An Overview of Online Learning Sites


I love online learning websites. Not surprising considering I work for one. Here's my wrap-up of some of the sites out there.
LinkedIn Learning (formerly
This was my first online site. I've been using it for at least 10 years. Originally it focused on software for creatives such as the Adobe software suite. When LinkedIn took it over it became much more broad. There is still a heavy supply of content for creatives (the photography and video classes are great) but now you can find office based learning such as Microsoft software etc. They also branched out into fuzzier topics like how to be more productive and how to manage people and projects. They try to stay trendy as well with topics for YouTube and other social media sites. Completely worthwhile site if you have something specific to learn or you want to go deep on a particular topic. Easily accessible for free through larger libraries, universities and perhaps large employers otherwise it can be pretty pricey for individual memberships (but worth it if you take advantage of all that is offered).
Their model is to show the live broadcast for free and after you pay for the class or you can buy a subscription. The classes run for hours and sometimes even multiple days so it's not always realistic to catch it all live. Tagline "The go-to for 10+ million creators" Focused on creative or entrepreneurial topics. I bought Power Your Podcast with Storytelling by Alex Blumberg (the founder of Gimlet) years ago. It is very good. Currently available for $19 which is a very reasonable price for a single class. I haven't liked everything on the site. My strategy is to catch at least part of the live broadcast to see if it's worth purchasing. That will tell you whether you like the instructor and/or the content. The reviews of classes also seem very honest so that is another good indicator before you purchase.
This is the newest online site for me. They have very famous people teaching very high level stuff. They cover a lot of different topics. Cost is "$15/month billed annually." I was skeptical about this site but I tried a few classes. The class on documentary film making by Ken Burns is alone worth the price of admission. Ken hit a home run with his class. At least for me. He was high level and yet also nitty gritty in the details. I learned so much. Currently I'm taking a class on writing by Margaret Atwood. I took it kind of as a joke because I'm not willing to read (yet) her dystopian books. The joke is on me. She is absolutely phenomenal. I have learned so much from her and she is quirky and funny. My son took a class on creating music which he said he really enjoyed. I'm not convinced that everything on the site is great. I was so looking forward to the class by photographer Annie Liebovitz but I just couldn't get into it. I think it helps if the instructor is more of a natural educator or storyteller. That said I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this site - exceeded my expectations.
This site is based on the premise that everyone has something to teach. That may be true but not everyone can do it well. Subscription - $139 year. I found little value in this site. I feel like the instructors are more focused on putting out lots of light classes to make a buck instead of delivering meaningful helpful content. There may be good content on this site but I didn't find it worth my time.
Another site where instructors can upload their classes. Wide range of classes and some big names. I haven't been on this site in a long time but when I was I generally had a favorable impression of the quality. Purchase individual classes which from what I saw ranged from $14.99 to $199. Here's a helpful review about the site. 
Adding this just for fun. Very niche. This is where I happily spend my working hours each week. If you like genealogy and want to improve your skills this is the place to go. Only $49 a year for 1500+ classes and if you watch a free live webinar you can get a 10% off coupon for new memberships. 🙂 
What's your experience with online sites? Any favorites or ones not listed here?


  1. your local university often has three types of classes--1.) continuing education, 2.) Access program which allows "those of us of a certain age" to audit large lectures for a small fee and 3.) each university runs an Osher Learning Center. UCBerkeley seems to have a good Osher program. There is a fee associated with each of these.

  2. It seems the threshhold for OSHER at UMass Boston is only age 50. Geez even I qualify for that! Thanks for letting me know about these options!


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