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Course Report

Class Central’s Best Online Courses of 2019

Class Central’s list of the highest-rated free online courses of 2019.

The Best Online Courses of 2019

As we do each year, Class Central has tallied the best courses of the previous year, based on thousands of learner reviews. (Here are the rankings from 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.) More than 2,400 courses were offered for the first time in 2019. Overall, Class Central received 20,000+ reviews in 2019 alone.

The courses below are the thirty most highly ranked on Class Central, based on the Bayesian average of the thousands of reviews that came in during the year for courses released in 2019.

5 Highlights

  1. Surprisingly, the top two courses in the list are not from the major MOOC platforms, but independent stand-alone courses.
  2. Understanding Multiple Sclerosis from the University of Tasmania is the #1 course of 2019. It’s produced by the same team behind the extremely popular and highly rated, Understanding Dementia. It’s followed by a course in Italian, by the University of Urbino: Umano Digitale or Digital Human. It’s taught by Alessandro Bogliolo, who previously also had a course that made it our 2016 rankings.
  3. With 4 courses, the University of Leeds tops the list, followed by Princeton University, Galileo University, HKUST and the British Council with two courses each. Organizations like World Bank and British Council are among MOOC makers in the ranking.
  4. Although most MOOCs exist in Computer Science and Business and Management, courses from humanities and social sciences were well represented in the 2019 ranking, among them: Academic Writing, Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence and Gender and Sexuality: Applications in Society.
  5. And finally, India’s official MOOC platform Swayam makes its first appearance in our rankings with six courses.

Best Online Courses of 2019

Understanding Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
University of Tasmania

This course aims to improve understanding and awareness of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Members of the public will increase their knowledge of MS-related issues and those in the MS Community will be empowered to create and contribute to personalised MS management plans.
★★★★★ (246 ratings)

Umano Digitale
University of Urbino

Digitale è uno degli aggettivi più usati di questo inizio di secolo. Non è un neologismo, ma ha assunto un significato che evoca le tecnologie informatiche, il progresso e l’innovazione.
★★★★★ (45 ratings)

Understanding IELTS: Reading
British Council via FutureLearn
Find out what you need to know about the IELTS Reading test and learn techniques and strategies to improve your test performance.
★★★★★ (54 ratings)

Differential Equations for Engineers
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera

This course is about differential equations and covers material that all engineers should know. Both basic theory and applications are taught.
★★★★★ (36 ratings)

Teaching English: How to Plan a Great Lesson
British Council via FutureLearn
Develop your English language teaching skills and learn how to plan and deliver effective English lessons with this online course.
★★★★★ (146 ratings)

Improving Your Study Techniques
University of Groningen via FutureLearn

Improve your study skills and get better results by learning to use the ‘three-step study model’.
★★★★★ (26 ratings)

The Art of Structural Engineering: Vaults
Princeton University via edX

Learn about the design of classic and contemporary vaults and discover how structural engineering is a creative discipline and art form.
★★★★★ (18 ratings)

The Future of Work: Preparing for Disruption
The World Bank via edX
Only MOOC to explore the 2019 World Development Report (WDR) and workforce of the future. Learn how A.I., automation, advanced technologies and new businesses are changing the world.
★★★★★ (241 ratings)

Nutrition, Exercise and Sports
Wageningen University via edX

Learn about Nutrition, Exercise and Sports and understand how nutrition can support exercise and sports performance
★★★★★ (97 ratings)

Mathematical Economics
Doon University, Dehradun via Swayam

After completing this course, you will have learnt: # How to build models by expressing words in symbols, numbers and equations # New techniques to solve complex problems # To measure the effect of change and discover techniques to improve your decision-making process
★★★★★ (75 ratings)

Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence
The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn
Learn to recognise the signs of domestic violence and support domestic violence survivors as a health or social care worker.
★★★★★ (25 ratings)

Academic Writing
UGC via Swayam

This course aims to fill this gap by providing the fundamental knowledge required for effective and result oriented academic writing. It is a foundation course and the application of this knowledge completely depends on an individual learner and his or her area of research.
★★★★★ (226 ratings)

Unlocking Information Security: Part Ⅰ
Tel Aviv University via edX

Information Security is everywhere: as the world becomes more and more digitized, so it becomes more and more hackable. Cyber attacks, data breaches, and even cyber warfare are all very real – so it’s infinitely important to understand how hackers think and act, and how we can fight back. Join the course to learn how systems are hacked and defended in this introductory course to the field of information security.
★★★★★ (18 ratings)

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
UGC via Swayam
The course is targeted for people who intend to start a new preschool/playschool/day-care, or upgrade an existing preschool, or to take up a career as a teacher in preschool, or to improve admission counseling skills or to be trained on the various elements of ECCE.
★★★★★ (33 ratings)

