Ready to learn, but aren’t sure whether Udemy or Zenva has the best online programming courses for 2020? While both platforms offer a wide variety of coding courses that let you learn coding online for multiple programming languages, there are some notable differences between them that can make or break your learning experience.
Today, we’re going to explore the pros and cons of each service in a Zenva vs Udemy battle using a number of categories in terms of video lesson quality, price, course relevance and variety, accessibility, mobile usability, and user testimonials. In the end, you should be able to make a more informed decision about whether Udemy or Zenva is right for you as you start your eLearning!
Instructors and Quality Standards
It’s important that lessons are taught by knowledgeable instructors with good video production quality. Let’s delve into how Udemy and Zenva stack up when it comes to who teaches their courses.
On Udemy, anybody can become an instructor. Free courses have virtually no vetting, while premium courses involve only a slightly more stringent process. While this is great news for aspiring instructors, this has a downside for students.
Each instructor has their own quality standard, and, consequently, video production quality can be as variable as free videos on YouTube. This can especially be the case with audio quality, which can be terrible even on paid courses.
Ultimately, what Udemy gains in instructor choice, it sacrifices in video quality.
Zenva only has a few handfuls of instructors producing the lessons. Thus, if there is an instructor you don’t like, this can be problematic.
What Zenva does offer, however, is a better vetting process. Instructors are hand-chosen to create courses, and each course is run through a variety of quality standard checks both before and after it’s published. As such, video lessons are mostly free of the usual issues that bring down the quality. To boot, the instructors are offered assistance at every step, ensuring that their work is the best it can be.
Though Udemy wins in terms of instructor variety, Zenva stands taller with higher quality production focus and more experienced instructors.
Many users are turning to eLearning due to its reasonable price-point in comparison with traditional institutions. So, for this next part, we’ll explore whether Udemy or Zenva has better prices in the long- run.
The pricing on Udemy is extremely variable. Some courses can cost well over $100 to obtain, whereas other courses can be obtained for as cheaply as $10. As such, learning on Udemy can be extremely affordable if you shop for current deals.
While this is certainly fantastic for the short-term if you only need one or two courses, if you’re aiming to learn a whole development subject, such as Full-Stack web development, the costs will quickly add up as you will require multiple courses to explore the full scope of the topic.
The pricing structure on Zenva is based largely on its access plans. With these access plans, students can learn from Zenva’s entire 200+ course catalog based on a remedial monthly or yearly fee. In addition to opening up the entire course catalog, Zenva’s access plans also provide a multitude of other perks including in-house course support and free monthly updates.
While these sorts of plans are not everyone’s cup of tea, in the long-term it is very cost-effective – even if you only learn from 5 courses a month, you’ll be spending somewhere around $4/course. In addition, Zenva does still allow for individual course purchases for a reasonable $50/course.
While Udemy does offer some amazing deals for users who only need a handful of courses, Zenva’s access plans offer a far more cost-effective strategy for learning programming and provide more value for your dollar.
For educational programming platforms, it’s important to keep relevant with new frameworks and programming practices. In this section, we will see how up-to-date courses are on Udemy and Zenva.
Udemy’s instructors have a good amount of control over their courses. Once again, while this is great for instructors, this means students are left at their mercy as to whether the courses are up-to-date.
In fact, many courses on Udemy are now behind the times (for programming, at least). As a consequence, if you’re a beginner, you might wind up buying a course using an older framework or similar. This is not to mention instances where an instructor may have given misinformation. There is no guarantee this information will be fixed, so students may be out of luck with bugs.
Overall, Zenva makes an immense effort to update their courses as per their Course Update Policy – whether this means making notes about misinformation or remaking older courses entirely when a framework, library, or similar is updated in a major way.
For students with access plans, Zenva also pushes major course updates to students for free, including new courses for brand new engines or frameworks. Thus, students can continue to learn even as programming practices change. Additionally, course issues are addressed as quickly as possible, so there’s no worry if the instructor made a mistake somewhere or if a video is broken.
Though you can find updated courses on Udemy, Zenva’s guarantee and dedication to update all their courses makes them the better investment for the long term.
Of course, your choice of platform may come down simply to the topics Udemy and Zenva cover. Thus, the next thing we’ll take a look at is the course variety they both offer.
When it comes to variety, Udemy is the clear leader. Whether you want to learn programming, photography, or something else, Udemy probably has a course for it. As such, you can always find some new skill to learn.
That being said, the fact instructors have more control over the courses can present some uneven distribution on subject matters covered. For example, if you want to learn Herbalism, you have three pages worth of courses to choose from. On the other hand, if you want to learn Python, I get 94 pages worth.
This bias for certain subjects can also make it hard to pick, as most of the courses cover the same topic simply with a different instructor. Thus, without extensive research, it can be confusing as to which course should be picked.
