Review of ALISON Free Online Courses

Updated on November 2, 2017

Review of ALISON Free Online Courses

What is ALISON? ALISON is a free, online platform for individual learners to learn skills at a certified, standards based level. They offer over 300 courses to choose from, ranging from IT to Business Management to English Language Skills to Personal Development courses. The courses they offer are free to all individual learners, while a nominal fee is charged for ALISON Manager, which allows a company to form and monitor a group of learners. ALISON is able to provide their courses for free due to advertisements that generate revenue for both ALISON and the company that has placed the advertisement.

Certificate and Diploma Courses at ALISON

Business & Enterprise Skills

  • 21 Days to Building a Web Business
  • Entrepreneurship - Creating the Business
  • Fundamentals of Operations Management
  • Leadership Skills in Business
  • Starting a Business or Social Enterprise - The Stone Soup Way
  • Country Forums for Volunteers
  • Fundamental of Corporate Management
  • Fundamental of Project Management
  • Preparing to Manage - Skills and Practices
  • Customer Service Training
  • Fundamentals of Human Resources
  • Growth Strategies for Business
  • Social Networking and Viral Marketing using Facebook

Digital Literacy & IT Skills

  • Adobe After Effects
  • ALISON ABC IT - Computer Training Suite
  • Fundamentals of AJAX
  • Google Blogger
  • How to Communicate using Skype
  • Internet y World Wide Web (Spanish Version)
  • iTunes - How to Download Podcasts
  • Microsoft - Full Digital Literacy Course ARABIC
  • Microsoft Digital Literacy (Arabic) - Computer Basics
  • Microsoft Digital Literacy (Arabic) - Productivity Programs
  • Microsoft Digital Literacy - Computer Security and Privacy
  • Microsoft Digital Literacy - Productivity Programs
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Multimedia Web Applications for Teachers and Trainers
  • Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
  • Using GMail
  • Video Editing and Publishing
  • Web Video Presentations using Brainshark
  • XTimeline - Creating Timelines on the Web
  • Adobe Flash CS3
  • Colour Theory for Artists and Designers
  • Fundamentals of Google Android Development
  • Google SketchUp for 3D Modeling
  • How to Create Your First Website
  • Introduction to Information Technology
  • JavaScript and JQuery
  • Microsoft - Notions de Base en Informatique (Spanish Version)
  • Microsoft Digital Literacy (Arabic) - Computer Security and Privacy
  • Microsoft Digital Literacy (Arabic) - The Internet and the World Wide Web
  • Microsoft Digital Literacy - Digital Lifestyles
  • Microsoft Digital Literacy - The Internet and the World Wide Web
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007 (Arabic)
  • Microsoft Word
  • PBWorks for Wikis
  • Screen Capture Tools
  • Using Twitter for Social Networking
  • Web Applications for Language Teaching
  • Windows Internet Explorer
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Director MX 2004
  • Fundamental of Network Security
  • Google Webmaster
  • How to use YouTube for Video Sharing
  • Introduction to Moodle Administration
  • JING: Applications in Education and Training
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Digital Literacy (Arabic) - Digital Lifestyles
  • Microsoft Digital Literacy - Computer Basics
  • Microsoft Digital Literacy - IT Basics, Internet & Productivity Programs
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Mind Mapping Tool - Organizing your Ideas usig
  • Podcasting
  • Touch Typing Skills
  • Using Whiteboards (1) : SMART Technologies
  • Web Page Development
  • WordPress - Blogging on the Web

Financial & Economic Literacy

  • Financial Literacy
  • Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
  • Fundamentals of Accounting
  • Government Economic Policy
  • Fundamentals of Economics

Health & Safety & Compliance

  • Back Safety
  • Food Safety Knowledge - Basic Level Requirements
  • Behavior-Based-Safety
  • Managing Safety and Health in Schools (International)
  • Drug-Free Workplace
  • Workstation Ergonomics

Health Literacy

  • Alcohol & its Effects on Health
  • HIV/AIDS - Awareness & Prevention
  • Human Health - Health & Human Development
  • Personal Health & Fitness
  • Caring in the Health Professions
  • Human Health - Diet & Nutrition
  • Managing Water Resources for Human Health
  • Living Healthy
  • Human Health - Global Health Issues
  • Modern Lifestyle Diseases - Awareness & Prevention

