I just discovered Udemy, a site that offers online video courses on… well, almost anything.
Udemy isn’t quite like Lynda, which focuses on software skills and charges a monthly fee for access to all their learning videos. Udemy isn’t quite like Khan Academy, where free math videos are produced by one man using Microsoft Paint as his teaching tool.
Udemy courses aren’t confined to math, science, or software. You can also learn how read poetry, speak Italian, juggle, make lamp shades, or brew your own beer.
With Udemy, you purchase the courses you want and watch the videos at your leisure. Some of them are free, most of them cost anywhere from $29 to $99. (I saw a few business courses with a $500 price tag.)
Finally, Udemy appears to invite anyone to create their own online courses. I’m not sure how the approval process works, but since the video courses come from many contributors, I suspect the quality of the courses will vary. I would pay attention to the star rating and comments on the courses before blowing $99. Fortunately, Udemy offers refunds within 30 days of purchasing a course, so you can get your money back if the course was terrible.
I took a free course on typography to see how Udemy courses work (and because I could stand to learn more about typography). The instructor’s accent was a little hard to understand, but the course was interesting and instructive. It wasn’t one big video, but a series of bite-sized videos that were each a few minutes long. Some videos came with PDF handouts that show the anatomy of letter-forms or explain the differences between serif and san serif font families. The course also had a few quizzes to test you on your newly acquired knowledge on typography.
I’ll be keeping an eye out for more interesting courses on Udemy.