best online courses

20 Best Online Courses for Self-Isolation Times

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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, making tools for remote working and learning absolutely essential. Taking an online course may have crossed your mind as a way to cope with this new reality, but it’s not always easy to know where to start.

We at The Crowder have put together this list of the best online courses from our featured selection of reviewed online learning platforms, including e-courses from Coursera, GoSkills, and Udemy—all of which offer free online courses through preview trials. 

These online course platforms offer something for everyone: new hobbies, ways to ease stress and take care of your home, and new skills to level up your work-from-home routine. Let’s take a closer look.

Since each one of you may have a different purpose when taking an online course, we divided the list up into 3 sections. Feel free to jump directly to to the one that interests you:

Be Professional: Courses for Remote Working and Career Enhancement

Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content | Coursera

Take a lesson from the ongoing pandemic and make your ideas go viral! Compelling content is essential to effective marketing, especially now that businesses have no choice but to operate primarily online. This online course by the University of Pennsylvania will show you how to influence your audience with infectious ideas that stick and generate valuable leads for your business. Go to course

Excel | GoSkills

Many of us are sure to mention our ability to use Excel on a resume, but few have truly mastered it. This course from GoSkills is designed for all skill levels, beginning with introductory basics for those new to the software or in need of a refresher, before moving into more advanced territory. Tapping into the full potential of this classic program will make you a stronger, faster, and more competent user, and is sure to impress your boss and colleagues. Go to course

Fundamentals of Graphic Design | Coursera

Learning the basics of graphic design can give you an edge as a creative force, and the skills you gain from this course can be applied across a variety of industries. This course from the California Institute of the Arts presents the fundamentals through engaging and practical exercises. Whether you want to create ads for marketing campaigns, choose colours and fonts for a new website, or piece together a visual brand identity, this course will provide you with the core skills that you need to succeed. Go to course

Time Management & Personal Productivity | Coursera

Working from home is not for everyone. Plenty of us are struggling with a lack of structure and routine at this time, and are perhaps easily distracted when not working from the office. This clever course from the University of California, Irvine, guides you through forming smarter working habits, recognizing barriers to successful time management, and choosing strategies that work for you. In unpredictable times, it makes all the difference to create a predictable routine that adapts to your situation and offers control over your daily workflow.
Go to course

Project Management | GoSkills

Working remotely has opened up new online initiatives for businesses around the world, and many professionals are taking on new campaigns and becoming project managers overnight. Basic project management skills are key to succeeding with this unprecedented global workflow. If you’re feeling out of your depth, this course from GoSkills offers strategies for initiating, planning, and executing a project, as well as tips for managing resources, scheduling, and more. Go to course

Public Speaking | GoSkills

Gain confidence on business calls and beyond by honing the skill of public speaking. Isolating alone? Take advantage of your empty home and practice speaking without anyone listening in (or pitch your latest idea to your dog as a practice run). Isolating with others? Involve them and ask for honest feedback as you practice. Taught by public speaking trainer and bestselling author TJ Walker, this course reveals how to tell stories and present speeches that will win clients and impress your colleagues. Go to course

Business Writing | GoSkills

If you’ve recently transitioned to remote working, you’re probably writing more emails, social media posts, and web content than you were before. Strong communication can improve the quality of your work, earn respect from your colleagues, and open doors to new opportunities. Presented by accomplished business writer Faith Watson, this course will teach you to express yourself clearly and professionally in emails, resumes, social media posts, and more. Go to course

Be Well: Courses for Home, Health, and Wellness

Positive Psychology | Coursera

There is a science behind happiness, and this course from Coursera reveals it. As the world responds to this challenging time, many of us are feeling stressed and unsure about how to keep a positive outlook. Offering valuable insight into the psychology of positivity, this course covers the health benefits and ripple effects of loving-kindness, as well includes a lab-tested meditation to nurture a positive mindset to face the current global climate. Go to course

Dog Training | Udemy

Staying home means spending more time with your pets, so why not take this opportunity to teach your dog new tricks? This course offers tips for addressing behavioural problems that you’ve never had time to deal with before, or which may arise from your dog spending more time indoors with you. Many people have chosen to adopt a new dog to keep them company in self-isolation, and these basics apply to training a new puppy as well. Go to course

Tidy Up Your Home | Udemy

A masterclass in decluttering, this course is hosted by the tidying up phenomenon herself, Mari Kondo! If you’re not sure how to begin tidying, or if you’ve begun but aren’t sure how to finish or maintain the progress you’ve made, this course promises to answer your questions. Mari’s method incorporates gratitude and mindfulness to transform your home into an environment that you can cherish and appreciate. Go to course