Personal Development & Soft Skills

  • ALISON 101 (How to use ALISON)
  • Design - Applying Design Principles
  • Introduction to Music Theory
  • Memory & Cognition in Psychology
  • Psychometric Tests
  • U.S. Citizenship Test Preparation
  • Basic Study Skills
  • Digital Photography
  • Legal Studies - Laws & the Judicial System
  • Physical Education - Coaching Styles & Techniques
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Biology & Behaviour in Psychology
  • Graphic Design - Visual & Graphic Design
  • Legal Studies - The Adversary Trial System
  • Physical Education - Fitness Training Principles and Methods
  • Smarter Learning - Improve Your Study Skills & Practices

Diploma Courses

  • Diploma in Business & Legal Studies
  • Diploma in Environmental Science
  • Diploma in Human Resources
  • Diploma in Mathematics
  • Diploma in Outdoor & Physical Education Studies
  • Diploma in Social Media Marketing
  • Diploma in Web Business Development & Marketing
  • Diploma in Business Management & Entrepreneurship
  • Diploma in General Science
  • Diploma in Legal studies
  • Diploma in Multimedia Development
  • Diploma in Project Management
  • Diploma in Social Work Studies
  • Diploma in Web Development
  • Diploma in English Language & Literature
  • Diploma in Health Studies
  • Diploma in Manufacturing & Product Design
  • Diploma in Psychology
  • Diploma in Statistics
  • Diploma in Workplace Safety & Health

English Language Skills

  • BC Online English Suite - Intermediate 1 (Unit 1)
  • BC Online English Suite - Intermediate 1 (Unit 2)
  • BC Online English Suite - Intermediate 1 (Unit 3)
  • BC Online English Suite - Intermediate 1 (Unit 4)
  • BC Online English Suite - Intermediate 1 (Unit 5)
  • BC Online English Suite - Intermediate 1 (Unit 6)
  • BC Online English Suite - Intermediate 2 (Unit 1)
  • BC Online English Suite - Intermediate 2 (Unit 2)
  • BC Online English Suite - Intermediate 2 (Unit 3)
  • BC Online English Suite - Intermediate 2 (Unit 4)
  • BC Online English Suite - Intermediate 2 (Unit 5)
  • BC Online English Suite - Intermediate 2 (Unit 6)
  • BC Online English Suite -Pre-Intermediate 1 (Unit 1)
  • BC Online English Suite -Pre-Intermediate 1 (Unit 2)
  • BC Online English Suite -Pre-Intermediate 1 (Unit 3)
  • BC Online English Suite -Pre-Intermediate 1 (Unit 4)
  • BC Online English Suite -Pre-Intermediate 1 (Unit 5)
  • BC Online English Suite -Pre-Intermediate 1 (Unit 6)
  • BC Online English Suite -Pre-Intermediate 2 (Unit 1)
  • BC Online English Suite -Pre-Intermediate 2 (Unit 2)
  • BC Online English Suite -Pre-Intermediate 2 (Unit 3)
  • BC Online English Suite -Pre-Intermediate 2 (Unit 4)
  • BC Online English Suite -Pre-Intermediate 2 (Unit 5)
  • BC Online English Suite -Pre-Intermediate 2 (Unit 6)
  • BC Online English Suite -Upper-Intermediate 1 (Unit 1)
  • BC Online English Suite -Upper-Intermediate 1 (Unit 2)
  • BC Online English Suite -Upper-Intermediate 1 (Unit 3)
  • BC Online English Suite -Upper-Intermediate 1 (Unit 4)
  • BC Online English Suite -Upper-Intermediate 1 (Unit 5)
  • BC Online English Suite -Upper-Intermediate 1 (Unit 6)
  • BC Online English Suite -Upper-Intermediate 2 (Unit 1)
  • BC Online English Suite -Upper-Intermediate 2 (Unit 2)
  • BC Online English Suite -Upper-Intermediate 2 (Unit 3)
  • BC Online English Suite -Upper-Intermediate 2 (Unit 4)
  • BC Online English Suite -Upper-Intermediate 2 (Unit 5)
  • BC Online English Suite -Upper-Intermediate 2 (Unit 6)
  • British Council Online English Suite - FCE Exam Skills
  • British Council Online English Suite - Intermediate 1
  • British Council Online English Suite - Intermediate 2
  • British Council Online English Suite - Pre-Intermediate 1
  • British Council Online English Suite - Pre-Intermediate 2
  • British Council Online English Suite - Upper-Intermediate 1
  • British Council Online English Suite - Upper-Intermediate 2
  • Business English Test (LT-E)
  • English Literature Analysis
  • English Writing Skills
  • Fundamentals of English Grammar
  • Shakespeare - His Life & Work
  • Speaking & Writing English Effectively
  • We Applications for Learning English

