How good is Udemy? An unbiased review
This assumes that the question “Is Udemy good?” has been answered with a resounding, “Yes!”.
Udemy is good and this article will take a closer look at the online training provider, to see why this is the case.
The comments in this article apply to Business English courses and general English courses.
Udemy was formed in 2010 and is one of the online course providers who has stood the test of time. At the time of writing, a total of 20 thousand trainers created 45 thousand courses for 15 million students. Those are impressive figures.
Further information on the history of Udemy can be found on their Wikipedia page.
The main format for Udemy courses is video-on-demand. For new courses, a minimum of 720p is required, with 1080p being preferred. The quality requirements are high – it’s not possible to upload any old rubbish and wait for the cash to arrive.
The stated Udemy aim is to put the student first. This is apparent if you take any of their courses.
Browsing and/or searching for a suitable course is very intuitive. You can view the course syllabus, watch the promotional video and even try out a free module of two before deciding to purchase. You can also view the comments and ratings from students who have already started the course.
Once you have found a course, the navigation is a breeze.
The trainer can include quizzes after the lesson and also provide downloadable resources. It is also possible to ask the trainer questions, which are usually answered within 24 hours. These questions and answers are available to anyone taking the course.
A word of warning
Because the system has been around for a relatively long time, there is a danger that a particular course has been ‘abandoned’ by the author. It is annoying to get part way through a course and get stuck, only to then realise that there are lots of questions similar to yours and that the last one was answered over three years ago (true story, not made up).
So before deciding to commit to a course, I would recommend checking out the Q&A part and just make sure that the trainer is (still) active.
Thankfully, the staff at Udemy are very helpful and it is always possible to upload test videos for evaluation. The resulting critique is very constructive and extremely helpful. There are even free courses offered for potential trainers. I have taken these courses and they are very good.
In fact, you need to pass an evaluation phase before you can publish a course, which then requires further approval before being made available.
There is also a very supportive Facebook group for Udemy, where test videos can be viewed and discussed by other members.
All of the courses offer lifetime access, so you come back and review the course material again any time you need to.
This image shows the control options for the videos. There is direct access to the Q&A for the video, you can adjust the sound and video quality, change to full-screen mode and move to any point in the video.
Another feature that I really like is the ability to change the playback speed. You can set the playback speed from half to double in small steps. The image above shows that it is set to run at 1.25 times the normal speed.
There are free courses and paid courses, with many of the paid courses around the $15-$25 range.
There is no limit to the number of free courses you can take, so take advantage of this and try some out. If you find a trainer that you like, then by all means, look at his or her paid courses. There is a 30-day refund policy, so if you really don’t like a course, there is this fallback.
Important update: from time to time, Udemy will run promotions and special offers. I’ve listed them all on this page, to keep everything tidy and convenient.
Summary (correct at the time of writing)
- Formed: 2010
- Students: 15 million
- Trainers: 20 thousand
- Courses: 45 thousand
- Free Courses: yes
- Paid Courses: yes
Udemy is a great platform for anyone wanting to learn something on a low budget. If you like the look of this, feel free to give Udemy a try.
If you already use the site, please comment below: how good is Udemy for you?