I've used Alison to complete the ABC- IT Computer Training Course which provides a ready great foundation across Hardware, Software and the Microsoft Office Suite and I have already recommended that particular course to work colleagues. The site itself is paid for via advertising which can slow the courses down. Advertising is annoying but it's the reason the courses are free. There the possibililty to pay a small fee of 15 euros to remove adverts from the courses (or 50 euros for the whole site) which is a great option to have.
New courses are added frequently, and Alison is building up quite a range covering Business, IT, Health, Personal Development, English and school-level Science in particular. These courses range from quite short (a few hours of study, to diplomas which cover the equivalent of several modules and take up to 20 hours to complete)
There are a lot of short modules which I like. E.g. specific courses on a range of online websites such as Wordpress, Twitter, Google Earth which really lets people pick and choose exactly what they want to study.
All the courses have an overview page which breaks down the subjects that will be covered and a fact sheet which gives an estimate of how long a course takes and roughly what level it's at. There is an option to leave comments for each course and there is a lot of information available before you enrol (which is free).
The learning material I've seen so far has been good quality and up-to-date and has come in a mixture of text, image, video and animation.
Once a course has been completed, there is usually an option to receive a certificate. These are a little pricey but not excessively so. On average, I've seen prices of €15 for a pdf, €25 for paper parchment and €35 for a framed parchment (plus P&P). I've only ordered the paper parchment and I was quite impressed with it. It looks professional and one I'm more then happy to show to employers.
The main downside for me is that Alison is not a well known course provider in the UK just yet and as such doesn't carry much clout to prospective employers. However, I'm hopeful this will change as they're being recognised with awards in IT/Education and really are making a difference in these sectors.
I would recommend anyone interested in Alison to spend twenty minutes looking around the website as I feel they'll be pleasantly surprised with what is on offer for free.