10 Best Online Course Platforms 2024

All best online course platforms
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    For users, the best online course platforms match them with the courses that solve their problems. As for course creators, these platforms provide features and tools to host lessons, deliver on-demand classes, and market their offerings.

    In this article, we compare online course platforms for both parties — those interested in finding the right course and those looking for the perfect online course platform to start teaching.

    How to choose the best online course platform

    “My advice is to find the best online course platform that presents lots of shorter questions and then immediately tells you if you got the answer right or wrong,” says Jed Macosko, Professor of Physics at Wake Forest University. Macosko also highlights the importance of the platform’s structure:

    “If you are looking for a platform that will work well even when the students are more motivated to check a box that they have finished their assignments, then you will have to look hard.”

    Most of the platforms allow students to simply screenshot the question and paste the screenshot into ChatGPT to get the right answer. The only way I have found to avoid this is to find a platform that uses shorter questions that are possible to answer just by having read the question and just having answered previous questions (and finding out which answers were right or wrong).
    Author Jed Macosko
    Jed Macosko
    Professor of Physics at Wake Forest University

    If you’re a course creator or teacher, you should also consider the learning curve of the platform, which is the time needed to figure out the platform’s tools for creating, delivering, and marketing courses.

    Online tutoring platforms are a good place to start as they are easy to use and require minimal marketing from your side. You’ll also get instant feedback from students, which will help you understand what’s working and what’s not. 

    Jaime Smith, founder and CEO of OnlineG3, an education company for gifted and 2E students, has useful tips on how to use complex platforms in the easiest possible way:

    “At OnlineG3, we have been using Moodle as our course management system for the last 15 years.”

    It's open source, which means educators can get started with a simple Moodle installation on a personal website for minimal cost. Plus, there are many developers worldwide who continue to design unique (and mostly free) plugins that allow instructors to customize their own Moodle installation for a specific purpose or audience. There is a bit of a learning curve, but thankfully Moodle offers free online tutorials to help teachers get started.
    Author Jaime Smith
    Jaime Smith
    Founder and CEO of OnlineG3

    Factors for choosing an online course platform

    From the users’ perspective, here are some factors that help them choose an online platform: 

    • What do I want to achieve?
    • How is the course taught? 
    • Who are the instructors?
    • before you sign up.
    • What’s the level of the course?
    • Is the platform user-friendly? 
    • What are the rates?

    What do I want to achieve? 

    You may want to advance your career, help your child with math, or earn a certification. Once you’ve defined your learning objectives, it will be easier to narrow down the types of online course platforms that best meet your needs.

    How is the course taught? 

    Is the course self-paced or does it include live lessons with an instructor? If you need flexibility, you may want to go with courses that offer on-demand videos. If you need quick results, you may want to consider a live online class platform to get instructors’ feedback.

    Who are the instructors? 

    Double-check if the instructors are experienced and qualified in their fields. On most platforms, you can read reviews and check ratings before you sign up.

    What’s the level of the course? 

    You don’t want to enroll and start a course only to find out that it’s too advanced for you. Make sure to read the course description very well, so you avoid any disappointments. The course description will also give you information on the teaching material, be it video, text, or live lesson, and let you know if there are any prerequisites to join. 

    Is the platform user-friendly? 

    If you’re looking for online courses, chances are, you want to access the course on different devices or from the comfort of your home. Ensure the platform allows this, so your learning doesn’t get interrupted.

    What are the rates? 

    The most popular course websites require a financial investment, whether that’s a one-time fee or a monthly subscription. Choose a platform within your budget and understand the commitment before signing up. Many platforms offer a free trial or a demo so you can make a more educated decision.

    Which online course platform is best?

    The best online course platform depends on the learners’ and instructors’ needs. In this article, we’ll talk about Brighterly, Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera, and Khan Academy for users. 

    We chose tutoring platforms, course marketplaces, and free options to represent learners’ different needs. For example, users who want instant feedback will find online tutoring platforms the most effective. Alternatively, for users who would like to browse through a wide range of courses, online course marketplaces would be a better choice. 

