Udemy.com (“The Academy of You”) was launched in May 2010 as a platform or marketplace for online learning. Unlike traditional academic online courses, Udemy allows experts of any kind to create courses. The courses take advantage of modern technological tools – with all courses featuring video content.
Co-founder and President, Gaga Biyani explained back in 2011:
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There are millions of experts everywhere, and we provide them with the tools to share their knowledge online. Udemy gives instructors the ability to use video, PowerPoint, articles, and blog posts to build rich courses. They can even host virtual conferences with students. People spend $9 billion on casual learning each year, and another $20 billion on continuing and professional education. We can catalyze that market to move online, and provide forums that create in-depth learning experiences about everything from Thai cooking to calculus to Esperanto. We launched in May 2010 and more than 2,000 courses have been created. We’re introducing a pay platform so our instructors can decide if they want to charge for their courses, but we expect 80% will remain free. The education industry is very top-down, but this has the power to change that.
In the years since its inception the site has grown, catering to over 7 million students with more than 30,000 courses on offer.
So what sort of courses do they offer?
The top line categories include;
And yes, it’s true, you CAN do a course on How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse.
Currently, none of the courses carry Government approved accreditation. though the sheer popularity of some of the office courses (e.g. Microsoft Excel Advanced has enrolled over 67000 people) suggest that business does take these courses seriously. OK, not the zombie one, but plenty of the others.
What do they cost?
Many of the courses offered are free, with prices varying from $10 to up to $500 depending on the course. Udemy also often offer promotions and provide discount vouchers etc. We’ll display those deals on this stayhomeshopping.com when we can.
But are the courses any good?
Some will be and some maybe not. We’re currently trying out a few of the free courses with mixed results so far (well, what do you expect when they’re free?), but more on that later.
All courses include large amounts of video content and many have tests along the way. The best courses also provide online access to the ‘teacher’ and to forums where the subject can be discussed.
Prospective students would be well advised to read the various reviews and ratings that previous students have left on the site. Udemy also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
What’s our favourite?
We’ve sent our reviewers to enrol in a few courses and will post more infoirmation on what we found out later.
What’ so good about online courses anyway?
Glad you asked. Check out the 7 reasons we think it’s better than the old way.