In recent times, online learning and training have become the order of the day, no doubt about it. There are several online learning and training platforms, but Coursera and Udemy stood out among them. One of the reasons people prefer these two online learning platforms is as a result of their learning flexibility and as well as easy accessibility.
What’s more, there is a wide range of courses on almost every subject offered by Udemy, while Coursera focuses on academic subjects. Anyone can teach Udemy courses, though some of their courses are not in-depth and with tutors who are less experienced than those of Coursera. Furthermore, Udemy courses are cheaper and less time-consuming, unlike those of Coursera.
If you wish to get certified by accredited institutions, Coursera will be a better platform for your learning. There are more comparisons on both online training platforms and we will look at them more intensively. Hopefully, you will be better informed at the end.
How to Get the Most Out of an Online Class
Taking an online class should be on the same pedestal as an offline class, no doubt about that. If you wish to enroll in online training, the following will be advisable for you:
- See an online course as a real course: To be precise, you will need a lot of discipline in order to achieve this. As a result, you will need to be very serious about it the same way you will be with a traditional learning course. Although you can choose your time of learning, ensure you stick to it. If possible, take a paid course; it will help to instill discipline in you. This is because you will not want your money to be a waste. But a free course may not give you the same push as a paid one will do. Not to forget, everything bothers on discipline.
- You will need time management skills: In general, taking an online course gives you all the freedom to take your class on your own time. However, you may jeopardize your freedom if care is not taken. In essence, you will need to manage your time, taking into consideration, your schedule and style of learning. Creating a schedule that you will be able to stick to, probably, certain hours in a day and certain days in a week can help. Again, allot a certain amount of time for each study or assignment and stick to it.
- Have a set goal: When you set a goal for your study, it will help you to hold yourself accountable. And so, you must be self-aware, enthusiastic, and organized to make the best out of your learning. Better still, you can pair up with someone as an accountability partner if you are having trouble holding yourself accountable.
- Avoid a distracting environment: Distractions will make you not to pay much attention to your studies. Naturally, a noisy environment is not good for learning. Therefore, you will need to go to a place you can enjoy quietude and that will also enable you to focus more on your learning. More preferably, you can set up a place at the corner of your house for this. Also, try to minimize your social media engagements while studying online. If possible, turn off your phone.
- Discover how best you learn: Everyone, obviously, has a learning style. It is left for you to figure out yours and follow accordingly. You could be a morning, afternoon, or evening person, based on your schedule and how best you assimilate your studies. Away from that, some people prefer video or audio to written content. This may be your case too. What’s more, you will need to understand how best it works for you and get your mind working towards it.
- Build relationships with other learners: Networking has become an integral part of learning, both online and offline. As the case may be, when you network, it will help the class not to be a boring one. To get the best out of your learning, engage in class discussions, reach out to your course mates and have fun while at it.
- Always be active: Active participation is very compulsory when it comes to online classes. Participate in the class and make sure you do your assignments as required. Ask questions where necessary. Reach out to your professor if need be.
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Reasons Online Learning is More Preferable to Traditional Learning Methods
When you see everyone go for a particular option, it obviously pays off more than the other ones. However, this is not to say that offline learning is a waste of resources. But going for online education has a lot of considerations and here are some reasons several people will always choose it, any time, any day:
- Online Courses Are Cheaper
Students pay a lot of money for gaining admission and studying in a traditional way. Even at that, there is no guarantee that the individual will gain admission. But most online courses are very cheap and more affordable, with most of them at a price lower than $100. In most cases, the courses are free for all.
- Online Learning Platforms Can be Accessed from Anywhere
No doubt, this is one of the reasons people prefer learning online to traditional or offline learning. More importantly, there is no barrier to where you can learn from. People stay in the comfort of their homes to learn any course of their choice and it is a welcome development.
- There is More Flexibility in Online Learning.
When it comes to traditional courses, there is the burden of getting up early in the morning to get yourself prepared for the day, after which you carry learning materials up and down, enter transportation, and do other stressful tasks to learn in a classroom that may not even be conducive enough. This is very burdensome, for sure. Conversely, with online programs, you can study anything you want comfortably too, without any hassles.