Zenva definitely does not have the variety that Udemy does. The platform focuses mostly on development and data science, so you can’t exactly go to Zenva to learn how to bandage someone’s arm.
By contrast to Udemy, though, this specialization can make it much more authoritative on the subject matters it does cover. Further, the Mini-Degrees and Academies are specifically tailored to build a guided experience. Whether you want to learn web development or game development, Zenva helps you learn the skills you need in an intuitive manner. Even for courses covering similar topics, Zenva uses different projects to illustrate the skills in a way that is new.
For the most part, it’s a tie and depends on what you want to learn. If you need to learn non-programming related subjects, Udemy is the platform to choose. For programming matters, however, Zenva’s focus allows it to provide a friendlier, more guided experience for beginners.
Both platforms deliver their content through video, but Udemy and Zenva do differ in terms of how accessible those videos are, whether in terms of disability or learning styles. So next, we will look at how welcoming both platforms are.
Whether you speak English, German, or something else, you have a high chance of finding something in your native language on Udemy. Thus, in terms of an international audience, this is a great boon.
Unfortunately, that’s where the accessibility stops. Most of the videos on Udemy do not feature Closed Captions, and many of those that do are inferior, auto-generated ones. Furthermore, if your learning style doesn’t suit videos, you don’t have many other options on Udemy for learning.
When it comes to languages, Zenva courses are almost exclusively delivered in English, so you won’t find anything in your native tongue if you struggle with listening to English.
Fortunately, Zenva makes this up in other areas of accessibility. Not only do all the videos featured Closed Captions, but they are also manually generated to ensure high quality. Additionally, Zenva’s lessons come with written summaries, so if you learn better by reading, you have the option to do so.
While multiple languages are nice, Zenva offers more accessibility options no matter how a student needs or prefers to learn.
Since more than half of internet usage comes from mobile devices, it’s always good to examine what the mobile experience is like. So, how do Udemy and Zenva stack up against each other?
As expected, Udemy’s website is fairly mobile-friendly, with only a few layout issues that don’t really hinder the mobile experience.
Where Udemy shines, though, is with its app. Not only is the app well-made, but it allows for offline video playback for any of the courses you’ve purchased. This makes it very easy to learn on the go regardless of your schedule, so it’s well-suited for anybody.
For the most part, Zenva’s site is perfectly responsive, and there is quality assurance in place to make sure you can watch videos easily from any device and screen size.
Like Udemy, though, Zenva also shines much more when it comes to its Zenva app which is available for iOS and Android devices. Not only does the app allow you to easily watch all your videos on the go, but it also supports offline playback. In addition, Zenva has made sure students can also read the lesson summaries via the app, so even if watching a video isn’t possible, students can read along to follow the content.
Ultimately, it’s a tie. Besides responsive websites, both Udemy and Zenva have fantastic apps that make for a worthwhile experience for those who need to learn on the go – even in regards to offline playback.
The last category we’re going to take a look at is the availability and abundance of user testimonies on Udemy and Zenva.
Udemy’s focus seems to be on their individual product pages, where you can find collections of reviews from anybody who bought the course. Much like other large online stores, these give you power as a consumer to decide a product’s value.
Yet, there seems to be no clear indication Udemy does anything with a course that receives numerous bad reviews (besides hiding it). This is not to mention that, like many reviews on larger online stores, it is up to the consumer to determine whether the review is legitimate or angry spam.
While Zenva lacks the public reviews on product pages, they do accept private reviews. Further, any course averaging below a 4 is replaced by a new course with higher quality. Thus, there is more clear evidence reviews matter on the platform.
Something that we immediately found on Zenva – and that we were unable to find on Udemy – was a section for learner success stories. These learner success stories feature in-depth interviews from people in multiple industries who used Zenva’s course to further their careers and goals. Ultimately, this adds a good sense of professional legitimacy.
Of a note, Zenva does have public reviews available on its Facebook page, which offer at least some record of what customers are thinking.
Udemy comes out a little bit ahead in terms of showcasing their consumer’s opinions. That being said, Zenva’s willingness to act on reviews and showcase successful individuals offers a professional legitimacy that Udemy is missing.
Ultimately, your platform choice will depend on your learning needs. If what you want to learn is skills like crafting, DIY, or something akin to that, then Udemy is the better choice due to its course variety and ability to choose a course based on consumer backing.
However, if you’re interested in web development, game development, or data science, Zenva’s focus on quality beats Udemy by a lot. Further, with Zenva’s robust access plans to their entire catalog along with free updates, Zenva’s courses easily outlast those on Udemy and make a good long term investment for a professional career.
If you’re ready to experience Udemy’s variety, you can check out their class offerings here.
Alternatively, you can aim for the more focused coding route and check out Zenva’s courses here.
You can also check out our Zenva vs Udacity article to learn a bit more about how else Zenva stacks up against the competition.