The proliferation of online learning websites has created a cottage industry for comparing two of the websites to determine which one offers more value for students. If you are interested in enjoying the many benefits associated with online learning programs, then you should thoroughly review what Udemy and Lynda have to offer. Many online learning experts call Lynda and Udemy two of the most popular online learning platforms.
But first, let’s compare the two platforms to figure out the best option for you:
First: An Overview of Udemy
Created by software designer Eren Bali, Oktar Caglar and Gagan Bali took Udemy.com live in 2010. Since its first year of operation, Udemy has experienced explosive growth that by 2017 attracted more than nine million students that learn from more than 35,000 thousand courses taught by experienced instructors. Courses downloaded on demand via short videos allow students to move through curriculum at individualized paces. Courses cover a wide variety of topics, including career, business, computer technology and personal development.
And Now: An Overview of Lynda.com
Lynda.com has a much longer track record than the track record established by Udemy. Since 1999, Lynda has focused its learning program on developing student business and technology skills. LinkedIn.com owns Lynda and since the merger, the online professional networking site has devoted considerable resources to bolstering Lynda’s technology platform. Founded by Lynda Weinman, Lynda.com began offering online courses in 2002. In 2017, Lynda.com offered more than 4,000 video courses taught by teachers that possess work experience in the fields that they teach.
Both Lynda and Udemy offer the following features:
- Business, technology, and web design courses
- Courses taught through video instruction
- Expert instructors that possess work and career experience
- Courses segmented by short instructional videos that allow students to watch one or more segments during one viewing session
- Coursework appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students
The Main Differences between Lynda and Udemy:
Despite several shared features, Udemy and Lynda differ in a very important category: price. Courses downloaded on Udemy typically range between $29 and $99, with a few courses offered free and a few ‘premium’ courses running close to $1,000. Udemy offers coupons and discounts to help students defray the cost of an online education.
By enrolling in Lynda courses, you pay a monthly membership fee of $25. The monthly membership fee allows you to watch as many course videos as your schedule permits. As part of the standard membership, the $25 monthly charge covers access to playlists, transcripts, and certificates. At the premium membership rate of $37.50 a month you gain access to course practice files that gives you hands on experience in your selected discipline.
The Udemy pricing scale works best for students who take only a few courses a year. Udemy bills you just for the courses you choose for enrollment. Lynda pricing allows you to take as many courses that you want. Udemy typically works best for professionals that work full time jobs, while Lynda appeals to full time students that want to accelerate their learning programs. Moreover, Udemy offers a wider selection of curriculum than the selection of curriculum offered by Lynda. If you sign up for Lynda and want to take a course outside of business, technology, and web design, you will have to enroll in another online learning program.
Here are some of the courses offered by the expansive Udemy online learning platform:
- Web Design
- Information Technology
- Office Productivity
- Personal Development
- Health & Fitness
- Teacher Training
Udemy appeals to students who want to explore topics outside of traditionally offered online courses in business and information technology. Both online learning platforms offer courses instructed by dedicated professionals that work or have worked in their teaching niches. Because of its monthly membership program, Lynda adds more courses per month than the number of courses uploaded by Udemy. Some analysts believe the pressure to add more courses at Lynda creates the potential to add inferior curriculum.
After you pay for an Udemy course, you have lifelong access to the course videos. On the other hand, Lynda only grants you access to course videos during the time you pay the monthly membership fee.
Navigating Udemy and Lynda
On the issue of navigation, Udemy has a slight edge over Lynda. Well-organized sections make it easy for students to find the courses that match their career and/or hobby aspirations. Sub-sections complement the search box that requires the submission of a keyword rich short phrase. Course headings and subheadings provide clear course descriptions.
Above is a screenshot of an course that we’re currently taking on Udemy.com. It has course modules all clearly laid out. It also keeps track of how far I am in each module.
Students access longer descriptions, after they enrol in Udemy courses. The only drawback of Udemy’ navigation tools are the relatively short instructor bios. We would like to see more in depth bios that present more academic and professional experience information.
Taking a course on Udemy is a simple process. Students sign up and then click the Lecture 1 button on the screen to start a course. Udemy asks for course feedback to improve lectures.
Due to the limited curriculum, Lynda operates a smaller website than what Udemy operates. The lack of sub-sections can make it difficult for students to narrow their course searches. We would like to see Lynda add sub-sections to present the outstanding list of courses offered for students interested in business, web design, and information technology. There is no way to search a section; students have to use the search bar located at the top of the screen. Unless you submit the right keyword, you can spend more time searching for classes on Lynda than the time you spend searching for classes on Udemy.
Lynda highlights whether a course is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, or advanced students. On Udemy, you have to add the education level keyword into course searches. Lynda also offers students transcripts of each course, which allows students to follow instructor lectures word for word. This feature is especially helpful for students that possess hearing problems or short attention spans.
Udemy and Lynda share many features that make the online learning platforms popular among students. However, Udemy offers a wider variety of courses and charges only for the courses enrolled in by students. Udemy also has a better website navigation system that includes breaking down courses into sub-sections.