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The 12 Best Online Learning Platforms (Updated for 2024)

  • Kris FreemanKris Freeman

Updated by Tara Malone

Reviews are mixed regarding online learning, largely because it challenges traditional face-to-face instruction.

However, online learning serves a student and work population moving towards more remote environments, and Covid-19 only accelerated this trend.

Today, there are countless online learning platforms, serving students of all ages, from early childhood to adult learners. 

But with so many options for online learning, how do you know which platform is right for your students?

In this article, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of online learning platforms and profile some of the best ones on the market today. 

What is an Online Learning Platform?

So what is an online learning platform anyway? Essentially, it’s a digital tool that allows individuals to access educational resources and participate in online courses from a remote location.

These platforms offer many different features, such as video lectures, quizzes, and discussion boards, to facilitate learning and engagement. Some of them give students the ability to track their progress, receive feedback, and interact with instructors and classmates.

Online learning platforms are extremely versatile, and can be used for primary and secondary education, professional development, continuing education, and much more.

Online Learning Platforms vs. Online Course Platforms

Now that you have a sense of what online learning platforms are, you might be wondering if they are the same thing as an online course platform.

The short answer is, an online learning platform and an online course platform have both similarities and differences. 

They’re similar in that both provide access to educational resources and opportunities for online learning, but there are some key differences between the two.

The term “online learning platform” is more general, and covers many different kinds of online learning tools and resources. An online learning platform can provide access to a wide range of resources, such as video lectures, quizzes, discussion boards, and progress tracking, and are better able to support various types of learning and engagement.

An online course platform, on the other hand, is specifically designed for hosting and delivering online courses. These platforms typically provide a more structured learning experience, with a set curriculum, assignments, and deadlines. They may also offer more interactive features, such as live virtual classrooms and real-time communication with instructors and classmates.

What are the Pros and Cons of an Online Learning Platform?

As with any system, there will always be pros and cons.

First, let’s talk about the pros of an online learning platform. 


  • Convenience: As long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you can access an online learning platform anywhere, at any time. This makes online learning convenient for those with busy schedules, or those who live in remote areas.
  • Lots of options: Online learning platforms offer a wide range of options for learners. They can be used for primary and secondary education, professional development, and continuing education. They also offer a wide range of subjects and courses.
  • Cost-effective: Online learning platforms can be more cost-effective than traditional in-person education. This is in part because they do not require additional expenses such as transportation and accommodation.
  • Access to a global audience: Online learning platforms allow learners to connect and interact with a global audience, providing them with a diverse range of perspectives and cultural experiences. 


Next, let’s dive into some of the cons that come with e-learning platforms.

  • Can feel impersonal: One of the main disadvantages of online learning platforms is the lack of personal interaction with instructors and classmates. This can make it more difficult to ask questions, receive feedback, and build relationships.
  • Technology issues: Online learning platforms can be subject to technical difficulties such as internet connectivity issues, which can interrupt learning and make it difficult to access certain resources.
  • Harder to stay motivated: Online learning platforms rely heavily on the learner’s self-motivation, which can be a challenge for some individuals. Without the structure of a physical classroom and the accountability of an in-person instructor, it can be easy to procrastinate or lose focus.
  • Feedback might be limited: Online learning platforms can be less effective in providing learners with feedback and guidance, which is essential for improving their understanding of the material and for making progress. 

The Top Online Learning Platforms of 2024

Now that you are clear on what online learning platforms are and some of the major pros and cons, let’s turn our attention to some of the top online learning platforms of 2024.

1. Google Classroom

Google Classroom offers a cloud-based online learning experience.  And if you already use Google, it can seamlessly integrate with your other classroom tools.

And best of all, Google Classroom supports a wide range of users from pre-K to university students.

Key Features:

  • Manage multiple classes in one central location
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Collaborate and teach face-to-face with Google Meet
  • Robust online app


  • Lack of direct customer support
  • No separate licensing option


  • Offers a free option
  • The paid version requires a consultation with their sales department. 

2. Adobe Captivate

Adobe Captivate is geared towards the professional sector and has been adopted by leading brands worldwide.  

Key Features:

  • Customer education programs to enhance product utilization
  • Detailed reporting allowing for better customer retention
  • A variety of uploadable sources, including screen shares that can be done automatically by importing PowerPoint presentations
  • Proactive employee reskilling utilizing gamification, certifications, and badges


  • Limited support
  • Cancellation fee
  • Instability of their app


  • Free 30-day-trial
  • Tiered pricing starting at $4 per registered user
  • Course pricing begins at $16 per learner per year  

3. Exam-Labs

 Exam-Labs is an online platform that helps you get IT certifications. There are several training courses which you may choose from. Once the training is complete, you may also take an exam and get a certification for your course completion.

Key Features:

  • Single platform for various IT certifications 
  • Latest questions available 
  • Accuracy in answers Instant Access 
  • Download free files for learning


  • Limited Free Updates only for 30 days on purchasing the Premium VCE files 
  • You can download only 10 premium VCE files regardless of your unlimited access duration 


  • Registration is free; however, the pricing for different courses may vary.

4. Blackboard 

Blackboard is an e-learning LMS platform aimed at teaching pre-K to university students. In addition, it also supports training solutions for business and government institutions.

