Education technology service Udemy has launched Teach2013, a new program that seeks to encourage and empower industry experts and leaders to step up and not only create their own courses, but teach them as well.
Almost a reverse of Codecademy’s “Code Year” program from 2012, Teach2013 is focused not on getting more users to take the courses, but by bringing in even more qualified professionals who have a desire to contribute back to the community. After all, it only makes sense since there are a variety of topics and industries in the world and it’s while Udemy can bring in instructors to help teach courses, there may be some courses that just are better taught by specific individuals.
Eren Bali, Udemy’s co-founder and CEO, believes this initiative could have a lasting impact: “Imagine what we could accomplish if every expert shared his or her knowledge with the world. Offline instructors are now teaching millions of people around the world. But there are so many more subjects that students want to learn. We’re calling upon every expert to join us and teach the next generation, starting this year.”
In case you’re not familiar with Udemy, it’s a learning service not that dissimilar to being in a classroom, except it’s done virtually from wherever you are. Students could choose between any number of course categories, including arts and photography, business, crafts and hobbies, design, education, health and fitness, math and science, music, social sciences, sports, technology, and others.
Udemy has gained considerable traction — its top 10 earning instructors earned more than $1.6 million in course sale and the company has seen a 700% user growth from May 2011 to 2012. There are also more than 5,000 courses on its platform. A wide range of experts have taught courses on the site, including New York Times best-selling authors, CEOs, celebrities, and Ivy League professors. They have taught more than 500,000 students so far.
The education technology landscape is definitely a crowded one, with Udemy competing for market share from the likes of Coursera, P2PU, Khan Academy, Skillshare, Codecademy, and others.
Those interested in teaching a course on Udemy can sign up on Teach2013′s website. Once accepted, the company will provide various tools and resources to help build and deliver a course that adhere to Udemy’s “standards for course quality.” According to the company, this includes access to Udemy’s proprietary Course Creation Platform and an invitation to Udemy’s online instructor community, “The Udemy Studio”, where experts can interact and discuss best practices for building a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Some experts will also receive production assistance from Udemy.
Instructors and their courses are judged at the end according to Udemy’s “strict quality control measures”. The company scores each lesson based on its level of instructional design, production quality, and the ability to deliver on learning outcome. So even before a course is seen by the students, it’s evaluated by the company to make sure it meets its standards. Courses can either be free or paid — if it’s paid, then the instructor receives 70% of the revenue from all course purchases. Udemy points out that instructors retain full control of course content, copyright, and pricing.
In 2013, Udemy has already signed up some interesting instructors to help teach, including Lean Startups author Eric Ries, Photoshop educator David Cross, photographer Don Giannatti, Mixergy founder Andrew Warner, yoga instructor Dashama Konah, #DOMINATEFUND managing partner Ben Parr, the Founder Institute, social media strategist Damien Franco, I Will Teach You To Be Rich author Ramit Sethi, Clarity founder Dan Martell, Contently’s Director of Community Erica Swallow, and dozens of other professionals.
Photo credit: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images