Skillshare is an American online learning community that focuses on providing a platform to the people who want to learn from educational videos. It offers both paid and free courses and is driven by creativity and a desire to learn and teach anything and everything. The majority of courses focus on interaction rather than lecturing, with the primary goal of learning by completing a project. The main course categories include creative arts, design, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and technology.
Skillshare was started in New York City in November 2010 by Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong but the site went viral in April 2011. As of March 2019, Skillshare has over 27,000 premium classes and more than 2,000 free classes available. The platform has introduced the “Groups” feature that allows members to connect with other creators, share work, and take skills to the next level through engaging discussions and prompts.
Before you decide on buying courses on Skillshare, read this article familiarizing yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of learning through Skillshare.
Advantages of Skillshare
New and varied content
One of the biggest problems of many online education portals is that their content becomes old and predictable with time. However, the same can’t be said about Skillshare as the sheer amount of new content that is added to the platform weekly is enough to keep even the busiest of brains engaged. There are thousands of courses for you to try. You can learn any type of skill on Skillshare be it professional or creative.
Communities of like-minded learners
With online education, you can feel like a loner as you don’t know who your peers are and you can’t interact with them. However, Skillshare has communities like Skillshare’s Groups and Workshops that can provide you a platform to interact with people who are interested in the same course as you. The experts are also a part of those groups and can help you by solving your queries and can give you a direction through which you can explore that field more.
Easy to use all around
Skillshare has a very user-friendly interface. It will take you just a few minutes to fill up the details and set up an account on the website. Also, the desktop and the mobile app is quite navigable. Thus, you won’t have to search for hours to reach the content of your interest. There are options like My Schedule and favourite that will help you in being up-to-date with your courses and saving the content you like the most.
Free trials available
The students and individuals are often worried about the fact that will they like the content provided to them on the website or will they be able to connect with the instructors and understand their teaching. There is also a constant worry regarding the wastage of money if one doesn’t like the course especially among the college students who have limited financial budget. To solve this, Skillshare offers free Premium trials, giving new students a chance to “try before they buy”. You can always access a Skillshare free trial from their website.
Skillshare mobile app available
Though it is recommended to access websites like Skillshare from your desktop or laptop as it gives you a bigger picture and helps you concentrate better. However, Skillshare also offers you the option to easily browse through the content or run your courses smoothly on your phone by installing their mobile app. In addition, you can sync your progress in your selected Skillshare courses across all devices, be it your computer, phone, or tablet.
Disadvantages of Skillshare
Harder to browse at a glance
There are some websites like Udemy where you can see how many students have been enrolled, the reviews (1-5 stars), which is bestselling, and more information to help make the purchase decision. However, Skillshare doesn’t offer any such things as it doesn’t allow you to rate or review the courses. Thus, you will have to spend a lot of time filtering the courses you will like to join. When you go to Skillshare and you type in the search bar, it will populate the courses they have available, but the search results don’t present enough information that you can tell the course quality at a glance.
Open Marketplace and Instructors are not Vetted
Like LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare doesn’t conduct any test for their instructors or they don’t have to undergo a rigorous selection process. Now, this can cause you trouble considering that any person can upload their courses on the website. While mostly the instructors provide valuable information only, there are cases when the instructors keep on babbling and so on rather than providing valuable information. This can result in waste of both your money and time.
Less Business Classes
As compared to other portals, Skillshare is comparatively new and doesn’t offer a very wide range of courses to their users. However, the course offering is growing day and day and you can expect it to soon match the levels with some of the leading websites.
You don’t own the courses
You can’t download or save any particular course for future reference. One has to pay a certain fee to access all the courses available on the website for a certain period of time. Thus, after your subscription ends you will again have to opt for monthly or yearly subscription to revise or revisit the courses you have completed earlier. The subscription model can work better or worse for you. It works on the same pattern as some of the leading entertainment portals like Netflix and Amazon Prime.