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Guide Using Online Course Directories

Guidelines on using Online Course Directory Sites

  1. Carolyn
    Course aggregator sites or course directories curate courses from different course providers and have been developed to provide learners with a variety of search tools helping them to filter through the large number of courses and course providers to find specific courses that meet their individual needs.

    Some of these sites are better than others depending on what your needs and objectives are, so these guidelines are designed to assist in making the best use of the resources currently available to you.

    Firstly, there are some factors you will need to consider to help you with your search:

    What are you looking to develop?
    • Academic knowledge
    • Professional knowledge
    • A specific skill in your field of work
    • Recreational interests
    What's your preferred course format?
    • Scheduled course with a start date and an end date
    • On-demand course which can be accessed any time and at your own pace
    What type of learning do you prefer?
    • MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)
    • Online Course (Program of study on a particular topic)
    • Lecture videos & tutorials
    • Text based
    For a brief description of the different types of free or low-cost course providers, click here.

    Are you looking for free or paid courses (or both)?

    Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start using the various course directories that suit your needs best. Below are some guidelines to help with this:

    CourseTalk offers the most extensive catalogue of academic and professional courses, both paid and free. It also features by far the highest number of student reviews of courses giving users useful feedback and insights when looking for courses. ClassCentral and SlideRule are also a good source for reviews of free courses and MOOCs.

    If you are looking to develop specific skills, SkilledUp offers the most comprehensive repertoire of skill-based courses and alternative resources, such as e-books, webinars, bootcamps & lectures also with a focus on skill-based content.

    For directories that focus exclusively on free courses and MOOCs, ClassCentral, Mooc List, SlideRule, Open Education Europa, and CourseBuffet index free online courses only.

    If you are looking specifically for Open Courseware resources, Open Education Database and Open Education Europa provide a good selection.

    Open Education Europa is the only European course aggregator listing courses and other educational resources offered solely by European providers. This portal also gives users the option to select the website interface language from a list of 23 European languages.

    All these sites provide search and filtering tools in varying degrees, some allowing far more detailed filtering and sorting options than others, such as Mooc List.

    In addition to the standard search engine tools, some sites offer additional features to aid the learner. Some such features include the facility to save courses and resources of interest to a personal library, receive notifications of relevant upcoming courses, course or subject related articles and blogs, and course comparison tools. Notable sites offering a comparison tool are SkilledUp, RedHoop and CourseBuffet.

    The majority of course directory sites offer a course tracking tool allowing users to keep a personal record of courses of interest and be notified of upcoming courses. ClassCentral's Mooc Tracker provides one of the most efficient tracking tools.

    For social features allowing the most developed user interaction, personal profiles or user rewards system, Mooctivity, CourseTalk and MyEducationPath offer a good selection of social tools.


    Course Directory Comparison Table

    The following table gives an overview of the main tools and features provided by the different Course Directory Sites reviewed by MoocLab.

    For MoocLab's full reviews of Course Directory Websites, follow the link to Directories for Online Courses.


    WebsiteFree CoursesPaid CoursesFiltering & SortingSocial FeaturesCourse TrackingRatings & ReviewsComparison ToolArticles/BlogNewsletterExtra FeaturesGood for
    CourseTalkYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesNoIncludes smaller providersLarge nº courses, Reviews
    SkilledUpYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesRelated article linksSkill-based resources, course comparison
    ClassCentralYesNoYesNoYesYesNoYesYesTopical articlesFree courses, Course Tracking
    SlideRuleYesNoYesLimitedYesYesNoYesNoLearning pathwaysCourse reviews
    Mooc ListYesNoYesNoYesYesNoNoYesSharable personal MOOC LibraryFree courses, large nº courses & providers
    Open Education EuropaYesNoYesYesYesNoNoYesYesMultiple languagesEuropean open educational resources
    MyEducationPathYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesUser generated learning pathwaysSocial Features, large nº free & cheap courses
    MooctivityYesNoYesYesYesYesNoYesNoUser profileSocial features
    LearningAdvisorYesYesYesNoYesLimitedNoYesYesPersonalised course listLarge nº courses
    Open Education DatabaseYesYesYesNoNoNoNoYesNoOnline college rankingsOpen courseware
    CourseBuffetYesNoYesNoYesLimitedYesNoNoCourse Classification SystemComparing similar courses

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