    For instructors, we’ll compare Brighterly, LearnWorlds, Thinkific, Teachable, and Moodle, as course creators also have different needs. For example, a schoolteacher may want to explore online teaching as an option, while an entrepreneur might want to educate their audience on how to use their services better.

    The best platforms for online courses for users

    The best platforms for online courses for users are:

    Online Course Platform # 1: Brighterly: Best for families

    Look no further than Brighterly as the best platform for online courses in Grade 1 to Grade 12 math. As an online class platform, Brighterly specializes in math and only math, so you’re sure to work with experts instead of generalists. 

    The experts you’ll meet at Brighterly are specialized math tutors. Once you’ve completed a free demo, the Brighterly team will have a better idea of your child’s math needs. Then, they will match you with a tutor, who will give 1:1, interactive lessons. All courses are personalized, depending on your child’s needs. For example, Grade 1 students may focus on game-based learning that will help them build solid math foundations, and Grade 12 students will cover school subjects to prepare for the SATs

    Brighterly’s reviews mention the friendliness of tutors and the instant improvement in students’ math grades. “The ability to screen share with the kids made it easier to instantly correct their errors as they went along,” said a parent when describing smooth communication between tutors and children on the platform. 

    Pricing depends on the bundle you buy. The introduction package costs $36 per lesson, including 7 math classes you can take based on your schedule, class notes, two learning progress reports, and live customer support. The more classes you get, the better benefits you have. For example, with the Math Skills Bundle, you’ll get 16 classes, three learning progress reports, lesson recordings, and a learning certificate, along with a cheaper per-lesson rate. 

    Brighterly Pros:

    • Personalized math learning with expert tutors
    • 1:1 interaction with tutors so you can ask questions and interact
    • Flexible course packages with extra benefits, including live support, learning reports, lesson recordings, and a 100% refund for unused lessons

    Brighterly Cons:

    • Not free
    • Only for students between Grade 1 and Grade 12

    Online Course Platform # 2: Udemy: Best for a course

    Udemy is an online course platform and marketplace where you can find thousands of courses covering a wide range of topics, from web development to business management. 

    Instructors create their courses and publish them on the platform, so students can purchase them and study in their own time. As a learner, you will have complete freedom on what you want to study and how you want to get started. For example, if you’re a complete beginner at programming, you may want to start with a beginner-level course in the field. Then, you can check if the same instructor has other courses for more advanced students, or look for a completely new instructor.

    Each course has its own price on Udemy, but the platform regularly hosts sales. If you’re planning to use it regularly, you may benefit from a Personal Plan that costs $12.99 per month, which will give you access to over 11,000 top-rated on-demand courses. The plan comes with a 7-day free trial.

    Udemy Pros

    • A wide range of courses to choose from, both for children and adults
    • Good for career development
    • Free trial available

    Udemy Cons

    • Not free
    • No live instructor feedback

    Online Course Platform # 3: Skillshare: Best for creative skills

    With over 25,000 classes and 8,000 teachers, Skillshare is one of the most popular course websites for developing creative skills such as painting, design, photography, social media, and creative writing. 

    Before you sign up, you can check the courses’ introduction pages to see the course’s level, any prerequisites you need, and the learning outcomes. In 2023, Skillshare also introduced Live Sessions, a digital event series for students to interact with course creators.

    To access the courses after a 7-day free trial, you’ll need to pay for a Skillshare membership. Prices depend on the country you’re in, but average at around $14 per month for individuals. 

    Skillshare Pros

    • Includes a 7-day free trial
    • Good for creative skills such as art, design, photography, and writing
    • Flexible learning, which means you can study in your own time

    Skillshare Cons

    • Doesn’t include other courses apart from creative topics
    • Limited live events

    Online Course Platform # 4: Coursera: Best for university-level certificates

    Also an online classes platform and marketplace, Coursera partners with world-class universities and industry-leading companies. 

    Learners can opt for free courses, certificate programs, or online degrees, all delivered by qualified instructors. Once you’ve created an account, you’ll get to set career goals and experience levels. The platform will then be able to match you with interesting courses. For example, if you’re a teaching professional looking to make money online, you’ll likely be matched with some business development courses. Depending on the course, you’ll receive different teaching resources and assignments, which could be on-demand videos, quizzes, and worksheets. 

