Just as telehealth, food and restaurant, and delivery apps experienced a meteoric rise in demand during the coronavirus pandemic, so did the e-learning apps. Being homebound, practicing social distancing, many took to e-learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and Udacity making them some of the most demanded e-learning platforms. 

As per the stats, over 1.2 billion children in 186 countries were affected due to the coronavirus pandemic resulting in closures of educational institutes. 

Glory be to smartphones and tablets for making learning more accessible, convenient, and portable than ever. With hundreds of educational apps available, you can find an e-learning app for nearly any subject or grade level.

While some of these e-learning apps are designed to support general topics or are used as study tools, others are developed with a focus on specialized fields of study. 

8 e-learning apps for self-study 

More than 50 million online learners worldwide (and counting) are using the below-mentioned e-learning platforms to train themselves in subjects ranging from computer sciences to business management and more.

1. edX

edX is a non-profit online initiative taken by some of the leading U.S. universities, such as Harvard and MIT. It offers a great number of free courses, online classes, and MOOCs from the world’s best universities on a variety of subjects.  

Some of the topics you will find courses on are; biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, finance, electronics, engineering, food and nutrition, history, humanities, law, literature, math, medicine, music, philosophy, physics, science, statistics and more.

You can either access the video lectures on these courses through YouTube or you can download them for offline learning. What’s more, you can access a good number of courses for free without a certificate. Select ‘audit’ when you register.

As for the certificates, they are generally issued at the end of the course for courses lasting several weeks. Almost all courses include a manual assessment by the course team.

While it’s almost a perfect e-learning platform for self-study, most people, especially the first-timers, find it hard to navigate through the courses. 

2. Duolingo

If you are looking to learn a new language Duolingo is your go-to. It’s considered to be the best free online language learning program you can find out there. What’s more, the Android app seems to be well focused on the needs of smartphone learners. It’s optimal for exercising a little language daily.

In addition, the content is so compelling that Duolingo stands amongst some of the finest language learning apps, even in comparison to paid programs. It’s a solid Editors’ Choice on PCMag, reflecting on the quality you get free of cost.

The Android app is just as strong as the Duolingo iPhone app and the website. It is incredibly well developed for on-the-go studying: big kudos to its concise – short and sweet – lessons and a user-friendly interface.

3. Udemy

Udemy is also an online e-learning platform that offers a diversity of courses for instance, from web development to personal development, you name it.

What’s more, it even offers courses on art and music.  Even if you’re a beginner or a maestro, Udemy has something for everyone. Now might be a good time to learn to play that guitar. Udemy offers courses on business management as well.

As I said, it has something for everyone and these courses are taught by an industry expert.

Just bear in mind, while the Udemy app itself is available for free, you ‘re still required to pay for any course you may want to take. Some of the programs are longer and thus costlier than others.

Crazy part however is that Udemy also features road win sales and discounts on many of their programs, enabling you to purchase a $100 plus price course for something as little as ten bucks!

4. Coursera

At present, as many as 50 million students all across the world are using Coursera for self-study!

Partnered with top universities, this online learning giant delivers thousands of college-level courses. You can access most of these free of cost at your own leisure.

Coursera facilitates college-level learning to instructors at reputable institutions. Generally, you need access to specific programs, many of which are proven effective at traditional institutions.

As it has partnered with top universities including Yale, Johns Hopkins, Rice University, Princeton, the University of Michigan, etc., you are likely to receive quality learning.

Coursera presently offers 4100 online courses from leading varsities and companies across the globe. The courses comprise video tutorials, reading content, peer-reviewed assessments as well as community discussion forums.

And if you choose to pay to enroll in individual courses, you get access to:

  • Graded assignments
  • Extra study material such as video lectures or bonus reading materials
  • Most importantly, a certificate to flex (at your peers)

5. Lynda

Just as Udemy and Coursera, Lynda.com offers a wide range of courses in a number of different fields, including courses on video production and software development.

The Lynda smartphone app lets you have the freedom to study at your own tempo, anytime it is most ideal for you.

Unlike Udemy, however, Lynda ‘s extensive collection of courses is delivered on a subscription basis (monthly), allowing you the capacity to take as many courses as you want to every month.

However, if you are uncertain whether you want to make a monthly payment or not, you can simply take Lynda free of cost at a no-risk, ten-day trial run.

6. Khan Academy

It may come off as disappointing to some of you but Khan Academy is not an institution of villainy founded by the renowned Star Trek villain ‘Khan’. Khan Academy, however, without a doubt, is one of the top-ranking learning apps available in the e-learning market. 

Before establishing this e-learning platform, Khan was a hedge fund analyst, a teacher, and an entrepreneur.

What makes Khan Academy a popular e-learning app is that its services are completely free of cost in contrast to the likes of Udemy or Lynda. You can literally pick as many of Khan Academy’s free courses as you want. 

Most of the courses focus on rather “academic” subjects including math, science, and the humanities. It offers a plethora of awesome courses in computer science as well. 

7. TED

As a source of “information in mind-altering quick insights,” TED is yet another non-profit devoted to the distribution of enthralling or motivational ideas, typically in 18-minute or fewer video clips.

Such posts, dubbed “TED Talks,” are on a broad range of topics, from global issues to art and sciences and environmental challenges. For your learning and entertainment value, the TED mobile app assembles the complete TED video library into one venue.

What’s more, all content is free to access.

8. Lumosity

Want to do a mental workout? 

The Lumosity app offers one viable solution by delivering numerous brain-training “games” sequences designed with the help and support of scientific experts in the field and game developers.

Lumosity ‘s brain workouts concentrate on improving your cognitive skills, encouraging you to learn new concepts, boosting your concentration, ramping up your memory, and solving problems both quickly and more effectively.

Just like other apps mentioned in this list, you can download the Lumosity smartphone app to your device for free. However, you may have to subscribe to it for maximum experience.

Elearning: the future of learning

Although some insist that this sudden and instantaneous transition to online learning – given the factors like little training, woefully inadequate bandwidth, and very little preparation – will likely result in poor user experience and that it wouldn’t contribute to robust growth.

There are others who believe that a modern hybrid approach to learning, such as this one, will evolve over time, with significant potential benefits.

Needless to say, e-learning platforms offer seamless peer-to-peer interaction and communication and a holistic learning experience. The blend of education and technology generates a favorable pathway towards quality learning experience and engagement with the students.