Free Online Courses and Educational Resources

Free Online Courses and Educational Resources

There are a lot of great things on the internet, including free educational resources and university-level classes. Whether you’re searching for supplemental programs for your master’s program, a K-12 curriculum, or a professional education course, there are options at every level. These 18 websites either directly host or have directories of where you can find videos, textbooks, audio courses, interactive learning modules, and other educational resources.


Khan Academy

Khan Academy boasts more than 3,000 videos on a wide range of subjects such as art history, SAT prep, cosmetology, calculus, physics, chemistry and many others. The courses are broken into smaller sections for easy learning, can fit anyone’s schedule, and are self-paced. If you have questions, you can always leave a comment and other users can response.

If you prefer reading to watching videos, Khan Academy may not be the best fit for you because all lessons are video based.



One of the largest website offering free university-level courses, Coursera features classes from universities around the world. Most are in English, but there are also classes in foreign languages with English subtitles.

Some courses are self-paced and can be started at any time, but most have a specific start and end date. You join the class and along with a group of other students work through the material. The professor releases new lectures and assignments each week.



EdX offers self-paced and professor-led courses from universities around the world. Some courses can be taken for university credit or continuing education units, although that may require a verification or enrollment fee.


 iTunes U

With the use of your iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone, you can access thousands of different courses from hundreds of universities, including Yale, MIT, and Stanford. Students can receive lectures, PDFs, exhibit tours, films, audio books and slideshows in iTunes U.

You can also get access to additional educational material from the New York Public Library and Museum of Modern Art in New York. Moreover, you can keep these course materials in iBooks for future reference.


Learning Space: The Open University

If you are looking for interactive coursework on a variety of subjects, including languages, business, and engineering, Open University offers this service for free. You can view the courses based on their popularity or select the editor’s choice. The site is based in the UK, so expect the examples and spelling to be tailored for a British user.


Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Institute allows offers free self-paced and self-guided courses to registered users. Their offerings are limited, but you can expect a lot of detail in each course. Courses list prerequisites, required software, a syllabus, and estimated time to completion.


Bookboon Free Business e-books

On Bookboon, you can get free access to over 900 hundred business books in PDF format. The service is advertisement-based, and up to 15 percent of each book may be advertisements.


American Digital History

American Digital History gives free access to American history textbook, timelines, lesson plans, and multimedia material. There are also directories of museums or archives, maps, and links to primary sources such as newspaper article or court cases.


The National Science Digital Library

One of the nation’s leading online libraries for research and education in Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering. Visitors can view material based on their education level – preschool through professional – or different subject areas without limits. There are audio, video, ebooks, photos, documents, and interactive resources available.



OpenCourseWare is a directory of educational resources, everything from free textbooks to full courses. You can search by language, category, or institution, or keyword.


TheStreet University

This site has a focused introductory-level course for those interested in learning about stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.



Well-known for its informational and inspirational speakers, TED has thousands of videos on dozens of topics. There are both presentations from the TEDGlobal presentation and local TEDx events.



A Wikimedia Foundation project, Wikiversity is a text-based site dedicated to sharing learning projects, resources, and research. There are a featured project and educational picture posted each day. Or, visitors can get started by choosing an education level or subject area.


Harvard Law School

The Harvard Law School shares videos of symposia, law lectures, conferences, and panels as well as news related to legal cases and Harvard Law School alum. It offers an excellent collection of relevant information and observations on how the law connects with the current events.


The Free Library 

With more than 21 million free articles and books available online, the Free Library is a go-to resource for magazines, newspapers, classic books, and journal articles. The material is from 1984 to the present. Remember this site both as a resource for academic studies and personal interests.


Open Culture

Open Culture is a directory for finding free educational media. It lists courses, movies, audio books, textbooks, ebooks, language lessons, and shows that online courses offer certificates of completion.cou


Academic Earth

Academic Earth lists over 750 university-level courses or lectures from professors at top universities around the world. It also has curated lists with recommended YouTube videos that string together several lectures from different professors into a single, new “course.”


U.S. Small Business Administration Training Network

The Small Business Association has a series of short video courses created specifically for small business owners and those considering starting a business. It includes topics from starting a business and writing a business plan to how to prepare a government contract proposal. The majority of the courses are just 30 minutes long.