While the first few online learning platforms resembled the conventional counterparts with the “I-speak-you-listen” kid of courses only that they were delivered online, the modern developments in the e-learning industry seems to be shifting towards digital oriented content.
One of these modern e-learning platforms is Skillshare. Skillshare was founded in 2012 with 15 courses, and it has grown into one of the most popular e-learning platform, with over 15,000+ online classes and more than 2 million students.
In this Skillshare review, we will look at what the platform has to offer, how the platform differs from the other Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and tell you whether it's worth your investment.
The platform has thousands of online courses, which have been loosely organized into four main categories:
Anyone is free to participate in any of the course, as there are no prerequisites to fulfill as with conventional schools. There are also no restrictions on becoming a teacher, meaning there are no formal accreditations. Nonetheless, rather than receiving a diploma once you have completed a course on Skillshare, you will be gaining something more valuable; verified skills that you can use in real life situations.
This is essentially through their unusual format of their course. Since they focus heavily on group work and practical tasks. Each of the course has video lectures on the subject, and the main activities happen during the class projects. This helps the students to internalize the various skill and knowledge by actually creating something. The platform also supports and promotes discussions and collaboration during the course, both among the students, and between the teacher and the students.
Courses have different degrees of specialization, from pieces that specifically explore broad concepts like “Monetizing your Passion” to specific pieces that focus on a single outcome like “Painting Sweets In Watercolor”. This way, the student can effectively create online semester for themselves, get broader overviews first, dig deeper into their area of interest, and then hone the respective skills.
Before you even register on the platform, you can watch an intro video into any of the courses you like. But before you take the full course, you'll need to register for an account. With this account you just created, you can take any number of courses you like from the free set, which includes over 1000 items, and also participate in workshops and discussions.
For you to gain the access to the over 15,000+ courses that are available on Skillshare, you need to have a premium subscription. This will let you save your favorite courses offline for later use, so that you can watch them without having to think too much about internet availability. The Premium Membership will cost you $12 a month, and you can discount with the annual billing cycle. You also have the option to choose a 30-day trial period, which lets you try out all of the premium features without committing your money first.
The platform also has a team plan. This is priced per user, and allows you to access the full set of features in Premium membership as part of a larger group or organization. This lets you learn together with your colleagues, family, friends, etc. and even benefit from the deeper collaboration as you work on your projects.
The paid subscription is very understandable, as it's the way for the company to cover their running costs, support all their teachers and staff who have offered their time and effort to create and teach the materials, and to avoid placing ads on the site and on course material (you won't find any ads on any course).
Unlike the major MOOCs like Coursera, you won't be able to download and show your diploma to your prospective employers once you have completed a Skillshare course. In this case, if all you are after is a formal proof that you have undertaken the course, then the platform is just not for you. In addition, since the teacher on the platform aren't hired in-house, the quality levels of the courses can vary greatly. A great way of finding the best ones is checking the user ratings on the course, and the intro videos, as well as the credentials of the teacher.
Overall, Skillshare is a more informal, detail-focused, and social platform compared to other online learning platforms. This makes it a great complementary choice for people looking to study and acquire a new skillset. You can take the more academic and formally accredited courses like those you'd find on Coursera, and build on them using the detail-focused skills and the talented ability of practitioners on Skillshare to drill down the subject and excel in it.
Skillshare is also a very useful tool for those looking to learn extra tricks and techniques in their existing field. You can hardly find any other platform that provides real advice from real experts in the industry, while at the same time allowing you to collaborate with your peers in a fun and user-friendly environment.
For people looking for an online learning platform with an affordable cost, independent practical activities, and endless class options, Skillshare is one of the solid options. Although it lacks completion certificates, direct teacher-student contact, and is not SCORM or AICC compliant, the customer reviews praise its usability, the sheer number of available classes, and the quality of the videos. Moreover, Skillshare has packages specially designed for teams or companies that want to include a large number of individuals in an instructional class.