Udemy Certification Review | Absolutely Best Platform to Study?
Recently, an article was published on our website on the modern education system and its shortcomings (if you have not read it, you can read it at the link). There, the benefits of self-education were analyzed in detail, we reasoned why any self-education is much more valuable than that received at the university.
Today I want to talk about a component of this self-education, namely a popular resource where a huge number of students take and take courses in order to learn something new. We have already discussed Hacker Rank, Skillshare and Kaggle, and now we have reached Udemy. Let's talk about the disadvantages of the platform, for whom it is ideal, and who should stay away from it.
It is unlikely that there are those who do not know the Udemy platform, nevertheless I will tell you in one sentence. Udemy is an educational platform, a huge library of various interactive courses with built-in tests and practical assignments, created to test the learned material, based on the completion of which certificates are issued.
The platform is on par with Coursera in terms of popularity and, in my opinion, is its full-fledged competitor.
We already compared Udemy with another educational platform, Skillshare, and then we mentioned that the clear advantage of Udemy is the completeness of the material. In other words, if you buy a course on Udemy, then this is most likely a full-fledged course for at least 6–10 hours, in which the topic is covered, the material is structured and complex. Buying a course here, you get not superficial knowledge, but an in-depth study of the topic.
Udemy - Marketing Courses Completeness
If you are taking a web development course, then the material will not be limited to theory, it will not be limited to frontend development or ordinary lectures. No. It will be a full course with practical tasks, tests on theoretical material and an in-depth study of each framework for simplified web development.
This is a pleasant question for students, and not a very pleasant one for teachers. The fact is that some promotions are constantly taking place on Udemy, in connection with which, courses are constantly sold at an insane discount. A simple rule applies here - if you see that the course is being sold for $100, then wait a week, maximum two, and buy it for $10. This is a great opportunity for students to learn something new, and if they don't like the course, there is always the opportunity to return funds for it within a month.
However, imagine what in this case the creators of these courses. Imagine that you have prepared materials, even hired a specialist to help you edit the video, spent money on production and publish your course in the hope of recouping it as soon as possible, but constant discounts on the platform simply do not give you the opportunity to even recoup it, it’s not even about making money.
I have spoken to many creators complaining about this pricing system and want to say that the platform is more student oriented than creator oriented. Udemy values the learning part of its audience more than the teaching part. I think this is a little wrong and in my opinion there should be a balance, as for example it is observed on Skillshare (they have a slightly different monetization scheme for their content, however, they have a better student-teacher balance). Incorrect work with the creators - let's write it down as a disadvantage.
Another drawback that I would like to mention is the quality of the courses, the quality of the published material. I will say right away and honestly, I have never published my materials on Udemy and I do not know how the content moderation process works. However, I know that this moderation is very weak and insufficient.
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Over the past few years, I have taken a huge number of courses on this educational platform, several dozen (I just love to learn). Unfortunately, the quality of some of them leaves much to be desired. I had to buy courses where the author makes a lot of mistakes in his speech, and sometimes it’s not at all clear what they are talking about, when the text on the presentation is small, and it’s impossible to make out anything, how even with a double speedup the video is still slow, and the author just speaks without a prepared speech, stammering after each word with excitement.
I deliberately do not say what kind of courses they are, because I consider this disrespectful in relation to their work and efforts. But there are such courses and there are a large number of them, especially those where the author is not a native speaker of English, but the course is taught in English without prior preparation and a script. I had to buy just such courses, since their topics were very narrow and the choice in this niche was small (there was no choice), so I know that it is very difficult to learn from such materials.
Speaking of the community, other students who study here, the example of Hacker Rank immediately comes to mind, so I will try to compare these two platforms for clarity. I've written about Hacker Rank before and how it relates to task comment moderation. In short, you can find an answer to each task there by simply going to the discussions tab, that is, to a place where, logically, users should discuss the task, give some hints to each other, share links to useful materials that would help in solving tasks and so on, but instead everyone writes the correct answers there.
Udemy - Discussion Tab Example
Not so on Udemy. In this regard, I believe that the communities on Udemy have more respect for each other. For many years of using the platform, I have never taken a course where each user would spam answers in the comments to the lecture. In some courses, the authors themselves ask not to do this, although this is not necessary at all. Students come to Udemy to learn something and the answer prepared for them will not teach them anything new, and students understand this very well.
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Moreover, often the authors themselves give their contacts, where you can write with your questions. This doesn't always work. For example, in very popular courses with many students, it will be problematic to write to the author due to the large influx of incoming letters for the author, but the very possibility of contacting the author as a personal tutor is a very worthy opportunity and deserves respect for the authors.
What I want to say in the end. Do I think Udemy is the perfect learning platform? - No. This is not an ideal platform, it has big problems with moderating the content published by the authors. It has big pricing problems that only repel writers, because if they kept the balance between student price and teacher price, they would develop much faster, getting more new content from motivated authors to work for pennies.
But, as it seems to me, the platform copes with its task. It provides students with very diverse, complete materials, rather than forty-minute programming courses. They also created an amazing community where students respect each other, because one way or another everyone comes there to study.
I believe that the platform has significant drawbacks, but for me, as a student, not an author, this is the first platform where I will look for the courses I need.