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MOOC-Like Udemy Offers iPad App

Udemy, a company that has more than 4,900 courses online, many of them for free, has launched an iPad app that allows students to view videos and related resources on their mobile devices.

Pictured the Udemy iPad interface
Pictured: the Udemy iPad interface

Similar to a MOOC, a massive online open course, Udemy invites participants--both traditional students and non-traditional students, to listen to pre-recorded lectures, do assignments, and participate in community discussions. For example, "Math is Everywhere: Applications of Finite Math," provides 20 lectures to give an introduction to how math is used in everyday life with MIT associate professor Tim Chartier. It's free and is being taken by 3,707 users, according to a Udemy count.

However, unlike MOOCs, some of Udemy's classes have a fee attached to them, which the company shares with the instructor teaching the course. Chartier's course is free, as are many other courses offered by faculty in colleges and universities, including Yale and the University of California, Los Angeles. These are typically available in other online course forums too, including iTunes U and Coursera. Other Udemy classes charge a fee for participation, ranging from a few dollars to several hundred dollars.

Courses cover the arts, business, design, education, humanities, languages, math and science, music, social sciences, and technology, among other subjects.

The new iPad app allows users to:

  • Access all video and audio lectures, presentations, and other course materials from the device;
  • Save courses and watch them offline;
  • Ask questions or start a conversation with the instructors and other students from within the app; and
  • Enroll in courses from the Udemy catalog.

"The future of learning is mobile, and the iPad is the perfect lifelong learning device," said Eren Bali, CEO and co-founder of Udemy. "Udemy students are extremely active and want access to learning regardless of time or location. The app builds on Udemy's promise of connecting students with the world's experts by turning idle time into a learning opportunity."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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