Well, 2020 might be MOOCs’ next most consequential year. The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted learners’ interest in online education. MOOC providers, in particular, have seen a significant traffic influx, as previously covered by Class Central’s Report.
First, I went through Class Central’s database and made a list of all the courses that were offered for the first time ever in 2020. This was around 2800 courses.
Then I wrote scrapers to collect enrollment numbers across four different providers: Coursera, edX, FutureLearn, and Swayam. They all show how many students are enrolled on their course pages.
Combined, these providers have garnered over 11 million enrollments for courses launched in 2020. The 100 most popular courses account for over half of these enrollments.
Most Popular Free Online Courses
Below are the most popular free online courses launched in 2020 (sorted by popularity).
COVID-19 Contact Tracing Johns Hopkins University via Coursera
The COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented need for contact tracing across the country, requiring thousands of people to learn key skills quickly.
★★★★★ (8 ratings)
Mechanical Ventilation for COVID-19 Harvard University via edX
This course will provide licensed medical professionals with an understanding of mechanical ventilation so they can support the critical care team caring for patients receiving mechanical ventilation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
★★★★★ (19 ratings)
Understanding IELTS: Writing British Council via FutureLearn
Find out what you need to know about the IELTS Writing test and learn techniques and strategies to improve your test performance.
★★★★★ (437 ratings)
COVID-19: Psychological First Aid Public Health England via FutureLearn
Get psychological first aid (PFA) training and help people with different needs to cope with the emotional impact of COVID-19.
★★★★★ (1 rating)
Excel/VBA for Creative Problem Solving, Part 1 University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera
“Excel/VBA for Creative Problem Solving, Part 1” is aimed at learners who are seeking to augment, expand, optimize, and increase the efficiency of their Excel spreadsheet skills by tapping into the powerful programming, automation, and customization capabilities available with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).
Introduction to Git and GitHub Google via Coursera
In this course, you’ll learn how to keep track of the different versions of your code and configuration files using a popular version control system (VCS) called Git.
Computer Programming for Everyone University of Leeds via FutureLearn
Discover the art of computer programming and learn what code can do with the Institute of Coding and the University of Leeds.
★★☆☆☆ (2 ratings)
AI for Everyone: Master the Basics IBM via edX
Learn what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is by understanding its applications and key concepts including machine learning, deep learning and neural networks.
Primeros Auxilios Psicológicos (PAP). Edición especial COVID-19 Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Autonomous University of Barcelona) via Coursera
Bienvenidos a esta edición especial, simplificada, del curso sobre Primeros Auxilios Psicológicos, impartido en castellano por la Unidad de Crisis de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) desde el año 2015.
Japanese for beginners 1 Saint Petersburg State University via Coursera
Japanese language has become extremely popular among learners in recent years, since it is the best way to explore one of the richest and most mysterious cultures of the modern East.
Learn to Code for the Web University of Leeds via FutureLearn
Ever wondered what’s behind your favourite websites and apps? Get to grips with the basics of coding in HTML, CSS and Java Script.
★★★★★ (3 ratings)
Measuring and Maximizing Impact of COVID-19 Contact Tracing Johns Hopkins University via Coursera
This course aims to provide managers and developers of contact tracing programs guidance on the most important indicators of performance of a contact tracing program, and a tool that can be used to project the likely impact of improvements in specific indicators.
★★★☆☆ (2 ratings)
Safeguarding Adults: Level 3 Training Health Education England via FutureLearn
Learn how to ensure the successful safeguarding of adults with this training course from Health Education England.
COVID-19 Training for Healthcare Workers Stanford University via Coursera
COVID-19 is rapidly spreading across the globe and all providers must be prepared to recognize, stabilize and treat patients with novel coronavirus infection.
★★★★★ (1 rating)
EmSAT English Preparation – Level 1 United Arab Emirates University via edX
This Comprehension and Production course focuses on the pre-intermediate level and develops the learner’s reading, listening and study skills.
