How good are Udemy's online courses? Tips to get you started

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 12, 2014
Updated • Oct 14, 2014

Udemy is an online learning platform that brings together students and instructors from all over the world. Some courses are available for free while others are paid courses that may cost several hundred Dollars.

You do need to create a free account to use some of the site's functionality, for instance to sign up for free courses.

Video courses consist of a fixed number of recorded lectures that students can watch as often as they like. Courses may also include labs in which students need to complete tasks on their own.

Supplementary materials may be provided as well, and there is a discussion platform that students can use to discuss lessons or ask questions.

How good are those courses? There is no definitive answer to that question as it depends largely on the course itself.  There are however certain methods that you can use to find out about a course before you subscribe to it or pay money for it.

Udemy course selection tips

  1. Make sure you read the course description properly. It includes what you can expect from the course, information about the teacher or teachers, the requirements and target audience, and the curriculum.
  2. Almost as important are reviews by students who are subscribed to the course. Those can reveal information that you cannot obtain unless you subscribe to the course as well. You may read about issues that students had with the course for example.
  3. A Free Preview is always available. This is probably the best option to find out whether a course is for your or not. It is limited to five minutes by default which means that you can watch one or two lessons of that course before the time runs out. It is usually enough to watch the introductory video.
  4. You can message the lecturer with a click on the name. Useful if you have questions that you need answered before you make the signing up decision,.
  5. Beginner courses are not highlighted but if you find words such as beginners, from scratch, fundamentals or getting started, it is almost always a course that starts at the very beginning.
  6. Third-party sites offer coupons for Udemy courses. A deal on DroidLife for example made be sign up for several Android development courses for $39 in total (instead of $503). While I would not have signed up for all courses, it was cheaper than the courses that I was interested in. You find other deals such as The JavaScript Bundle, MySQL5 or iOS 8 to name a few. You can save hundreds of Dollars if you search for these deals or coupons.

General Tips

  1. One thing that I noticed while taking the courses was that you need to pay attention to the lecturer before you subscribe. Depending on where they come from, it may be difficult to understand them properly. That's where the preview comes in to help though
  2. You can play individual lessons as often as you want. This can be useful in several aspects, for instance to go back to a lesson while you are in the lab.
  3. The lesson comments can be useful as well and since you can leave comments of your own, there is a chance that other students or the teacher will respond to them.
  4. Lessons are marked as complete if you have watched the video from start to end or if supplementary files are downloaded.

Have you taken an online course before? If so, how was your experience?

Udemy course selection tips
Article Name
Udemy course selection tips
Udemy is an online learning platform that brings students and instructors together. Find out how to vet courses and teachers before you subscribe to them.

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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