In addition to our own site, where all 300+ of our courses reside, we’ve done some experimenting with other online course platforms. Below are a few that we have experience with, which may be a good solution for your open online course. At their basic levels, all are free to use, and offer various features and support packages.


  • Open source software, which would allow users to edit underlying code and develop their own course management features;

  • Large development community, which has created numerous additional free features and plugins;

  • Note: If using the free download, you’ll need to run the software and subsequent courses on your own server. There are however hosting solutions available to those who need it.

Canvas/Canvas Network

  • Open source;

  • Intuitive course design features;

  • Content integration tools;

  • Analytics tools;

  • Hosting provided.

iTunes U

  • Intuitive course design;

  • Hosting provided;

  • Extremely large existing user base;

  • Integration with iTunes store and educational apps;

  • Note: Apple mobile devices are required for students to receive the full course experience.

Open edX

  • Open-source code written in Python and Javascript;

  • Extremely large existing user base that contribute additional free features and plugins, known as Xblocks;

  • Includes the edX LMS and the edX authoring suite, Studio;

  • Not-for-profit organization that receives support and contributions from many organizations and institutions of higher learning.


  • Intuitive course design;

  • Easy alignment of content and assessments to common core standards or custom learning outcomes;

  • Available as an app on iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire;

  • Analytics Tools.

If there is a free to use open online course platform that you like, which is not listed above, please let us know about it.