Udacity is a different kind of eLearning site than we’ve reviewed so far, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less fantastic. In fact, we were highly impressed with Udacity’s mission statement, which is that “The lecture is dead.”
We wouldn’t go THAT far, but there are certainly many classes that will be better taught if students are allowed to learn outside of simply being told things. Most of the courses offered by Udacity.com work along the same lines, presenting classes that are traditionally considered “boring” and attempting to make them interesting.
This site is much less open-source than Siminars and Udemy, and it shows in the way the site is set up. This is not necessarily the same kind of eLearning platform, where anyone can wander in and teach a class, but that doesn’t mean the site is without its merits.
- Udacity.com eLearning Tool: Summary Overview?
Udacity.com, which we believe is pronounced “YOUdacity.com,” aims to take the boring out of college. It advertises itself as a very audacious website, which provides instruction in a variety of courses at a variety of levels, and for a variety of reasons.
Firm, passionate instructors are the backbone of the website, of course, and class feedback from students is invaluable for other students in deciding which courses to take.
- Udacity: Who It’s For
Udacity.com is a site for students. It’s not the kind of lifetime learning curriculum that is so popular on other sites, but there is certainly merit to the way it’s structured. This site makes it certain that you can take classes anywhere, at any time, in a small variety of subjects.
Essentially, Udacity.com is college. It’s aimed at three groups of people: high school students, college students, and professionals looking to switch careers at some point.
For high school students, Udacity.com offers the opportunity to find out if certain college classes are right for them, by allowing them to take college courses of any level at any time, as well as for free. As an additional incentive, some classes even offer college credit to the taker. In today’s world of overbooked classes and lecture halls, that can be the saving grace for anyone wanting to get ahead of the pack.
The second group of people at whom Udacity.com is targeted is current college students. Especially for students who have a rough time learning required courses in a certain proscribed manner, this can be a very nice way for them to pick up a certain requirement and fulfill it without having to sit through a class they hate. Since some classes fulfill college credit, it can be a springboard to bypassing boring classes. The other nice thing it can do is provide a great introduction to subjects many students dislike, but present them in easy-to-handle, bite-sized video formats.
The third group of people to whom Udacity is targeted is professionals looking to switch careers. Since the classes are all at-your-own-pace, there are no deadlines to miss, and nothing to prevent someone wanting to make a career hop from completing a course. This is especially handy if you need to absorb some on-the-spot knowledge and have a great, self-motivated attitude about learning.
- Udacity.com: Core eLearning Features
Udacity operates very much like an actual college catalog. You sign on to the website, choose your subject, choose a course level, and sign up. It’s shockingly easy to do, and can make it a great way for those who have issues with traditional college classes to finally learn about the classes they’ve been putting off.
The limitation, of course, is that this site is not designed for teachers. If you’re looking for a way to hook your students up with a great course that you’re certain will deliver a great product instantly, this is a great site to use. If you’re looking to create your own course, however, this isn’t the place. You’ll be better off for that with something like Siminars.
All of the courses offered by Udacity.com are either offered through a college, usually San Jose State University. Since they’re offered through a state university (of California), the credits are almost all very transferrable, which cuts down on overflow in college classes.
- Udacity.com Review: What’s Great About Udacity.com
Udacity.com can cut down hard on the amount of lecture time a student has to spend in the classroom. Even for classes that are still required, if a student is already vetted through a program like Udacity, they can usually test out of boring, lecture-based introductory-level classes.
By setting up an online classroom based around making the most of the time a student has and actually getting them interested in the work they do, Udacity.com aims to cut down on a lot of the “bore” of college.
- Udacity.com Review: What’s Not So Great About Udacity.com
The website is buggy. Really, really slow and buggy, especially around times that a lot of students are out of school and taking courses.
Another thing we didn’t love so much is the very limited range of courses. The fact is, the range of courses is limited because absolutely every course is stellar and well-designed.
The only courses offered are in the following categories: Business, Computer Science, Math, Physics, and Psychology.
While this may seem like very few classes, it’s important to remember just how many students are currently enrolled in classes in those subjects that they hate. By cutting down on the amount of students suffering their way through beginning Psychology classes and enrolling them in credit-earning alternatives, more students will be able to follow the career paths they truly want to pursue.
This is responsible for the reason Udacity.com is so high up on our list. The ease of use is somewhat lower than some of the other products for eLearning that we’ve reviewed, but the fact that there are so many real-world applications of the products makes up for that in spades. Whether for students wanting to try out majors before switching, high schoolers wanting to see if they can handle college life, or professionals cramming for a brand new career, this can be a great website to try out a new subject.
- Udacity.com Pricing / Cost Explained
If you’re looking to get rich quick by offering courses to students for a fee, Udacity.com is not for you. In fact, it’s so quick and free to sign up for a course that right when we started our Udacity review, we accidentally enrolled in a college algebra course.
Udacity is free for students, one hundred % of the time. They can take any class at any time, totally for free. That’s pretty easy pricing.
- The Final Word: Udacity Conclusion
Udacity is a fascinating and engaging platform that is fantastic for current students. It’s not the best for anyone wanting to make money, but nor is it as grasping as some other sites.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we have an algebra lesson to attend.