With the above comparisons, we can go ahead to check out the differences between the two online learning platforms of our focus – Coursera, and Udemy. But before then, it is good to understand that people have choices when it comes to learning, and many factors like perception and affordability can cause it. Note that when comparing things, it is better to state both their similarities and differences. It will, of course, give you a better mindset.
Coursera Vs Udemy
Coursera and Udemy are both popular online learning platforms, though they offer different types of online training. There may not really be the best between them, only that your choice will determine what you will go for. You will gain the knowledge you are seeking on either platform which is the major concern. So, here are the basic comparisons:
- Courses offered at Udemy are usually short courses that focus on specific skills like a basic computer, photography, social media marketing, and so on. In short, anyone can create Udemy courses. Coursera, on the other hand, focuses more on academic courses. Professors from top universities and colleges of the world offer most of its courses.
- When you purchase an Udemy course online, you will get longer-lasting access to the learning materials. This means that you can study at your own pace and time. Moreover, the videos and written contents have only a few hours of timing which will help you to complete them in a sitting.
- The best-selling courses at Udemy are offered at an almost free discount. You could get a $199 course at Udemy that has about 95% discount, making it to be available at $10. In a more precise way, Udemy’s best-selling courses can be available at $10 – $15. Yet, for Coursera, you can access its over 1000 courses for free. You can have access to its free video lectures, read as many materials as you want, and gain access to its discussion forums, all for free. Nevertheless, to get access to its specific features like mentorship, certificates, and graded assignments, you will need to pay a certain sum. Equally important, the certificates are widely accepted and can be on the resume or CV list.
- You can have access to Udemy’s pricing information without having to log into the website, while in Coursera, the pricing information is not available to you until you log into the platform and click on the ‘Enroll’ button.
- There are varying costs attached to individual courses and specialization in Coursera. Thus, the specialization contains multiple courses and can only be on a subscription basis. The courses typically go between $40 and $80 per month. Also, individual courses usually charge a one-time payment and you have access to it for 180 days.
- Another consideration for Coursera courses is that f you cannot afford the fee, you have the option of applying for financial aid. Sadly, this option is not available in Udemy.
- Unarguably, Udemy is relatively cheaper and shorter and you can take a number of courses you want at a time. When you are looking for courses that are more academic in nature, Coursera will be recommendable for you.
- Courses offered at Udemy are also more practical and specific. You will also be provided with step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish a goal. Coursera focuses on academic topics and courses.
- Some courses offered by Udemy include Microsoft Excel – from Beginner to Advanced, The Complete Digital Marketing Course, The Complete SQL Bootcamp, The Complete Blender Creator: Learn 3D Modelling for Beginners, among others. Conversely, courses offered by Coursera include Cloud Computing, English for Career Development, Organisational Design and Management, the Science of Well-being, and the rest.
- The instructors on Udemy include web developers, designers, chefs, public speakers, entrepreneurs, and experts – anyone can create the course, as a matter of fact. For that reason, you will have to be extra careful before taking a Udemy course, though if you are thinking to learn basic skills, you may not be interested in the qualifications of the instructors. But instructors at Coursera include university and college professors. Precisely, you can look them up on LinkedIn to see their profile and professional experiences. Courses at Coursera are carefully vetted and are offered by experienced professors from top universities around the world.
- If your reason to take an online course is to acquire a certification, then, Coursera should be your focus. Otherwise, Udemy is okay. For your information, Udemy does not offer accredited university courses, of which Coursera is the winner here. Note that Udemy offers certification for the individual courses, but the problem is that they are not widely accepted. That is, some employers may not give it consideration.
Programs in Coursera contain more graded assignments and are more structured, with more legal backup than those of Udemy. Moreover, the certificates come with the name of the university offering the courses which make them more legitimate. So, taking Udemy courses means that you may be taking it for the sake of acquiring some skills while those of Coursera are for obtaining legal certifications.
Conclusively, if you are to make a choice between Udemy and Coursera, it actually depends on what you want. For example, if you are more interested in obtaining a certificate, Coursera will be advisable for you to go for. But if you just want to learn a skill, you can opt for a Udemy course. Udemy’s courses are far cheaper than Coursera. So, if you have little money, you can go for the former. It takes more commitment to offering a Coursera program since the courses are time-bound, while you can relax and take your time if you are offering a Udemy course.
Thus, it is left to you to make your choice based on what you want and the style you want it. In a nutshell, both platforms are good.