I recently got a chance to take a few online courses on the Udemy platform. This is an online market-place for courses, which are mainly video-based. It serves both as a teacher and student platform and is (deliberately) not meant as an academic platform.
When approved, you can become an instructor too and publish your courses and put a price on them.
When you put a price on your course, it takes an additional approval step for the teacher, but after that, the system does everything: registrations, payments (using Paypal) and even entering into promotions and discount offers.
As a teacher you can generate discount/coupon codes, so you can give selected audiences free or cheaper access to your course. I plan on making my future tutorials available in English on this system and maybe have a discount code for my students, but that depends a bit on my employment situation…
The course system is well structured, with sections, lectures and quizes, with the possibility to add accompanying material too.
With the online web viewer, you can watch the video and have course outline, comments and even custom notes on the side, which seems very handy.
With the mobile viewer, you have less interaction, but you have the added option to speed up the video. I tend to do that, usually at 1.25 or 1.5x speed. It sounds a bit less natural, but (as I learned from my own students), sometimes teachers are simply too slow and even a bit boring…
Themes & Topics
The primary focus seems to be video-tutorials (60% of each course should be video), but the topics vary. There is obviously a quite large IT-focus in the courses (development, web design) but there are several business and hobby-related topics too.
3D and CAD is available, but BIM is still quite limited. There are some Revit tutorials (even on the Revit API) and one (Spanish) ArchiCAD course. There are a few oriented to SketchUp, but much more on 3ds Max, Maya, Blender and the Adobe Suite, obviously, as they target a wider audience.
I’ve decided to take the plunge and migrated my Artlantis Introduction Course (formerly on Youtube, but I’ve removed it now) into Udemy. At this point in time, the course is free (but is in Dutch, so beware!). Since it uses the previous version of Artlantis 4.1, I decided to not charge for it at this time. There are already several people who registered, but being free obviously helps.