This is a topic I haven’t written about on my blog because I was unsure whether or not the readers can really use this information. Online education seems to be getting popular every year. Whether you want to get a certificate in a specific field or take a course that you’re simply interested in, there are options online that will fit your need. There are plenty of websites that offer online courses but many of them differ from one another. Some of these services are completely free, but lack a personal touch, such as a one-on-one session with the teacher or a lack of detailed video lessons/instructions.
Many online education websites offer free trials as well with a catch. For example, if you were to take a 8 week course on building apps, the website would offer a 14 day free trial that allows you to have full access to the course and its materials for a 2 week period. Meaning the remainder of the course you would have to pay. Since there are so many options when it comes to Online learning I thought I’d talk about the service I recently reviewed – Udacity. Now there are plenty of other online courses that I’ll be speaking about, but for now I’d like break down this service and what the benefits are.
Udacity provides vocational courses for professionals at all levels. A good portion of all the courses is project-based online classes.Their main focus is on tech based courses such as data science, web development, software engineering and android development. However, they do offer non-tech classes as well. Many of the courses are made for various skill levels. If you’re new to tech, a beginner, intermediate or advanced there is a course for you. The courses are also built by well-known companies and schools. The courses on Udacity are not taught by random professors and teachers, but rather professionals from creditable schools and companies. There are courses built by San Jose State University, Google, Facebook Nvidia, Autodesk and many other well-know establishments.
Break down of Courses
There are hundreds of courses available on Udacity and they all are different. Some may be built by the same company but have different teachers. Some may offer lessons that require prerequisites for the course.
Here is a random course I selected from Udacity. You can see there is a break down of the course: a summary, the approximate length of the course, the level and the number of students who have joined. All the courses that are offered on Udacity also come with a short video outlining the details of the class and what you will be learning.
Udacity offers all their courses for $150 a month along with a 2 week free trail period which would cut down the cost for first time users. Many of the courses are at different lengths so they provide a month to month payment plan.
When signing up for a course on Udacity you have two options. You can Audit the course or enroll in the course with a 2 week free trial. If you choose to Audit the course you will be able to access course videos, exercises and view and manage your progress/pace. This option is free, but lacks many of the features that the enrolling option offers.
If you decide to enroll you will also have access to course videos, exercises and view and manage your progress, but also be able to participate in-class projects, receive project feedback, personal guidance from your coach, recieve personalized pacing support and obtain a verified certificate.
All Udacity courses come with a 2 week free trial regardless of the length of the course. You will need a credit card to sign up and create an account but will not be charged during the free trial period. However, if you decide to stick with the classes after the 14 day free trial period you will be charged $150 for the next 4 weeks. You can cancel (drop) you class at any time you want.
Udacity is a very creditable company and is one the more well-known online learning establishments on the web. I like the fact that those courses are built and taught by people from Google, Facebook and other online companies. When it comes to cost I believe that $150 for 4 weeks is a fair price, espcieally for what you are getting. There are plenty of other online courses available on various other services, but I believe Udacity is probably one of the best.