Health & Safety (Irish Legislation Only)

  • An Introduction to Managing Safety & Health in Schools
  • Safety & Health in Construction
  • Construction Safety - The Safety Management Pack
  • Safety & Health in the Science Laboratory for Teachers
  • Get Safe - Work Safe- Safety & Health for Senior Cycle Students
  • Safety & Health in the Technology Classroom for Teachers

Schools Curriculum

  • ACT Math Exam
  • Advanced Algebraic Concepts and Applications in Mathematics
  • Advanced Biology 1
  • Advanced Biology 2
  • Advanced Chemistry 1
  • Advanced Chemistry 2
  • Advanced Mathematics 1
  • Advanced Mathematics 2
  • Advanced Physics 1
  • Advanced Physics 2
  • Algebra - Functions, Expressions and Equations
  • Algebra in Mathematics
  • Differentiation and Functions in Mathematics
  • Environmental Awareness in Geography
  • Fractions in Mathematics
  • Fundamentals of Biology
  • Fundamentals of Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of General Science
  • Geometry - Angles, Shapes and Area
  • Geometry in Mathematics
  • Mathematics Upper-Secondary 4 - Distributions and Integration
  • Outdoor Education - Adventure
  • Outdoor Education - Outdoor Recreation and Land Management
  • Pre-Algebra Mathematics
  • Probability and Chance in Mathematics
  • SAT Math Exam
  • Scratch - Teach Computer Programming in Schools
  • Sequences, Series and Equations in Mathematics
  • Statistics, Correlation and Regression in Mathematics
  • Understanding our Environment in Geography

Course Completion

Thus far, I have completed five online courses for free through ALISON. The courses have been on par with most job training and certifications I've taken over the course of my career through various employers and their outsourced testing facilities. Most of the courses are in a PowerPoint style presentation, though a few are audio or video intensive.

Many of the courses have 4+ modules, which may contain 1-15 lessons each. I advise to take notes in Note Pad or Sticky Notes so you can keep key information logged in case you should need it. So far, the information in the course I have taken seems to be very sequential, therefore making it much easier to follow along.

Once all modules are completed, you will have a course assessment. All courses require a passing grade of 80%, unless otherwise stated. Once the course has been satisfactorily completed, you will receive credit for the course and have the option to purchase your certificate or diploma. You will also be able to download or print a copy of the certification notice for your own records, and be given instructions on how employers can verify your skills.

The Drawbacks

The main drawback of the ALISON free online course system is that it is not accredited at all. The courses do follow industry standards, but it is up to your particular employer whether they choose to recognize the ALISON Certificate or Diploma as legitimate proof of knowledge. ALISON does boast that more than 80,000 ALISON Certificates have been ordered or downloaded worldwide in 2010, and that they are fast becoming well known and trusted by employers worldwide.

Another drawback I have found is the Certificates and Diplomas cost money. You can save or print a free version telling you that you have passed the course, what the course covered, and by what percentage you passed, as well as your certification number, but to have an actual certificate you must purchase it, in EU. For the average American, this will run approximately $19.38 for a PDF download, to approximately $62.01 for a framed parchment, including shipping. This cost is per certificate, so taking many courses and earning many certificates can be quite costly if you would like a physical document. They do state on their site that if you are ordering more than ten certificates to contact them for a discount.

My Conclusion

Overall, I believe that the ALISON free online courses are well worth the time you put into them. If nothing else, you will gain knowledge and a sense of personal fulfillment for taking the time to learn the course you choose to learn, without the expense of a university or community college if you choose not to continue past the one course, or to even drop the course once you have started. If your current or future employer recognizes ALISON certificates and diplomas, it could very well boost your career and give additional credibility to your skills and abilities.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    5 years ago

    I have completed 22- Course from Alison. I have found them to be real helpful and informative.

