Top 5 Tools For Finding And Creating Courses Online

Is there something you want to learn? How about something you want to teach? With the proliferation of online courses, eLearning authoring tools, and learning management systems (LMSs), anyone can use the Internet to get an education or to share what they know. There are many ways to access educational content depending on your own individual needs. Whether you are a teacher or a student interested in online learning, here are 5 tools you might not know about, but should.

Find the Perfect Course for You

SkilledUp
Do you need to learn web design for your job or just want to take a free course for fun? There are a ton of courses out there—don’t you wish there were a place where you could search all of them for exactly what you want? 

Well, there is! SkilledUp is a searchable database of nearly 70,000 courses (both free and paid) available online. Whether you are looking for skill-based courses, massive open online courses (MOOCs), talks and lectures, books and ebooks, or open courseware, SkilledUp has it.

eLearners.com
Are you looking to enroll in an accredited online program to earn a professional certificate or a degree? eLearners.com lets you search for and compare online courses, certificates, and degrees from colleges and universities across the United States. Most of these programs and courses are accredited (though double-check to be sure), so you can earn the recognized degree or professional certificate you need at home on your own time.

OpenCourseWare Consortium
Maybe you don’t want to take a full course, but just want to listen to lectures while you ride the bus. The OpenCourseWare Consortium has a database of materials and resources from nearly 9,000 courses in 20 languages from countries around the world. 

These are not complete hosted courses with grades and discussion forums, just the materials videos, lecture notes, assignments, exams, etc. from actual courses used in a traditional classroom setting. But this repository is one of the largest and most diverse collections of free educational materials available online. So download a couple of lecture podcasts on your phone and start learning!

Design and Teach a Course Online

ProProfs Training Maker
Ready to create a course of your own?Training Maker from ProProfs is an easy-to-use online learning management system (LMS) that allows you to create courses for academic programs, training programs, or just for fun. LMSs make elearning development easy by providing all of the tools you need in a complete online package. 

You can upload text documents, videos, audio podcasts, and any other type of content; create quizzes and tests; track student progress; and provide feedback. Training Maker is a cloud-based application, so there is no download required and support is provided for mobile devices. 

The full version of the software is available with a low-cost subscription, but the free version allows you to create public courses. On the ProProfs website, you can also take free courses and create quizzes, flashcards, surveys, polls, and more.

Connexions and OER Commons
Need content for your course but don’t want to spend your time reinventing the wheel? Good news! Many teachers have spent many hours developing course content and they want to share it. Connexions and OER Commons are two huge repositories of open educational materials, much of which can be reused or remixed without restriction. 

Connexions mainly caters to the higher ed market, with everything from individual modules to full textbooks available free of charge. OER Commons has everything from lecture notes to lesson plans and homework assignments for the elementary to the post-secondary grades. Both of these repositories depend on instructors freely donating their time and resources, so if you have developed your own content, consider sharing it with others.

These five tools represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to online courses and elearning software, but they are excellent places to get started. So get started learning or teaching today.

Sameer Bhatia is founder & CEO of ProProfs.com which is a leading provider of online learning tools for building knowledge, Online testing, and applying knowledge. Sameer has a background in technology with a Masters in Computer Science from USC (University Of Southern California) and is an ed-tech industry veteran.

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