    With a free account, you can audit some courses, which means you’ll get access to all the material apart from graded content. Other courses require you to pay a one-time fee or a Coursera Plus subscription for $39 per month. With Coursera Plus, you’ll also get certificates you can use when applying for jobs or universities. 

    Coursera Pros

    • Free audits available for some courses
    • A wide range of courses and certificates
    • Courses developed by university professors and business experts

    Coursera Cons

    • No live feedback from instructors
    • Free audits don’t include certificates and assignments

    Online Course Platform # 5: Khan Academy: Best for free courses

    Khan Academy is one of the best free online course websites, as it offers classes on almost all school subjects. 

    It boasts content in different formats, from video to quizzes, and exercises to informative articles. Students can study at their own pace, depending on their individual learning needs. With the learning dashboard, both students and their parents can see the progress they’ve made, as well as the weaker areas that need attention.

    While Khan Academy is a great free resource, it doesn’t include live classes or a structured learning plan many top online course platforms offer. This may make it difficult to spot any mistakes or get feedback on the learning process, especially for younger children. It’s best to use this website as a supplementary resource for more interactive online courses, such as tutoring.

    Khan Academy Pros

    • Free 
    • Wide range of school subjects including math, science, and history
    • Learning dashboard to help track progress

    Khan Academy Cons

    • No live classes
    • Can be difficult for children to stay motivated

    The best platforms for online courses for course creators

    The best platforms for online courses for teachers and creators are:

    Find out more about them in our online course platform comparison:

    Online Course Platform # 1: Brighterly: Best for math tutors

    Brighterly helps parents find the best online math courses for their children. This wouldn’t be possible without its excellent tutors. If you are good at math and have experience working with young children, online tutoring can be a great start before you create your own course.

    The Brighterly platform will hold your hand from the very beginning by providing lesson scripts, ongoing support, and teaching materials based on the curriculum. You’ll get to work at your own pace, set your classes around your schedule, and get paid an hourly rate in USD. With the experience you’ll gain through tutoring, you’ll have a strong idea of what students struggle with and what teaching methods work best.

    Besides good math knowledge to teach children between Grades 1 and 12, you’ll need a stable internet connection, a laptop, and a working camera. Then you’re ready to teach wherever you are, whenever you want.

    Brighterly Pros:

    • Easy to start teaching as the only equipment tutors need are a laptop, a stable internet connection, and a working camera
    • Lesson content and scripts provided by the Brighterly team
    • Regular training and mentorship opportunities

    Brighterly Cons:

    • Experience working with children required

    Online Course Platform # 2: LearnWorlds: Best for creators and entrepreneurs

    LearnWorlds is a software platform that helps instructors create, sell, and promote online courses, no matter what their field of expertise is. 

    Thanks to its versatility, it appeals to a wide range of individuals and businesses, such as content creators, coaches, and trainers. For example, let’s say you run an Instagram account creating content for parents homeschooling their children. With LearnWorlds, you can turn your ideas into an online course, which people can buy or download. The platform supports different types of content, such as videos, eBooks, and quizzes. You can also add links, titles, and clickables to ensure the learning experience is interactive and easy to follow. 

    There are different pricing levels on LearnWorlds, but the basic plan starts at $29 per month plus $5 per course sale. 

    LearnWorlds Pros:

    • Different course creation tools to make online courses interactive and on-brand
    • Supports a wide range of multimedia, integrations, and learning activities
    • Advanced marketing and analytics tools to help reach the target audience

    LearnWorlds Cons:

    • Not free
    • Can be difficult to figure out how to create, price, and market courses for beginners

    Online Course Platform # 3: Thinkific: Best for small businesses

    Thinkific is one of the most well-known online course platforms for those who want to sell courses, digital products, downloadables, and memberships.

    Besides course creation, its sales and marketing features stand out. With its Learning Community Platform, it offers tools to engage and retain students. For example, it has in-app notifications to drive people to the course website, member profiles to personalize learners’ experiences, and virtual rooms to post updates about the course. 

    Thinkific has a free plan that enables you to host one course and one community. That said, you’ll need to pay for a monthly subscription if you want to access its advanced marketing features. The paid plans range between $49 and $199 per month and offer email marketing integrations, affiliate marketing, and detailed analytics.

