Alison is a free website that provides lot of online courses that you can take completely free. There are around 600 courses currently on this website and all of them are totally free. Many of them are full fledged diploma courses as well; and that too free. At the end of successful completion of course, you are given an option to buy course certificate of completion, for which you have to pay. But you can choose not to take the certificate and still complete the whole course.
Now, if you have never heard about Alison, do not think that it is a new kid on the block. Alison currently has more than 3 million members! That’s a fairly large number of learners, and shows how useful people find this website for free online learning. More than 300,000 people have successfully completed free certificate courses and free diploma courses on Alison.
Free Online Courses on Alison:
Alison has online courses on lot of popular subjects. I tried to find something on English grammar and found many useful courses. The courses are divided into various modules, and each module further has parts. The course content itself consists of text, sometimes videos, sometimes sound, and sometimes animation; depending on what works best. The lessons proceed in a powerpoint slideshow manner.
The entire course is organized in a serial manner so that you know where to start from and how to proceed. The content itself is very good, sometimes at par with what you would expect from brick and mortar universities. And you can learn at your own pace.
Once you have completed a course, you need to take evaluation tests. Alison requires you to score at least 80% to award you the certificate or diploma for that course. I personally feel that is a pretty high percentage, and something on the lines of 60-70% would have been better; but probably Alison has its reasons.
How To Take Free Online Courses on Alison:
Alison is as easy as it gets.
- You start by signing up for free.
- Then search for the course you are looking for, or just browse all the available courses. Alison lets you browse Diploma courses, or you can browse subjects to see courses under them, or Categories.
- When you find the course that you like, click on “Start Now” button to get started.
- You will be taken to the screen that shows all the modules of that course. It makes sense to start from the first module, though that is not necessary.
- When you click on a module, you will be shown all the lessons and topics under it. Again, it makes sense to start from the beginning.
- Click on any lesson, to see the actual content. As I mentioned earlier, lessons proceed like ppt slideshows, with text, videos, animation, etc. Sometimes lessons have exercises also within content to make it even more interesting.
- Once you have completed the entire course, you need to take evaluation test, and hopefully, pass it.
- Once passed successfully, you will be given an option to buy certificate. The cheapest are the PDF certificates, that you can directly download. You can even choose to have certificates mailed to you, which of course, is more costly.
- The certificates come with a unique number. So, anyone can validate authenticity of your certificate by going to Alison’s website and providing the unique number of your certificate.
Drawback Of Alison:
- It is not accredited with any university
- The biggest drawback of Alison is that it charges for certificates. However, that is understandable as the course itself is completely free, and certificates are not that costly, but what I didn’t like is that it doesn’t tells you cost of the certificate when you decide to take the course. You find out the actual course only after completing the course. I also read a couple of reviews for courses in which users mentioned that there wasn’t even an option of downloadable PDF certificates for those courses, and instead the only option was to mail the higher priced certificates. I really hope Alison brings some transparency in cost of certificates.
My Opinion About Alison:
Above drawbacks notwithstanding, I absolutely love Alison. The courses are very nicely structured and very useful. And course content is very good. I am sure I will sign up for couple of courses myself, and even get some of my employees enrolled into this.
Websites like Alison are godsend for those who might not have access to good education. They can now just go online and start learning.