Key Features: 

  • Intuitive, responsive interface
  • Plagiarism checker to grade student assignments 
  • Enhanced communication between students and professors
  • Built-in tracking of student progress
  • Americans with Disabilities (ADA) compliant
  • IOS app is highly rated


  • Limited support
  • Apps are buggy, especially in the Android version


  • Free 30-day-trial
  • Contact sales for a customized quote

5. Acorn LMS

Acorn is an award-winning cloud-based LMS out of Australia targeted at business professionals looking to boost their skills.

Key Features:

  • Gamification and tailored training content
  • Real-time reporting
  • 24/7 onshore customer support based in Australia
  • Task automation
  • Transparent pricing
  • Imports for video content
  • Drag and drop course builder


  • Advanced support options lacking
  • No Android app


  • 60-day free trial
  • Tiered pricing starts at 100 users, $375 for LMS Only, and $500 for LMS & Content Combined.

6. Moodle

Moodle is an open-source LMS that boasts over 200+ million users — these include the Shell corporation, the State University of New York (SUNY), and the London School of Economics.

Key Features:

  • Integrated calendar 
  • Smartphone apps
  • Support to insert 3rd party cloud-based services
  • Advanced features include a text editor


  • Limited support options
  • Certified service providers needed for additional support at an additional cost
  • Apps are buggy


  • Open source and free

7. Skill Success

Skill Success is an online learning platform that offers a wide range of courses across various disciplines. Whether you’re looking to develop new skills or enhance existing ones, Skill Success provides a comprehensive catalog of courses designed to meet the needs of learners of all levels.

Key Features:

  • Diverse selection of courses, including business, technology, personal development, and creative arts
  • Affordable pricing options, accessible to learners with different budget constraints
  • Instructors are industry professionals and subject matter experts
  • User-friendly interface allows learners to navigate through courses effortlessly


  • Limited interactive features
  • Focuses on self-paced learning and may be better suited to independent learners


  • Contact customer service support for a customized quote

8. Canvas LMS

Canvas LMS is a web-based platform that allows educators to create and manage online courses, track student progress, and communicate with students and other instructors. 

Key Features:

  • Supports personalized learning paths
  • Numerous customizable course building and management tools
  • Integrates with G Suite, Microsoft Teams, Adobe, and hundreds of other tools
  • Many different student collaboration tools


  • Significant learning curve for new users
  • Few gamification features


  • Offers free account for teachers

9. edX

edX is an online learning platform that offers free and paid online courses from some of the world’s top universities and organizations. 

Key Features:

  • Allows students to take courses from top universities like Harvard
  • Offers professional certificate programs
  • Large number of courses are self-paced


  • Fewer number of courses than many other platforms
  • Interface can be challenging to navigate


  • Offers some free courses
  • “Verified Track” courses can range from $50 to $300
  • edX for Business is $349 per learner/year for small businesses

10. Docebo

Docebo is an enterprise-level LMS that provides businesses and organizations with a platform to create, deliver, and manage training programs.

Key Features:

  • Allows users to create and manage online courses
  • Cloud-based software
  • Built-in analytics and reporting tools
  • Gamification features


  • Limited customer support
  • Low rated smartphone apps


  • Need to request a custom quote

11. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning (formerly is an online learning platform that provides access to a wide range of video courses on business, technology, and creative skills, all taught by industry experts.

Key Features:

  • Offers self-paced courses that can be accessed at any time
  • Lets you test your progress with quizzes
  • Provides certificates of completion


  • Quality of the courses can be inconsistent
  • Can be challenging to become a LinkedIn Learning instructor


  • Monthly plan: 1-month free trial, then $29.99/month
  • Annual plan: 1-month free trial, then $19.99/month

12. LearnWorlds

LearnWorlds is an online course platform that allows individuals and organizations to create, market and sell online courses from their own website.

Key Features:

  • Cloud-based software for building online courses
  • Extensive marketing and sales tools to help users promote courses
  • Includes a powerful website builder 


  • Not all plans offer 24/7 customer support
  • The more comprehensive plans start at $249/month


  • Starter Plan: $24/month on annual plan, $29/month on monthly plan
  • Pro Trainer Plan: $79/month on annual plan, $99/month on monthly plan
  • Learning Center Plan: $249/month on annual plan, $299/month on monthly plan
  • Corporate Plan: Need to call for a custom quote

For more online learning options, be sure to check out this resource that lists “The 10 Best Online Course Creators for 2021,” incorporating an LMS or LMS online marketplace.

And if you are a course creator utilizing WordPress, this post might be helpful as well.

Ready to Choose an Online Learning Platform? 

While there are critics of the online learning movement, it’s pretty clear that online learning is here to stay. 

Hopefully at this stage, you have a better understanding of what an online learning platform is, and if any of the online learning options featured might work for your students. 

If so, we encourage you to test out a few online learning platforms until you zero in on the one that’s right for your business.

And if you want to learn more about the process of creating your own online course, we encourage you to check out our free Hybrid Courses Bootcamp.

Let’s Start Building Your Online Course!

In our FREE Hybrid Courses Bootcamp, we’ll walk you through how to transform your knowledge and expertise into a profitable online course… one your students will love.
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