14 Day Yoga Challenge | Udemy

Moving your body is a proven way to ease stress, as well as to keep active and healthy. This two-week beginners’ course from Udemy is designed as an accessible start into the practice of yoga no matter your physical ability or previous experience. Downloadable resources are included so you can continue to practice your poses and build a routine beyond the 14 days. Perfect for following at your own pace, the lessons can also be enjoyed with friends or family to learn and stay fit together. Go to course

Cutting Hair at Home | Udemy

Tutorials on cutting your own hair are swiftly becoming one of the most-searched queries during this pandemic. Going to the barber isn’t an option right now, and many of us are struggling with less-than-impressive DIY cuts. This course will help you pull off a decent haircut, whether you’re trying it on yourself or giving someone else a trim, and walk you through techniques such as edging and blending. Go to course

How to Share Nature with your Child | Udemy

The outdoors are proving to be a reliable option for connecting with your children when social distancing, whether it’s a walk in the park or simply enjoying your own garden or backyard. This course offers fresh perspectives on enjoying nature with your kids, encouraging curiosity and appreciation for plants, wildlife, and the earth we share.  Go to course

Fighting COVID-19 with Epidemiology | Coursera

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought plenty of uncertainty with it. Arming yourself with the facts is an effective way to calm your nerves and educate yourself on the reality of the situation. Offered by Johns Hopkins University, this course outlines the tools and techniques used by the medical community to collect, measure, and analyze data in order to create life-saving measures to protect the global population. Go to course

Be Curious: Courses for Trying Something New

Write Your First Novel | Coursera

There have been plenty of motivational posts and memes lately about how now is the time to write the novel you have daydreamed about authoring. If you’re seriously up to the task but may not know how to start, this comprehensive course offered by Michigan State University is the perfect guide. From formulating an idea and characters to readying your manuscript for publication, this step-by-step course allows you to make the most of your time at home through the joy of storytelling. Go to course

Basic Italian Cooking Skills | Udemy

If you’re running out of ideas for all the dried pasta in your cupboard, why not try learning to cook the Italian way? Taught by chef Luca La Rossa, this online cooking class will teach you 16 classic Italian recipes including starters, pasta dishes, mains, and sides. Characterized by the simplicity of its ingredients, Italian cuisine is easy and satisfying to prepare at home. Use what you’ve learned to guide your family or housemates as you prepare dinner together, or surprise your partner with a tasty date-night dish. Go to course

Guitar for Beginners | Coursera

If you have a guitar at home that has never been used, your time in self-isolation could be the perfect opportunity to give it some love. Covering the essentials of chords, strumming, picking, reading music, and more, this course caters to beginners and is a valuable starting point for any aspiring musician. Soundtrack your self-isolation with your favourite songs, and pass the time with jam sessions and sing-alongs as you learn! Go to course

Learn Spanish | Coursera

Learning a second language is a common goal, but most people argue that they never have the time to commit to the task. Now that time is on your side, Spanish is a great choice when it comes to language learning. Not only does it open up opportunities for travel, relationships, and self-improvement; it is also one of the most important languages in the global market. Focusing on conversational Spanish, this course is ideal for meeting others and connecting with fellow learners. If you want to keep going, Coursera also offers a full certification course in Basic Spanish. Go to course

Launch a Podcast Using Your Smartphone | Udemy

Listening to podcasts are proving a popular way to survive quarantine, so why not make your own? This course keeps things accessible and low-budget using only a smartphone to launch your first podcast—no fancy audio equipment required. Interview your family, chat about a unique interest that you have, or collaborate with your friends online to record entertaining episodes. And if you’re feeling more ambitious, this course provides guidance on gaining your first 100 followers and growing your popularity in a marketable niche. Go to course

How to Draw | Udemy

You might think that drawing is something that only people with a special artistic talent can do, but this is simply not true. If you have ever been curious about drawing but never tried it yourself, this course is the perfect starting point. Fine artist Joseph Patric Daniels teaches the basics, showing students how to notice light and shadow and choose the right materials for their drawings. Practice what you’ve learned by creating portraits of yourself and others in your house as a way to pass the time and indulge in your creativity. Go to course


There you have it—the 20 best online courses for learning remotely at this unusual moment in history.

Learning in quarantine is easy and accessible. The appeal of e-learning used to be the way it fit into our busy lives—but it is also a solution for keeping us busy during this time where many of us are not sure what to do with ourselves. 

Taking courses from home keeps you engaged, entertained, and informed as you practice social distancing. Remote learning is especially beneficial at this time, allowing us to invest in ourselves instead of focusing on our worries about our current circumstances.

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