Online Education Platforms


As many institutions switch to online delivery of studio courses, they often would like to provide video instructions and/or demonstrations especially for certain technical skills. Youtube is a reasonable resource for that, but may be difficult to predict in terms of quality, continuity of availability, legitimacy (intellectual property) or/and – in some contexts (e.g. China) – accessability.

In response to these considerations, some institutions turn towards producing their own materials, which however may be costly, may not always achieve the anticipated quality – depending e.g. on technical resources available – and, most importantly, simply takes time.

Instead, institutions, individual staff and students may turn to existing online platforms disseminating online courses, often across broad spectra of subjects, and usually of good quality. Many of such platforms essentially are “agents” that collect, scrutinise, categories, and/or streamline – potentially with varying conceptual or thematic approaches – Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as produced and provided by universities, schools or other stakehilders.

Others platforms – usually with commercial background – rely on private individuals to produce their own courses and materials, which they may then offer – sometimes after quality vetting – through the respective commercial portal.

Especially platforms of the first nature – to lesser extent also the commecial ones – will allow full/partial access to their courses for free if no participation certificate is required (e.g. choose options like “Full Course, No Certificate” (edX) or “Audit” (Coursera)).

Codecademy is a platform dedicated specifically to coding courses. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.

Coursera is a platform linking to free online courses in a wide range of subjects, provided by many top universities, museums and trusts. For creative practices it offers a good range of design courses, art history, creative writing, and some arts.

edX is a global nonprofit, originally founded by Harvard and MIT, aiming at transforming traditional education by removing the barriers of cost, location and access.

FutureLearn has a dedicated section of courses in Creative Arts & Media that include Fashion, Music, Photography & Visual Arts, and Writing.

iTunesU is a very convenient place for free online education – if you operate on any app-ready Apple device. Users need to download the iTunesU app.

LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning (formerly known as Lynda) provides video tutorials with strengths in software tutorials, programming, project- and selfmanagement. (More information)
Free (trial)

Open Culture
Open Culture is like a meta course platform aggregating free online courses specifically on arts & culture from other MOOC providers. When choosing an offer through them, it will take you to the original provider.

Of course one may also scout various (major) institutions – e.g. Berkeley, Carnegie Melon, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, University of London, University of Oxford, Yale – directly to explore their available online offers.

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Peter Benz


By Peter Benz



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