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Course Report

Class Central’s Best Online Courses of the Year (2021 Edition)

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

The Best Online Courses (2021 Edition)

As of each year, Class Central has tallied the best courses of the current year, based on thousands of learner reviews. Here are the rankings from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Of all the learners that ever registered on a MOOC platform, one third did so in 2020. Class Central itself received 18M learners and 70,000+ reviews in 2020.

This is why we are calling 2020 the Second Year of the MOOC.

Now in its ninth year, the modern MOOC movement has crossed 180 million learners. Class Central data shows that providers launched over 2,800 courses, 360 microcredentials, and 19 online degrees.


The new courses below are the thirty most highly ranked on Class Central. We made a list of all the courses that were released in 2020. The 2,800 courses were then ranked based on the Bayesian average of the thousands of reviews that came in during the year.

Best Online Courses (2021 Edition)

Medical Parasitology|医学寄生虫学
Tsinghua University via edX
Small bugs serious diseases, with knowledge they are seized.
★★★★★ (187 ratings)

Understanding Medical Research: Your Facebook Friend is Wrong
Yale University via Coursera
How can you tell if the bold headlines seen on social media are truly touting the next big thing or if the article isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on?
★★★★★ (351 ratings)

Career planning: resume/CV, cover letter, interview
Tomsk State University via Coursera
After completing this course, you will know how to stand out from the crowd, how to make a great first impression and how to highlight your strengths.
★★★★★ (51 ratings)

Spatial Data Science: The New Frontier in Analytics
Esri via Independent
This course explores the application of spatial data science to uncover hidden patterns and improve predictive modeling. You’ll work with powerful analytical tools in Esri’s ArcGIS software and learn how to integrate popular open data science packages into your analyses.
★★★★★ (40 ratings)

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

Bioseguridad y equipo de protección para la prevención de COVID-19
Galileo University via edX

Aprende sobre la aplicaciòn de las normas internacionales de bioseguridad que garantizan un entorno laboral seguro. Seleccionando y usando correctamente el equipo de protecciòn personal para prevenir el COVID-19 u otra enfermedad infecciosa.
★★★★★ (84 ratings)

Computer Simulations
University of California, Davis via Coursera
This course shows how computer simulations are being used to explore the realm of what is theoretically possible. Computer simulations allow us to study why societies are the way they are, and to dream about the world we would like to live in.
★★★★★ (21 ratings)

Teaching Young Learners Online
British Council via FutureLearn
Work together to plan, create, and facilitate inclusive online learning that engages and inspires young people.
★★★★★ (262 ratings)

Product Management Fundamentals
University System of Maryland via edX

Understand the keys to successfully navigating the roles and responsibilities of being a product manager to champion change with internal and external collaborators and influencers
★★★★★ (46 ratings)

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.
★★★★★ (76 ratings)

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.
★★★★★ (165 ratings)

Circular Fashion: Design, Science and Value in a Sustainable Clothing Industry
Wageningen University via edX
The fundamentals of circular fashion unraveled, learn about circularity in all steps of the fashion value chain. From new textile materials and circular design all the way to business modelling.
★★★★★ (40 ratings)

Riesgo biológico y bioseguridad en el entorno laboral
Galileo University via edX

Los agentes biológicos son un factor de riesgo presente en el entorno laboral. Debe existir una detección oportuna que permita su abordaje para la prevención de accidentes y enfermedades relacionadas a su exposición. Un ejemplo, es el actual virus SARS-CoV 2, de fácil transmisión en el entorno laboral.
★★★★★ (67 ratings)

Information Systems Auditing, Controls and Assurance
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera

Information systems (IS) are important assets to business organizations and are ubiquitous in our daily lives. In the course “Information Systems Auditing, Controls and Assurance”, you will explore risks of information systems, and how to mitigate the risks by proper IS Controls.
★★★★★ (128 ratings)

