The 10 Most Popular Free Online Courses For eLearning Professionals

Most Popular Free Online Courses For eLearning Professionals
Summary: Are you looking for free online courses that can help you take your eLearning deliverables to the next level? In this article, I'll share 10 free online courses for eLearning professionals, to help you choose the one that is ideal for your professional goals and needs.

Most Popular Free Online Courses For eLearning Professionals

Each professional should seek to become better and to further develop his/her skills and knowledge. However, for eLearning professionals this becomes even more imperative since the eLearning industry is so innovative and volatile. Thankfully, there are a number of free online courses for eLearning professionals which  give them the opportunity to expand their knowledge of learner behavior, brush up on Instructional Design Models, and discover new and emerging technologies.

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  1. Fundamentals of Online Education
    This program is offered by Georgia Tech and includes 6 weeks of instruction, focused on the fundamentals of eLearning. After completing the free online course, you will have an in depth understanding of how to transform traditional courses, specifically those that involve face-to-face instruction, into interactive online courses.
  2. E-Learning and Digital Cultures
    Hosted by the University of Edinburgh, this 5 week course concentrates on digital cultures and learning cultures, as well as how both relate to one another to create meaningful learning experiences. Rather than focusing on how to create eLearning courses, this program delves into educational practices that center around digital media and culture, so that you are able to apply the concepts and ideas to your own eLearning deliverables.
  3. Introduction to Instructional Systems Design
    This free online course focuses on Instructional Systems Design, which pertains to designing and developing eLearning courses that help learners boost knowledge retention and skill development. This program also explores Instructional Design learning theories, how to develop and implement learning objectives and goals, and how these elements directly impact the eLearning design and development.
  4. Virtual Teacher Program
    The University of California, Irvine provides a sequence of courses where you can learn how to be an effective virtual teacher in an online or blended learning environment. You can enroll for free, and then visit the page courses just by clicking the course titles. You are also eligible for a Verified Certificate in the course, the Specialization Certificate or taking a Capstone Project where you can apply your newly acquired skills, if you pay a small fee.
  5. Gamification
    If you're looking for a free online course that can help you integrate eLearning games into your eLearning development strategy, you may want to consider this one. It delves into how gamification can be applied in eLearning environments, and the psychological motivation behind the success of gamification. The free online course is divided into 12 units, with 2 units being covered each week. The lessons include: what is gamification, game thinking, enterprise gamification, and gamification design work.
  6. The ABCs of Instructional Design
    This is the ideal free online course for eLearning professionals who may be new to instructional design or want to learn more about Instructional Design theories and the course design process. This free online course utilizes, specifically, the ADDIE Model and the Understanding By Design (UBD) Model to walk you through the design and development of a course. It also involves case studies, assessment resources sites, and instructional videos that will help you to apply design models. The course is comprised of 31 lectures (which will take you roughly 3.5 hours to complete), and you are able to go at your own pace, as the entirety of the free online course is already uploaded.
  7. Learning to Teach Online
    This free online course is provided by The University of New South Wales and is designed to help educators and eLearning professionals fine tune their online or blended learning strategies. Topics covered include: online ethnographies and technologies, open and close technologies, and planning online learning experiences and activities. The course also explores how to develop learning outcomes and how to choose technologies, strategies, and assessment tools to achieve those outcomes.
  8. K-12 Blended & Online Learning
    This course is ideal for eLearning designers and developers who would like to learn more about the blended learning approach. The first four weeks of the course delves into the basics of K-12 online and blended learning, while the last four weeks of the course will give eLearning professionals the opportunity to actually design an online and/or blended learning experience. Upon completion of this free online course, you should be able to effectively engage and assess online learners, have an in depth understanding of eLearning best practices, and understand how tools and technologies can be applied in eLearning courses.
  9. Motivating Students to Learn
    The secret to the success of every effective online course is learner motivation. In this free course, you will learn how to boost learner motivation based upon various theories. Upon completion, you will be able to understand the factors that affect motivation, how behaviorist theories can be applied in learning experiences, and how to encourage learner motivation through goals, personal interests, and a solid support system.
  10. Foundations of Teaching for Learning Program
    This free online course is offered by the Commonwealth Education Trust, and is ideally suited for eLearning professionals who are looking for in depth knowledge about how to design instruction, learning activities, and assessments that can enhance the overall learning experience. This introductory program delves into three specific aspects of learning design and development: Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice, and Professional Values (which includes learner engagement).

Use this list of free online courses for eLearning professionals to explore the world of eLearning at length and to broaden your skill sets, so that you can design and develop meaningful and effective eLearning courses for your audience.

In addition, the How to become an eLearning Professional free eBook offers insight and advice from 23 eLearning experts, including tips and insider secrets that can help you to build a thriving and successful eLearning career.

Last but not least, searching for an instructional design degree that's just right for you? The article How to Choose the Right Online Instructional Design Certificate Program offers an in depth look at how to choose a certificate program that's a good fit for your professional goals, and highlights 18 online programs you may want to consider.