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Online Platforms For Your Self-Development

While we are at home, we have a lot of time for self-development. Online courses can help us.

Online Platforms For Your Self-Development


Now many educational institutions have switched to a remote format due to the pandemic reason, and the Higher School of Economics is not an exception. No one knows how the situation will develop further, but it is absolutely obvious that all of us do not want to just sit at home. Of course, every student is currently studying, but in addition to tasks, you want some activity and the slightest variety in a series of identical days.

Self-development is one of the most important aspects of our life, which can be not boring, but even interesting. So why not do it right now, when we have a little more time to improve our personal capabilities, skills and abilities. A variety of classes and courses on diverse platforms can contribute to it. Now there are a lot of sites with courses that open up access to online training of new competencies in English. We can start learning new things while studying remotely by getting familiar with these platforms.


One of the most popular platforms is Coursera. On this web page, it is possible to find courses from various fields: computer and information technology, science in different fields (natural, technical, mathematical, humanitarian and social), art, learning foreign languages with a choice of level or specialization (special language and terminology for journalists, for example), developing your inner “I” and a healthy lifestyle. A wide range of courses implies registration on the site, timely completion of each block and then finishing before the deadline and graduation.


  1. Clearly defined deadlines for completing the blocks that make up the entire course. Quite convenient framework for learning, what is more, additional motivation for timely completion of tasks;
  2. A variety of profiles. You can choose from a large list of things that will suit you best;
  3. If it is not possible to pay for obtaining a diploma, you can write a request for its payment if the necessary requirements are met. You can also just take the course for free, without getting a diploma;
  4. A fairly simple site with a very easy-to-understand structure;
  5. The presence of a mobile app on iOS and Android gadgets, which makes learning possible from different devices and in any convenient place;
  6. After registration and viewing the courses you are interested in, from time to time, you will receive a list with a selection depending on what you have already passed or viewed on the platform on your e-mail address;
  7. There are courses that are available not only in English, but also in other languages;
  8. You can view how many hours you will spend on completion and see a clear course structure.


  1. Not all courses are available for free, even if you do not want to pay for the diploma at the end, their passing is available only after payment;
  2. If you did not have time to complete the course and left it for a long time unfinished, then you will have to take it from the very beginning;
  3. Not all courses are available in English;

Link to the platform: https://www.coursera.org/


Another quite popular site is Edx. This platform is convenient because it is developed in English, so it can be much easier to take courses here than on any other educational website. The site is divided into sections, each of them has subsections, which conveniently show the components of the portal and speeds up the process of choosing the appropriate educational courses for you. Edx has six sections: computer technology, learning foreign languages (including the suggested languages, as well as sections of its development, such as grammar, written language, etc.), everything related to the world of database learning, data collection and analysis (including programming as a way to conduct data operations), humanities and social sciences, engineering in various areas, management and business development.


  1. Pretty easy to use and navigate site;
  2. When choosing a course, you can set six necessary parameters: language, partnership, program (bachelor’s or master’s degree), course level, language, and course availability (whether it is available right now or only soon to open);
  3. Not only is English the main language of the courses presented, but some languages other languages are represented and have a small number of courses;
  4. After completing some courses, you can get a free electronic diploma, but it will not contain personal information.


  1. Requires mandatory registration, without which you cannot even view the components of the courses – its structure and things that you can study here- and the hours required for their development;
  2. There is no partnership with the Higher School of Economics. Partnership is only with foreign universities;
  3. The greatest bias is in the technical sphere and there is a smaller representation of the humanitarian fields. Also, a small number of courses on personal self-knowledge is presented on this site;
  4. There is no app for your mobile phone; you can only use the course from your computer or laptop.

Link to the platform: https://www.edx.org/


Alison is another free online platform for passing various sites in English. The focus of the subjects here is quite extensive: computer technology and everything related to them, learning foreign languages, scientific field of activity, including anatomy, chemistry and biology, maintaining the body in a healthy state, humanities, business, product promotion, targeting, mathematical sciences and the development of balance and harmony with yourself. According to statistics from the site, this platform is used by about 17 million people from 195 countries. Thus, it is widespread all over the world. Like any platform, it has its pros and cons.


  1. Like many sites, it is pretty easy to find everything you need. The site is not endowed with unnecessary elements and all categories are in the same table, which sends to the desired page;
  2. The site has clear tabs showing the most popular courses and those that were added recently, which in a sense also makes it easier to find the right class for you;
  3. There is an app, so you can view the course anywhere;
  4. Upon completion, you can get a certificate in electronic form, only the printed version will be paid. You do not need to pay for an electronic certificate or the course itself;
  5. There is a separate category on the site: a course dedicated to the study of coronavirus, which tells you everything you need to know about the virus, how to protect yourself and suggests the possibility of helping people, for example, as a volunteer;
  6. You can view the component structure of the project or course without registration by clicking on the special “More information” button;
  7. There are narrow-profile courses designed for special professions and the development of certain competencies for specific work in a separate category;
  8. All courses are available not only in English, but also in a number of other languages that are specified before completing the course.


  1. only mandatory registration is Allowed, it is impossible to complete the course without it (some users are uncomfortable registering);
  2. the Mobile app is adapted only for Android, that is, IOs users will not be able to study from their phone and they will have to take the course only through a computer with the Windows operating system or using other gadgets that have Android;
  3. Again, there is no cooperation with the higher school of Economics.

Link to the platform: https://alison.com/


In my opinion, these are some of the most popular platforms that can be found on the Internet and that provide fairly high-quality online courses for passing and obtaining new knowledge and competencies in English. Of course, each platform has some points that need to be improved and refined, but, nevertheless, these educational sites are really good. On them, you can find absolutely any areas that interest you and pass them at any time, which is the most convenient for you.

Right now, we have the most opportunities to take these courses and improve ourselves, even without leaving home. I think these three platforms will easily help with self-development and personal “upgrade”.

Text by
Valeriia Pivovarova