Online learning resources

Open Learn

Perhaps you'd like something deep to think about, or you're considering college but don't know if you can handle it. You might want to try the free classes at OpenLearn from The Open University in the UK. These non-credit undergraduate and graduate level classes are distilled from their paid academic curriculum. 

  • General humanities offerings include art history, philosophy, religious studies, and a variety of languages
  • Business studies touch on economics, finance, international studies, and leadership
  • Science courses include statistics, biology, geology, astronomy, geography

MIT OpenCourseWare

The prestigous Massachusetts Institute of Technology provides online access to the materials used in the teaching of MIT's courses — more than 2,300 in all — free of charge, to any user in the world.

  • Undergraduate and graduate-level class materials in engineering, architecture, general humanities, and business managment
  • Also includes language learning!
  • Download and save OCW content, adapt and remix it, and share freely under Creative Commons license

GCF Learn Free

The online learning site is a run by the Goodwill Community Foundation® and Goodwill Industries of Eastern NC, Inc.® and is designed for adult learners. It can be accessed from any computer.

  1. Many classes are self-guided with videos and tutorials.
    • Job and career help including how to prepare for an interview and gathering the information requested to fill out a job applications.  Also resumes, cover letters, and job search tips.
    • Windows and Mac (older versions, and up-to-the-minute too), and basics on email, internet, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Skype and more.
    • Version-specific classes in programs like PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Publisher that will help whether you're working with an old 2000 version or the latest 2013 version.
    • Math and grammar lessons
    • Perhaps most interestingly, the site also offers interactive tutorials on day-to-day activities such as using kitchen measurements, reading nutrition labels, and reading clocks and understanding time.
  2. If you need proof of a more formal education process, they also offer instructor-guided classes. Successfully complete these Office software classes and you'll get a certificate of completion to use for accredited Continuing Education Units. 

Learning Express Library

Thanks to a federal Library Services & Technology Act grant, the Wisconsin Library Services purchased access to Learning Express Library for all library patrons. These self-guided, learn-at-your-own-pace interactive tutorials cover a range of topics:

  • Popular software such as Publisher, WordPerfect, Illustrator, Photoshop and more - many with basic, intermediate, and advanced lessons
  • Citizenship preparation, GED help, and several common tests such as ACT, SAT, GRE, and TOEFL
  • Career explorations and occupational exam preparations

You can access these lessons from any computer, and you must login with your library card number. 

Digital Learn

The website is an initiative of the Public Library Association to aid with the subjects our patrons most often ask at libraries. The purple sections of the site are short user-ready interactive videos for you to use (the blue parts help librarians help people like you). Todas las instrucciones disponibles en español.

  • Computer basics like using a PC or Mac, navigating a website, and using email
  • Tips and tools for job seekers
  • Introduction to cloud storage


A free educational website, TechBoomers is aimed at teaching inexperienced internet users about popular and trusted websites. The tutorials can help you gain confidence and savvy about up-to-date internet resources.

  • Tutorials on sites for entertainment, shopping, learning and more
  • Internet 101 courses on privacy, passwords, etc.


This is a great resource for FREE, self-guided, basic computer learning. Wisc-Online is a digital library of web-based learning resources developed by Wisconsin Technical College System faculty. After you sign-on (create an account or use your social media), then pick your lessons:

  • True basics like using a mouse and keyboard
  • Creating documents in Word or using email 
  • Plus exploring social media and and internet navigation

Each learning activity ranges from about 10 to 30 minutes and includes narrated video and interactive exercises.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization created in 2005 by Salman Khan with the goal of creating a set of free online tools that help students. The organization produces short, YouTube video lessons, supplementary practice exercises, and supporting materials for educators. They tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, and economics by partnering with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT.