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Written by:
Martin Barrett
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Coursera vs futurelearn

Coursera Vs Shaw Academy 2023: Which Is Better?

There are a lot of the best online learning platforms out there. It’s pretty handy since you can learn all sorts of new skills without even leaving your own home.

Of course, with so many different educational platforms out there, it can often be difficult to decide which one will be best for you and your individual learning needs like Linkedin Learning, Udemy, Skillshare, and more

Two courses that you may have heard about quite a lot include Shaw Academy and Coursera. These are both great like most online learning platforms, but which one will be best for you?

Here’s everything that you need to know about Coursera VS Shaw Academy so that you can work out which one you should use to facilitate your learning needs.

Coursera Overview

Coursera was initially created by professors from Stanford University with one key aim – to give the whole world free education. Coursera is a provider of MOOC, meaning Massive Open Online Courses. 

Coursera is an online learning platform.

The courses are primarily offered via video, quizzes, readings, and various assignments. It’s not a particularly complicated platform to use – it’s very good for helping you to learn a wide variety of skills, however. 

One of the main selling points of course is that the platform actually provides users with courses that are designed by universities.

Not only that, but you don’t need to spend your life’s savings to take them either since a variety of the courses are available for free. It’s essentially like getting your college degree but for a fraction of the price, if that. 

The courses aren’t just written by universities, of course. There are also private companies that have created courses for the website so you can get your education from a wide variety of different kinds of professionals.

Whether you are looking to take courses to improve your career or just for your own enjoyment, the likelihood is that Coursera has something for you.

Courses are available in a number of varieties to suit your learning style. You can take a timed course or a self-paced course, meaning that you don’t have to be restricted by things like your day job.

There are courses that you can do in a matter of hours at your own pace, and there are courses that take a number of weeks to complete. 

What’s even better? You don’t even have any homework! How great is that? 


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Shaw Academy Overview

Shaw Academy has been on the web since 2013. It was created in Dublin by Adrian Murphy and James Egan.

The company has one key mission statement: To provide people with low-cost education so that they can be the best that they can be. 

One of the best things about the courses from Shaw Academy is that they are interactive, which makes the courses that much more engaging to take.

In fact, this is a feature that you are unlikely to find with many other online course providers, giving Shaw Academy a real edge.

The company provides courses from a wide variety of different companies. GoDaddy, Adobe, and Vodafone are just a few of them. 

Of course, the courses aren’t completely free – you will need to get a free trial for 30 days and then after that, there’s a monthly cost that you need to pay.

The free trial will allow you to take free courses for 30 days though, which is pretty spectacular. 

The other great thing about Shaw Academy is that, unlike many other learning providers, all of the courses are life.

This may sound a bit nerve-wracking for busy professionals who may not have a lot of time to carve out during their days to attend a lecture, but there’s no need to worry – they are held at numerous points throughout the week.

Even if you find that you cannot make any of the lectures, they are also recorded after the fact so you can go back and watch them again for reference.

You also get to have a direct relationship with your teachers, which is a huge bonus in comparison to many other learning providers.

Coursera Vs Shaw Academy

What Courses Does Coursera Offer?

When it comes to the courses, there are three main types that you can get from Coursera.

First of all, you can get free courses and you will audit these yourself. These courses do not come with any certifications or assignments, but you will get given access to any of the learning materials that you may need.

In addition to this, there are also paid courses that you can access. For a small fee, you will be able to correspond with an instructor to get feedback and you could potentially get a certificate depending on the program.

Finally, there are bachelor’s and master’s degrees available on Coursera. These are provided by well-known universities and Coursera is simply the host. 

You can study a wide variety of different topics on Coursera, including history, music and art, business, math, physical sciences, engineering and so much more.

There are also other advanced courses that you can get including AutoCad for Design, Google IT Automation with Python, Programming courses Introduction to International Criminal Law, and more.

What Courses Does Shaw Academy Offer?

Okay, so as you can see Coursera provides a wide variety of different course options to its customers. What about Shaw Academy, then? 

The very first Shaw Academy course was offered around a decade ago, and since then they have only created a bigger repertoire of courses.

In fact, the company provides more than 100 online courses to choose from. It’s no wonder then that the service has over 12 million students worldwide.

Shaw Academy offers courses from a wide variety of globally accredited organizations, including the International Accreditation Organisation, Austin Peay State University, and the International Council of Specialized Online Certifications.

When you’ve finished the course you can even get a physical copy of the certification emailed to you.

It is worth noting, of course, that if you want to have a certificate then you will need to complete a minimum of 4 modules of the course that you are trying to take.

As such, you are unable to get a certificate if you have completed just one module. 

Many platforms offer online courses for students who cannot attend classes.

You can learn about photography, marketing, interior design, coding and computer science, fashion design and so much more.

The courses are presented in an easy-to-understand format and can be taken by pretty much anyone.

Customer Reviews Coursera

As a whole, Coursera typically has a lot of positive reviews. Students typically say that the huge number of courses available is a big selling point – there are so many subjects available for students to appreciate.

People have also said that the initial offer free courses during the trial are great, and even after the trial, it’s not too expensive either.

Many customers say that they enjoy that Coursera allows them the opportunity to expand their knowledge on a subject without it being too difficult to do so.

There’s no need to go through a long enrolment process or to travel back and forth to a university – you can just do the course at home in your bedclothes if you want to. You can even take them with your loved ones!

Of course, there are also some negative reviews, as you may expect. Many people say that engagement with professors is lacking.

People have also said that the courses aren’t quite long enough to give you a comprehensive view of a subject. People sometimes say that the courses are a little too easy to do.

A lot of people also don’t like the verification fees that come with Coursera – they felt blindsided by the last-minute charges that they didn’t know were coming. 

As a whole though the reviews from customers have been positive.

Customer Reviews Shaw Academy

Customer Reviews Shaw Academy

There aren’t quite as many reviews about Shaw Academy as there are about Coursera. The reviews tend to be mixed.

There were a lot of positive reviews saying that these courses are ideal for people who are beginners in the chosen course.

The courses tend to be good at covering the basics of a subject. They will teach you a lot of really useful information.

A lot of people have also commended the course instructors. They said that the teachers were helpful and explained topics well.

Obviously, this will depend on the course that you are taking, but if you want some more hands-on teaching then Shaw Academy may be a better choice for you.

People also liked that Shaw Academy provides a free trial for the courses.

On the flip side, there are also a number of negative reviews, too. A lot of people didn’t like some of the extra costs that can sometimes pop up.

If you want to have notes then you may have to pay more money in order to get them. Likewise, you will likely need to pay in order to get your final assignment checked over.

They are also prone to phoning customers regularly which some people find annoying.

Some people have also found that the courses are too simple and can provide you with information that you could have easily found on google for no extra cost.

User Friendliness

So are these popular online learning platforms user-friendly?

Coursera certainly is. Most of the courses are provided via video. These videos are as short as about two minutes, and some are as long as 20 minutes.

If you miss something then you can rewind or fast forward, and it’s even possible to alter the playback speed if you need to.

If you want to catch up on what was said in the video then you can look at the transcript of the dialogue provided. This is especially helpful since it means that you can save the written transcript as a note.


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Simply highlight the text you want to take as a note and save it – Coursera can then link the note to the video itself so you can access it later much more easily. It’s perfect for when you are reviewing notes.

There are also readings with some of the courses that you will need to take a look at the outside of the course. These are things like academic papers, books, and more.

You can have this material on the screen which makes it great for referencing. Of course, some people have found that these links aren’t very good, with many of them being completely broken.

This can result in you needing to manually track it down yourself, which can take the time that you may not have. This is enough to annoy almost anyone. 

You can also access forums for the cl