★★★★★ (1 rating)
Covid – 19: Ventilación mecánica para no intensivistas The Pontificia Universidad Javeriana via edX
Aborda aspectos relacionados con las medidas de protección y bioseguridad, intubación orotraqueal, ventilación mecánica, Síndrome de Dificultad Aguda Respiratoria en el marco de la contingencia actual mundial por el coronavirus.
Essential Epidemiologic Tools for Public Health Practice Johns Hopkins University via Coursera
In order to make a difference in the health and well-being of a population, we must understand the burden of all problems and conditions that affect the population, as well as how well our efforts to mitigate these problems are actually working.
Foundations of Modern Finance I Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
A mathematically rigorous framework to understand financial markets delivered with data-driven insights from MIT professors.
Sustainable Building Design Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
Learn and explore key scientific principles, technologies, and analysis techniques for designing comfortable indoor environments while reducing energy use and associated climate change effects.
Managing COVID-19 in Primary Care St. George’s University via FutureLearn
Get practical advice and support around how to respond to the Novel Coronavirus pandemic as a front-line healthcare professional.
★★★★★ (1 rating)
Python: Aprender a programar Universitat Politècnica de València via edX
Aprende a programar con Python desde cero. Comienza conociendo variables, bucles y funciones y llega a manejar ficheros de texto.
★★★★☆ (61 ratings)
Introduction to Python Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology via Coursera
Python – простой, гибкий и невероятно популярный язык, который используется практически во всех областях современной разработки.
Databases: Relational Databases and SQL Stanford University via edX
This course is one of five self-paced courses on the topic of Databases, originating as one of Stanford’s three inaugural massive open online courses released in the fall of 2011.
★★★★☆ (2 ratings)
English for Common Interactions in the Workplace: Basic Level Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile via Coursera
In a professional environment, we’re often faced with the need to respond appropriately according to what the situation calls for, whether it be related to situations in daily life or the workplace.
Introduction to Software Testing University of Minnesota via Coursera
After completing this course, you will have an understanding of the fundamental principles and processes of software testing.
★★★★★ (1 rating)
General Academic English|生活英语进阶 Tsinghua University via edX
Do you want to join in academic communication on international conferences and read academic papers? Join us on a journey in academic English!
Financial Decision Making University System of Maryland via edX
Learn how corporate leaders make effective decisions to maximize profitability and achieve strategic organizational goals.
Basic Spanish 3: Getting there Universitat Politècnica de València via edX
Beginners course for learners of Spanish that focuses not only on language but also on cultural aspects, specifically designed for English speakers.
★★★★★ (75 ratings)
The Science and Business of Biotechnology Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
Explore the latest scientific innovations in biotechnology, and novel business and financing models for commercializing them.
Vector Calculus for Engineers The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera
This course is about vector calculus, and covers material that all engineers should know.
★★★★★ (107 ratings)
Foundations of Mindfulness Rice University via Coursera
This course provides a broad overview of the fundamental concepts, principles, and practices of mindfulness.
Introducción al Office 365 Universitat Politècnica de València via edX
Aprende el funcionamiento básico de los componentes principales de Office 365 y optimiza tu tiempo utilizando el más adecuado para tus necesidades en cada momento.
★★★★★ (39 ratings)
Electrical, Optical & Magnetic Materials and Devices Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
In 3.15x we will explore the electrical, optical, and magnetic properties of materials and learn how electronic devices are designed to exploit these properties.
Orientation to Educational Neuroscience CQUniversity Australia via FutureLearn
Education is being enhanced and changed by evidence-based findings, find out how to capitalise on these new opportunities.
Social Media Management Facebook via Coursera
This course equips you with critical content creation and management skills.
Introduction to Web Development Raspberry Pi Foundation via FutureLearn
Introduction to Web Accessibility World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) via edX
Get a strong foundation in digital accessibility to make your websites and apps work well for people with disabilities, meet international standards, and provide a better user experience for everyone.
Introduction to Content Design Government Digital Service via FutureLearn
Discover the fundamentals of content design. Learn about user-centred content that’s easy for everyone to understand and access.
Consonants of American English Pronunciation University of California, Irvine via Coursera
In this first course of The Pronunciation of American English specialization, you will learn and practice all of the consonant sounds of American English, including some pairs of consonants that are especially tricky.