  • stuff4kids profile image

    Amanda Littlejohn 

    7 years ago

    Goodness, they do offer a lot of different courses, don't they? I have always been a bit cautious about the idea of doing courses online - partly because I have only recently started to use a computer in any case but also because I had wondered about the level of one to one support that would be available for these things.

    I am quite encourage really by your experiences and your very honest review of the company that you have been learning will and will bear it in mind for the future.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • MelissaVsWorld profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Here, There, and Everywhere. USA

    The point of ALISON is that the courses are FREE and that anybody can take it, and if completed to a satisfactory level, can receive a certificate of completion. This is helpful for many in the job market worldwide. I am sorry that you had a poor experience with their program. ALISON is not for everyone, and if your employer, or perspective future employers, would not recognize their certificates it may be worth it to find a paid program that offers something specialized, above and beyond the dream of free education for everyone.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I completed their FREE Marketing Online Course (or something like that), and was VERY disappointed, because the course was nothing more than the courses Google offers for FREE on their website. The only difference is Google doesn't offer an assessment or certificate.

    There are also many typos on the content Alison added. Very unprofessional!

    Another course I was interested in was EU (European Union) specific only with no US equivalent that I could find.

    I'm going to try one more course, and if it's one that can be accessed FREE somewhere else sans "certificate" I don't think I'll be using ALISON again. I'd rather pay than waste my time on FREE courses that anybody can take and get a certificate for.

  • romari profile image

    Rose Maria Rica D. Fuentes 

    8 years ago from Heaven

    Wow Thanks for that! Now I am takng up my Human Resource Course on ALISON.. it's very helpful..

  • Lwelch profile image

    Lena Welch 

    8 years ago from USA

    just found them and am trying them out to refresh on chemistry before my praxis teacher exams. was interested in what was known about them and ran into your hub. thanks for the extra info!

  • TheNerdyGardener profile image


    8 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

    I've done two courses already and there's definitely some good stuff there, although some of it seems a little thrown together from various seminars and video tutorials (some concepts can get repeated a few too many times because of this but I guess it helps the main points to sink in better). Even though there's many courses already the site still has lots of potential for the future, I would love to see what will be on offer in another five years or so.

  • Brett.Tesol profile image

    Brett C 

    8 years ago from Asia

    Wow, free and an amazing range of courses. For anyone just looking to learn, this site is GREAT. However, with the lack of accreditation, I would have to recommend people ask their employer before signing up for Diplomas ... as you would want the credit for such an effort (at least I would).

    Think I'll be taking a couple of freebies though.

    Thanks for SHARING.

  • MelissaVsWorld profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Here, There, and Everywhere. USA

    @Maximizer: Thank you. I have found the courses to be enlightening and they have made me feel as though I am accomplishing something, even if only for personal knowledge.

  • Maximizer profile image


    8 years ago from San Jose, Costa Rica

    Thanks for the review. I might check some of those courses out in the future, and if I do I'll be sure to use your link to sign up. Thanks for SHARING.

  • keithlipke profile image


    8 years ago from Fort Wayne, Indiana

    thanks melissa!

  • MelissaVsWorld profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Here, There, and Everywhere. USA

    @Keithlipke: ALISON stands for Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online.

    @Man from Modesto: I plan to add some more information about the degrees and certifications possible through ALISON. There are over 300 individual courses to take, so I'll bullet point the main categories and a few key programs under each.

    @Rorshak sobchak: That's what I am loving about the ALISON platform; testing the courses with the ability to stop the course and have it appear as though I had never taken it, without consequence. I tried to go to a normal, four-year college, but I didn't do well because of familial and work obligations. This may not carry the same weight as a four-year degree, but it gives proof of skills and, in my opinion as a previous manager, shows incentive and drive since this is something one can do because they want to learn and are passionate, as opposed to many college students taking the required courses and leaving the course with any knowledge due to a lack of interest and effort.

  • profile image

    rorshak sobchak 

    8 years ago

    Great Hub. I like the sounds of being able to test out the classes. And not being tied into them. I am in college right now. And I feel stuck, and the further I go the further in debt I am.

  • Man from Modesto profile image

    Man from Modesto 

    8 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

    Wow. Great hub. I had never heard of ALISON, but I will be checking it out. As we all try to beef up our resumes, it will be nice to add in some more bullet points under "degrees and certifications".

    Voted up.

  • keithlipke profile image


    8 years ago from Fort Wayne, Indiana

    what does alison stand for?


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