to people all over the world (e.g. business, IT, etc).
You can enrol for free in a diploma or certificate course. When you finish your course, you become certified as having completed the course. You don't need a paper diploma or certificate to be recognized as certified, but you can order one if you'd like.
Depending on which course you choose, the material may be presented through slides, audio, video, animations, or a combination of these. Most courses involve a few multiple quizzes and a multiple choice final assessment. Both can be done as many times as necessary. To get your certificate or diploma, you must earn 80% or more overall in your course.
The estimated completion time for some of the certificate courses are short (0 - 1 hour) and others are longer (2 - 3 hours). The time it takes to complete the diploma courses can range from 6 - 16 hours.


Udacity provides free courses in mainly computer science and math topics.When you successfully complete a course, you receive a certificate of completion.
Here are some of the courses offered:
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Introduction to Physics
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Introduction to Programming in Java
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Web Development
  • How to Build a Startup
The lessons are presented using videos, with multiple choice quizzes at various sections.

SAYLOR.ORG is an online website which offers free college-type courses in areas such as business administration, computer science, psychology and economics. When you complete a course, you are awarded a free certificate of completion.
Some of these courses may also be used for credit at some institutions, such as Saylor's partner colleges: Excelsior College and Thomas Edison State College. However, in order to use a course for college credit, you may need to pay additional fees.


Coursera is a learning platform which is used by many colleges and universities to provide various courses free online to many students at a time. These classes are commonly called MOOCs. Some participating institutions include Duke University and Berklee College of Music.
Courses usually last for several weeks, and involve active involvement with the class, including coursework, quizzes, and sometimes forum discussions. Upon completion, some courses provide a Statement of Accomplishment or a Verified Certificate for students who pass the course.


EdX is similar to Coursera in that it partners with universities, and offers MOOCs which last for several weeks. When you enrol in a course, you can choose to pursue a certificate of mastery for most courses. After you pass all asignments and tests, you receive the certificate.
Some reputable universities using this platform include Harvard University and MIT.


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