Communicating and Negotiating in a Dynamic Global World
Arizona State University via edX
Within this course, you will learn how to better understand and master strategies for interpersonal encounters, including conflict resolution, in multicultural environments. You will also learn how to improve your global mindset and negotiation skills.
★★★★★ (15 ratings)

Introducción a la Ciencia de Datos con Python
Universidad Anáhuac via edX
En este curso, aprenderás los conceptos generales de la ciencia de datos utilizando el lenguaje de programación Python. Serás capaz de recolectar contenido en la web, limpiar los datos y prepararlos para su visualización y gestión.
★★★★★ (16 ratings)

How To Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students
via FutureLearn
Explore online teaching with this practical course for educators designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
★★★★★ (16 ratings)

Introduzione al Debate
Politecnico di Milano via Polimi OPEN KNOWLEDGE

Come metodologia didattica innovativa, il Debate è oggetto di crescente interesse da parte non solo di istituzioni educative, enti di ricerca, docenti, ma anche di agenzie di formazione manageriale e orientate al potenziamento delle competenze maggiormente richieste dal mondo lavorativo.
★★★★★ (28 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.
★★★★★ (20 ratings)

Unix Tools: Data, Software and Production Engineering
Delft University of Technology via edX
Grow from being a Unix novice to Unix wizard status! Process big data, analyze software code, run DevOps tasks and excel in your everyday job through the amazing power of the Unix shell and command-line tools.
★★★★★ (10 ratings)

Food Science and Nutrition: From the Farm to You
University of Leeds via FutureLearn
Follow food’s fascinating journey from the farm to your body and explore new food technologies and nutrition around the world.
★★★★★ (23 ratings)

Marketing Innovative Products and Services
University System of Maryland via edX

Learn essential marketing concepts and practical commercialization strategies to bring your new venture to market
★★★★★ (9 ratings)

Competencias profesionales genéricas para la inclusión laboral
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid via edX

Mejora tu capacitación laboral a través del aprendizaje de competencias comunicativas, sociales y emocionales con este curso accesible e inclusivo.
★★★★★ (38 ratings)

Introduction to video game development with Unity
Universitat Politècnica de València via edX
Learn to develop multi platform video games using one of the most popular tools on the market, the Unity game engine.
★★★★★ (33 ratings)

COVID-19: Tackling the Novel Coronavirus
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine via FutureLearn
What is COVID-19? Find out more about the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and its implications around the world.
★★★★★ (63 ratings)

Cómo educar teniendo en cuenta la muerte
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid via edX

Pedagogía de la muerte para docentes y familias.
★★★★★ (20 ratings)

Inglés básico: conversacional y networking
Universidad Anáhuac via edX
Cumple tu meta de aprender inglés básico para utilizarlo de forma estratégica en los negocios e incrementar tu éxito profesional.
★★★★★ (42 ratings)

Almacenamiento de energía
Galileo University via edX
En este curso, adquiere conocimientos básicos sobre los tipos de sistemas de almacenamiento de energía, las aplicaciones más comunes, herramientas básicas de diseño y dimensionamiento, viabilidad financiera, y tendencias a futuro.
★★★★☆ (212 ratings)

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.
★★★★★ (9 ratings)

Effective Communication for Program and Project Stakeholders and Teams
University System of Maryland via edX
Go beyond the communication methods you learned in the project management training. Learn how to structure your program and project communications for the most effective understanding by your stakeholders, project managers, and project teams.
★★★★★ (21 ratings)

Heba Ledwon Profile Image

Heba Ledwon

Heba was the Business Development and Partnerships Specialist at Class Central. She worked closely with businesses and universities to provide the most possible value for the Class Central community.

Comments 2

  1. Paul S. MacDougall

    Tackling the Novel Coronavirus was an excellent course. I recommend people take it, especially those in medical fields, Microbiology, PH and teaching any of these topics. Put on by LSHTM.
    Wishing everyone a Happy New Year full of promise and vaccines!

  2. Abdiaziiz Husein Ahmad

    My first chioce medical parasatology
    Second research


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