There are a number of online photography courses that are ideal for a beginner, including the Introduction to Photography and Related Media — part of the M.I.T. open courseware — for example. This course, along with others, are often online in a video format, meaning they can be learned at the student's own pace.
The Udemy website offers online courses in beginner photography. There are specific courses on how to operate Nikon DLSR cameras, for example, which feature video tutorials on exposure, shutter speed and other fundamentals that can help get any budding photographer started.
The tutorials available on Lifehacker also come recommended for beginners, and are once again in video format, meaning students can take the lessons at their own pace. These tutorials cover the basics of photography, including learning how a DLSR camera works, the fundamentals of photographic composition and helpful techniques to get started.
More advanced courses are available once students have mastered the basics, with the online video course on computational photography from Georgia Institute of Technology offering insight into how computerization affects photography, and how it can be utilized by the photographer. The course also includes guidance on post processing techniques, and is available at a number of online locations, including SlideRule.