In our age, it is essential for people to have basic computer literacy (the essential skills to use computers and related technology). Nowadays, even school and university programs in non-IT fields require students to complete some basic computer training. Not to mention that most employers don’t have a good perception of job applicants who don’t possess at least some elementary computer abilities. To make it easier for those who don’t want to pay a fee to improve their computer knowledge, we have reviewed and rated various websites and e-learning platforms that allow you to learn basic computer skills online for free.
Audio lessons + Visual and written aids
Free Alison account + Adobe Flash Player
ADDITIONAL FREE TOOLS:
Notes and reminders
4.6 out of 5
Alison is a website that offers online courses in several fields. Most of its teachings are workplace-oriented. This platform has helped over 14 million learners worldwide and has hundreds of free courses. It offers a very solid basic course for those who need an introduction to computer skills.
This course starts by covering essential computing concepts and techniques. It then teaches you how to use basic Microsoft applications before moving on to more advanced concepts.
Besides understanding a computer’s basic functions, you will learn about IT safety and how to get rid of computer parts in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.
There are 4 modules in this course, each one with various sub-modules:
– Module 1: Introduction
– Module 2: Basic Concepts
– Lesson 3: Software Applications
– Lesson 4: Practical IT Skills
Throughout the course, you will encounter several tests to check your progress before moving on to the next part of the training.
This course’s duration is between 15 and 20 hours. Teachings are in the form of audio lessons, with the aid of interactive images and written aids. There is also an online tool to write notes for each module and sub-module and save them to your computer. You can set “study reminders” and give Alison permission to email you at specific times to remind you to study.
A passage from ALISON ABC IT course
Below each lesson, you will also find a comment section where you can read other learners’ thoughts and write your own.
Once you complete the course, you can request a certification (ideal if you want to share your progress with potential employers). This certification is available in both paper and digital format but, unlike the actual course, it’s not for free. The price of the certification varies depending on your location and currency, so check Alison’s website for further information.
To gain instant access to this course, you only need a free Alison account and to have Adobe Flash Player installed on your browser.
We recommend this course if you are a total beginner and you are looking for a free alternative to paid online courses.
Written lessons + YouTube videos
Variable (self-paced training)
ADDITIONAL FREE TOOLS:
4.4 out of 5
GCF Global is a free online learning platform that helps people from all over the world to develop basic abilities in many technical areas. It is a great website for both beginners and intermediate learners.
It offers six main tutorials for people who want to improve their computer skills. There are several sections in each of these tutorials. Here’s a summary:
- Computer Basics
- Hardware Basics
- Software Basics
- Using a Computer
- Using the Internet
- Safety and Maintenance
- Basic Computer Skills
- Basic Skills
- Setup and Maintenance
- Installing and Uninstalling Software
- Mouse Tutorial
- Typing Tutorial
- Computer Science
- Tech Saavy Tips and Tricks
- Tech Skills
- Safety and Security
These tutorials are a combination of written lessons and YouTube videos. They are very easy to understand. They start by explaining very simple concepts. Then, they walk you through more advanced aspects of computer skills.
An excerpt from GCF Global’s computer skills tutorials
After completing each tutorial, you can take a free quiz to test your progress and check whether you have grasped all fundamental concepts.
While completing this online training does not lead to any diploma or certification, the teachings included in these courses are very helpful and can make a difference in your career.
Free Udemy account
ADDITIONAL FREE TOOLS:
4.3 out of 5
I offer this basic course on Udemy, an online learning platform. All you need to enroll in this course is a free Udemy account (everybody can sign up).
This course has helped over 7000 beginners in computer skills. After completing it you will know how to use Microsoft Office basic apps, safely surf the internet, name files, and folders connect multiple digital devices and offload and enhance digital photos and videos.
Here’s the course structure:
- Section 1: Learning Objectives
- Section 2: Anatomy of a Laptop
- Section 3: Internet Best Practices
- Section 4: Internet Applications
- Section 5: Email Etiquette
- Section 6: Word Processing
- Section 7: Spreadsheets
- Section 8: Presentation Software
- Section 9: The File System
- Section 10: Digital Photos and Videos
- Section 11: Interconnectivity
- Section 12: Summary
After completing each tutorial, you can take a free quiz to test your progress and check your knowledge of fundamental concepts.
A screenshot from Section 1 of “Fundamental Computing Skills for the Digital Age”
The course’s guide is a very skilled professional with years of experience in the computer industry. His teaching style is very clear and entertaining and he often uses visual aids to help you understand fundamental concepts and notions. While we couldn’t find any direct learner experiences, this course has very good ratings on Udemy.
Please note that Udemy doesn’t provide a certificate of completion for its free courses.
Share Your Thoughts
Have you tried some of these courses and want to share your experience? Do you know other useful online free courses for people who want to improve their computer knowledge and skills? Then feel to leave a comment and share your thoughts with other readers. And don’t forget to check our other reviews of online courses, guides, and tutorials.