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Free Online Courses and Instructional Aids: Online Instructional Materials

This is a guide to free online lectures, courses, and continuing ed materials for teens and adults. It contains instructional materials for the humanities, science, mathematics, foreign language,and other disciplines. Some may be taken for college credit includes almost 50 free courses in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics.  It also has lectures to prepare for the high school equivalency exams and for Advanced Placement tests in a number of disciplines.  An adult learner may be able to earn real college credit for completion of many of these courses, but he or she must pay a fee per exam to take the CLEP test for each course and then earn a passing CLEP grade.  More than 2,000 colleges accept  CLEP tests as "credit by examination".


GCF Learnfree

Goodwill Community Foundation’s learnfree website at GCF Global provides more than 750 interactive tutorials on computer software, social media, career readiness, and coping skills for daily living such as how to count change, pay bills, or read a product label.  At least 250 of the tutorials contain video content.  The tutorials were created to help provide marketable workplace skills to clients of Goodwill, but are available free of charge to the general public.


Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a donor-supported, not-for-profit educational website at that features more than 4,000 video tutorials on a variety of subjects.  Emphasis is on mathematics, science, and technology, but there are also a number of video lectures in history and the humanities.  The website was the brainchild of Salman Khan, an MIT-grad who used video lectures to tutor family members.  Khan Academy now receives support from the Bill & Melinda Gates charitable foundation..


Adult Learning and Test Preparation

Vocational information is available on the Career and Technical Education Database via NC Live.   Included are technical topics, such as computing science, healthcare, building trades, auto mechanics, sales and retail, accounting, graphic design, and photography. A valid local library card from a North Carolina public library, community college library, or UNC system school is required to access the site

Learning Express Library via NCLive is largely a standardized test preparation site.  However, there are a number of basic skills instruction modules for middle school through adult learners that teach math, reading, and writing.  A valid local library card from a North Carolina public library, community college library, or UNC system school is required to access the site. 

MIT Open Courseware

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has made a commitment to publish virtually all of its course content online and allow open access to the public.  There are currently materials from around 2150 MIT courses available online for free at MIT Open Courseware

Other well-known schools that offer similar open courseware to the public include Yale, Johns Hopkins, and California Institute of Technology.  Many of these educational institutions are members of the Open Courseware Consortium and may be located through that association's website 

North Carolina Virtual Public School

N.C. Virtual Public School at provides teacher-led online courses for North Carolina high school students via funding from the N.C. General Assembly.   Courses are aligned to Common Core standards and current offerings include more than 150 Advanced Placement, Honors, traditional, and occupational classes.  This instructional website was started to help provide equal access to students in poor and rural school districts with less variety in course offerings.  Some courses are now offered to students attending home schools and private schools in NC.  Courses taken via this site count on your high school transcript toward graduation credit.


Open Culture

Open Culture at contains almost 700 free courses consisting of lectures from professors at leading univeristies that are delivered via YouTube and iTunes. 

Open Culture also contained a varied offering of online foreign language courses for beginners in almost 40 different languages.

Alamance County Public Libraries

Alamance County Public Libraries provide free and open access to lifelong learning, resources for everyday living, and reading for pleasure in a welcoming environment.  Our collections, services and programs enhance the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. Contact the Library webmaster.

Alamance County Public Libraries operates as a Department of Alamance County Government.  Visit the Alamance County Website at