    Thinkific Pros:

    • It has a free plan, offering the website’s basic features
    • Helps with student retention, thanks to its learning community and marketing features
    • Supports different types of content, such as digital downloads, live events, community platforms, quizzes, and assignments

    Thinkific Cons:

    • It may be difficult to figure out how it works, especially for beginners

    Online Course Platform # 4: Teachable: Best for digital downloads

    On Teachable, you can create online courses and digital downloads, as well as manage your community memberships. It’s a no-code online course platform, which means it’s easy to use and get started.

    The user-friendliness of the platform makes it a good choice for creators, especially those who are looking to launch digital downloads. For example, let’s say you’re a teacher. Besides giving private lessons, you decide to compile your best worksheets in a PDF for your students to buy. Teachable can help create your downloadable content the way you want, as it supports video, images, spreadsheets, and more. Once you’ve created your file, you’ll be able to display it on your Teachable website for your clients to purchase.

    Teachable has a free option that enables users to publish one product of each of its offerings: online course, coaching, and downloadables. With the paid plans, you get more products and more advanced features, such as live chat support and custom domains. The paid plans start at $39 per month and go up to $199 per month. 

    Teachable Pros:

    • No-code and user-friendly platform
    • Supports a wide range of content, such as spreadsheets, audio, stock photos, ebooks, and email templates

    Teachable Cons:

    • The free option has a high transaction fee

    Online Course Platform # 5: Moodle: Best for online schools

    Moodle is a learning management system to help educators create courses and manage classes. By using Moodle, teachers can grade assignments, track learners’ progress, and give or restrict access to course material. 

    One of the best advantages of Moodle is its customizable features. For example, as a teaching institution using Moodle, you can choose your preferred plugins to change enrolment methods. Similarly, you can also work with Moodle experts to create interactive teaching experiences, such as quizzes, assignments, or games. The Moodle team has thought of all teachers, whether they’re teaching online or offline. If you’re doing both, you can use Moodle’s blended learning features to bridge the gap between face-to-face and online teaching.

    Moodle’s prices start at 180 AUD per year (around $120) and increase up to 2,560 AUD (around $1,700) per year. The more expensive plans allow more users and give more storage space.

    Moodle Pros:

    • Good for teaching institutions thanks to its customizable and flexible nature
    • Offers free courses to help with the technical aspects, such as how to set up and use Moodle
    • Free to use as an open-source platform (but there might be additional hosting, customization, and technical support fees)

    Moodle Cons:

    • Can get too technical and difficult to figure out without help

    What are the top online course platforms?

    The top online course platforms are different from a user and a creator perspective. For users, it depends on the learning objectives, teaching style, and the platform’s credibility. With all this in mind, five platforms stand out:

    • Brighterly: For families looking for math tutoring services
    • Udemy: For individuals seeking a marketplace featuring different courses
    • Skillshare: For professionals looking to develop creative skills
    • Coursera: For people aspiring to take university-level courses with or without certificates
    • Khan Academy: For students who want to start with a free option before committing to paid tutoring

    For course creators, the platform’s features, user-friendliness, and management services define the best platform to create online courses. Creators should also be mindful of the additional tasks that come with creating a course, such as publishing, marketing, and actively selling their services. Our recommendations are:

    • Brighterly: For math tutors looking for an easy-to-learn, reliable platform to get started
    • LearnWorlds: For entrepreneurs looking for an all-in-one platform to publish and market different types of courses
    • Thinkific: For small businesses who want to create, sell, and market courses to their audience
    • Teachable: For creators focused on selling digital downloads in various formats
    • Moodle: For online schools looking for a customizable learning management system


    The top 10 online course platforms can be a platform for online classes, a marketplace, a learning management system, or an all-in-one course builder, depending on your needs. 

    Each platform caters to different types of learners and creators. Learners want good instructors, interactive content, and flexibility. For course creators, the platform’s services, user-friendliness, and tools will be the defining factors when making a decision. 

    At Brighterly, we’re proud to offer the best math courses for our users and a flexible remote working environment to our tutors. 

    Find out how Brighterly treats students and teachers and make your choice!

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