Internet Self Improvement

Learn Almost Anything Online; Find Out Where With SlideRule

Justin Pot 03-11-2014

Congratulations: You’re alive in 2014, a staggering bit of good luck. Even better: it seems like you have Internet access.


Because of this, you – unlike literally billions of humans across time – can access college-level courses, free of charge. Seriously: what do you want to learn? Because you can. Web design, world history, physics, psychology – it’s all within grasp, if you’re willing to work at it.

And, of course, if you know where to look.

Which brings me to SlideRule. This site acts as a search engine for online classes, with over 18,000 courses indexed. Some happen in real time, others are on-demand; some are from universities, others from nonprofit organizations. You can search classes, or browse them by category, until you find something worth spending your time learning.

For years we’ve been showing you how to take free college courses online The 10 Best Sites for Free College Courses Online Interested in accessing free college-level courses? Here are some of the best sites to take free online courses. Read More . If you want to take an online course, but aren’t sure where to start looking, check Slide Rule first.

Find Online Courses About Almost Anything

To get started, just head to and start typing any subject. You’ll see a few suggested categories immediately:



Pick one, if you want, and you can explore a variety of courses – some from universities, some from other entities such as Khan Academy. Most, but not all, are free.


If you prefer browsing to search, simply pick a subject. There are a few broad categories you can use as starting points, from Computers & Technology to Self Improvement to Humanities.sliderule-subjects


You can also filter by difficulty level, teaching method (whether the courses offer videos, text or audio, and whether they’re interactive), and credentials offered. Courses are also reviewed and rated by users.

You can also keep yourself informed by subscribing to their newsletter. It should keep you informed about the latest MOOCs launching, so you can enroll on the dot. Even better, hop over to their blog and find some great hints in their well-compiled articles. Into typography? Read 18 Great Resources to Learn Typographic Design Online.

Like I said before: there are over 18,000 courses indexed here. If there’s something you want to learn about, odds are you’ll find a few courses worth checking out.

Learning Paths Combining Course With Other Sources

Sometimes one course isn’t enough, which is why SlideRule also provides “Learning Paths”. These are compilations of online courses and other resources, designed to teach you specific skills.



Paths offered right now revolve around technology, which readers of this site should find useful. A great example is the web development learning path, which combines references from around the web to create a sort of curriculum.


Time estimates are provided for each resource, and they very widely: a resource could be an article to read, or it could be an interactive exercise. Sometimes the resource is an online course to sign up for and take on another site. The idea is that all these resources combined will give you mastery over a specific skill.


There aren’t many such Learning Paths at present; the site is looking for contributors to add more. Thousands of people have signed up for the existing ones, though – if you try one out, let us know what you think.

What Do You Want To Learn?

Of course, there are more ways to find online courses. Bing added online courses to its search results Search Less & Learn More: Explore Online Courses, Books & More On Bing The Bing Search Engine is improving as a handy tool for education. In the latest update, Bing brings in two new ways to search for students who look to the Web for learning. Read More , and we’ve hightlighted educational search engines The Path Of Lifelong Learning - Three Educational Search Engines For Online Courses The path of learning is long and "costly". Perhaps, that's why we believe this too much and give up as soon as regular paychecks start hitting our accounts. But in today's age, staying skilled and... Read More in the past. Check those out if SlideRule doesn’t work for you, though I think it’s a pretty great starting point.

So I want to know: what do you want to learn? Please tell me, and your fellow readers, by using the comments below.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Syed Naimath
    November 12, 2014 at 8:16 am

    This was necessary. With so many educational platforms coming these days, it was really necessary to have something like this. I'm sure Sliderule will be helpful and I won't be surprised we see of these search engines in the (near) future.

    • Justin Pot
      November 12, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Yeah, it's good to have one place to find a course. This is worth bookmarking for sure.

  2. Jessica C
    November 9, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I'd be down for courses in economics & business. My entire university career it was the one area that I always felt would be really useful to take a few courses in, but never had a chance.

    Got to take a bunch of courses that expanded my mind in other ways, but man, I could stand to be so much more financially literate.

  3. Saikat Basu
    November 4, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    These edu search engines are very useful. The MOOCs have changed course as the bubble has burst, and now they are leaning towards vocational skills and work-oriented training. These search engines really help to find the ones that can so easily slip between the cracks.

  4. KT
    November 4, 2014 at 2:34 am

    I was hoping to find the Tom Cruise box office poison acting technique, but they didn't have it!
    Seriously though, it did have a lot of tech stuff I've been wanting to learn like C++, PHP, HTML5, etc programming. There were a lot of cool Linux based classes too. They didn't have any auto cad though. Cool website.

    • Justin Pot
      November 4, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Shame about the CAD, but there's more than enough here to get started with.