Since the outbreak of Covid-19, a lot of people have become interested in online learning and this has paved the way for the increased growth for these online learning platforms. Some of the online learning platforms include Coursera, Skillshare, Udemy, Codecademy, Edx, Pluralsight, LinkedIn learning, Udacity and FreeCodeCamp.

Most of these online learning and course platforms offer the opportunity to learn or create, and sell online courses. They have the options for both instructors and students. These platforms are good but the struggle for choosing the best platform for instructors and students is real. So, to solve the problem, I have come up with a list that contains five of these e-learning platforms for design. This can make it easier for you to choose the right platform and get high-quality knowledge. 

What is an Online Learning Platform?

An online learning platform is an information system that provides a safe learning environment where students can take online courses. They are often called ‘online course marketplaces’ because they give learners the opportunity to search for and pay for online courses directly while instructors  are able to create and sell their courses as they serve as media for the exchange knowledge and payment.

Online learning platform takes off a lot of the hard work of building an audience, marketing, and sales,  there may be no control over pricing, user data, and branding.

1. LinkedIn Learning

Formerly known as, LinkedIn Learning is an educational platform that offers professional courses in business, technology-related and creative fields like UI/UX, Data analytics, web development,etc through video lessons. The platform comes as a premium service for LinkedIn users and offers over 16,000 courses in 7 languages.

LinkedIn Learning is highly recognized and valued in the business community. It comes with a one-month free trial and offers certification upon course completion. It also has offline learning access to learn on the go and grants you access to other premium career features 

However, the quality of the courses it offers is ambiguous and you need to conduct some research into them before enrolling. Also, joining as an instructor may be challenging.

LinkedIn Learning is basically for students: It is mostly suited for professionals and businesses looking to train their employees. It comes with two subscription plans for students - Monthly: 1-month free trial then €39.33/month and Annually: 1-month free trial then €29,49/month (pricing as at 17th January, 2022)

Instructors include Business teams, universities, and government organizations. Professional and Certified Individuals can also use the platform for educational purposes.

Read: How to maximise Internet Data in 2023

2. Coursera

Coursera is an online education platform with 82 million learners, 100+ Fortune 500 companies, and more than 6,000 campuses, businesses, and governments that is dedicated to offering high-quality online training courses worldwide. While partnering with world-class universities and businesses, it provides students the opportunity to receive certifications from renowned institutions upon joining their paid courses. 


Offers a variety of learning options and activities

Awards students with different types of certificates and degrees

Offers high-quality educational tools and instructor interactions (for instructors)


Limited to educators in partner institutions. (for instructors)

Less flexible course creation options compared to other platforms (for instructors)

Who is it for?

Students: Anyone who wants to learn from prestigious institutions.

Instructors: It is aimed at professors who are based at a HE partner institution or business.


Coursera offers free courses, subscriptions, and one-off payments depending on the course or program.

3. Udemy 

Udemy is one of the most popular online course marketplaces on the web. This educational platform has 49M+ Learners, 64K+ Instructors,185K+ Courses, 680M+, Course enrollments, 75 Languages and 10,500+ Enterprise customers.

Udemy makes course creation possible for everyone with the possibility of acquiring new skills. In doing so, it offers a range of online learning materials including PDF documents, PowerPoint, text, and video content among many others.

Instructors can join Udemy and start teaching online, but it takes a huge piece of the pie from the revenue and has control over pricing and discounting the course.


No setup cost (for instructors) and it is geared towards self-paced learning and video courses. Also, there’s no need for highly technical knowledge

A Udemy app available for iOS and Android


Very limited interaction with students (both for students and instructors). There is also a high competition between course creators (for instructors)

No personal branding option (for instructors)

Control over prices and often sells courses for incredibly low prices (for instructors)

No data ownership or control over branding – It keeps emails, user data, and does not share this information with their instructors (for instructors)

Who is it for?

Students: Udemy has a course for almost every discipline, but always read the reviews before buying one. Quality is not consistent.

Instructors: It’s great for teachers, instructors, educators, and freelancers who are just starting out.

Pricing / Revenue (for instructors):

No starting fee but very high commissions on sales of up to 75%.

50% per course sale when students come through organic search on Udemy or search engines.

75% when students come through their paid user acquisition channel.

97% on course sales when you sell through your own links. Udemy keeps a 3% administration fee.

4. FreeCodeCamp 

FreeCodeCamp is a non-profit, donor-supported public charity community that helps you learn to code by building projects.

You'll learn to code by completing coding challenges and building projects. You'll also earn verified certifications along the way.


Every aspect of freeCodeCamp is 100% free.

Every year, thousands of people who join the freeCodeCamp community get their first software developer job. 

Each certification takes around 300 hours of dedicated learning. Some people may take longer. These certifications are completely self-paced.

A lot of coding bootcamps use freeCodeCamp as part of their curriculum, though.


FreeCodeCamp is open source (BSD-3 license), and most non-sensitive freeCodeCamp data is publicly available. But you must make it clear that you don't represent freeCodeCamp itself, and that your project is not officially endorsed by freeCodeCamp.

5. Alison

Alison is an e-learning platform that focuses on helping users develop skills that can be applied in the workplace. Founded by Mike Feerick in 2007, this Irish-based platform offers courses in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Urdu, Hindi, and Arabic. 

This is a faster way for employees to Grow and upskill. The range of solutions has something to offer all businesses and organizations. Whether you’re a non-profit or a commercial entity, a plan can be tailored for your needs. 

Over 23 million learners have used Alison to empower themselves through education. 

For its pros, Alison has another neat feature that you won’t find on many other e-learning platforms – a referral program.

In addition to the notes section below each course, you’ll also find a unique study reminder. This feature is exclusive to Alison – it’s not something that we have seen anywhere else.


It generates its income from advertising and certificate courses.


Alison courses are free for users to study. Alison does not require any payment for you to study and complete courses. After you complete a course, you are given the option to purchase a parchment or digital version of your achievement.