Digital Marketing
UGC via Swayam

A course on Digital Marketing has been designed which aims to build the conceptual foundation of digital marketing and to develop the students’ skills to plan, implement and monitor digital marketing campaigns in a globalized environment. The target audience of this course is primarily students pursuing MBA and other management-related courses.
★★★★★ (117 ratings)

Constitutional Interpretation
Princeton University via edX

Examine the most important and vexing questions in American constitutional interpretation.
★★★★★ (16 ratings)

Transport Systems: Global Issues and Future Innovations
University of Leeds via FutureLearn

Discover how the transport sector can develop infrastructures that meet the needs of a 21st century population.
★★★★★ (24 ratings)

Applications of Quantum Mechanics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
This course focuses on essential techniques needed for practical applications and research in Quantum Mechanics. We introduce a variety of approximation methods to understand systems that have no analytic solutions.
★★★★★ (14 ratings)

Sheep in the Land of Fire and Ice
University of Iceland via edX

What do sheep, volcanoes and glaciers have in common? Take this course to see how human land uses, like sheep grazing, over just a few centuries can be an equally strong driving force of landscapes as volcanoes and glaciers over millennia.
★★★★★ (13 ratings)

Gender and Sexuality: Applications in Society
The University of British Columbia via edX

Gender & Sexuality shape work, life and play. Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to engage with key issues through key concepts and perspectives.
★★★★★ (48 ratings)

Happier Employees and Return-On-Investment Course
The University of Texas at Austin via edX

Happiness at work matters. For example, the happiest 20% of people earn 32% more than the least happy 20%!
In this course, you’ll learn about things you can do to enhance both your own happiness and the happiness of your coworkers.
★★★★★ (15 ratings)

Atmospheric Chemistry: Planets and Life Beyond Earth
University of Leeds via FutureLearn

Learn about the atmospheric chemistry of planets and celestial bodies and explore the possibility of finding life beyond Earth.
★★★★★ (17 ratings)

The IB Extended Essay: Managing your Research Project
University of Leeds via FutureLearn

Get expert guidance on writing your IB Diploma Programme extended essay with this course designed for IB students and teachers.
★★★★★ (34 ratings)

Análisis estadístico con Excel
Galileo University via edX

Este curso en línea entrega al estudiante los conocimientos fundamentales de estadística para el análisis de datos, tanto a nivel personal como empresarial
★★★★★ (53 ratings)

Agile Leadership Principles
University System of Maryland via edX
Accelerate and improve team decisions by learning Agile’s facilitating leadership principles to unleash team productivity, motivation, and problem solving.
★★★★★ (146 ratings)

Email marketing: diseño y gestión de campañas
Galileo University via edX

¿Sabías que crear secuencias automatizadas de email marketing puede incrementar tu porcentaje de conversión en un 50%? Aprende a crear campañas de email marketing exitosas que incrementen tus ventas y generen relaciones a largo plazo con tu audiencia.
★★★★★ (24 ratings)

Ecology and Wildlife Conservation
University of Leeds via FutureLearn

Discover ecology and how we can protect wildlife and conserve the natural world.
★★★★★ (17 ratings)

Banaras Hindu University via Swayam

In this course we explore animation across a variety of platforms including film, television, advertising, web, motion capture and game design. This course will provide the opportunity for students to develop their transferable employability and professional skills through project-based assessment for Media & Entertainment industry.
★★★★☆ (61 ratings)

Python for Data Science
Indian Institute of Technology Madras via Swayam

The course aims at equipping participants to be able to use python programming for solving data science problems.
★★★★☆ (36 ratings)

Python and Statistics for Financial Analysis
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera

Due to python’s simplicity and high readability, it is gaining its importance in the financial industry. The course combines both python coding and statistical concepts and applies into analyzing financial data, such as stock data.
★★★★☆ (64 ratings)

This article is just one of our 2019 MOOC Roundup Series. Find the whole series here. You’ll discover everything about MOOCs in 2019 — from the most popular classes, to overviews of MOOC platforms developments, to looking at the future of MOOCs.

Dhawal Shah Profile Image

Dhawal Shah

Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.

Comments 7

  1. Trees

    Thank you for this list! It will help us to keep learning in 2020.

  2. Sikha

    An informative article. I am happy to see SWAYAM courses in the list. Keep expanding this ecosystem to guide learners towards their educational goals. Best wishes.

  3. Annette Wallace

    Best Online Courses of 2019

    Understanding Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
    University of Tasmania

    Has anyone who completed this course previously have any feedback to give please?

  4. Jency.r

    Thank you for this list. Sheep in the land of fire and ice.it’s really good courses


    Thanks for keeping us updated about MOOCS.

  6. Dr. Ghayathri J

    Happy to see the Academic Writing programm of SWAYAM, India is being ranked as one of the best course in 2019. I have completed the course with 91% . It is a very good course for the researchers who want to write and publish the research work in quality journals. Very lively course. Professor Ajay Semalty done it excellent.


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