We at edwize.org just love anything to do with learning and education.
But when it comes to deciding which platforms to use for your online learning, you don’t want to mess about spending money on something that’s not right for you.
And that’s why it’s good to read articles like this one, which provide a thorough review of particular online learning platforms, in this case, Wondrium, before you decide on a monthly subscription.
And to that end, this Wondrium review is going to cover everything you need to know about it.
We’ll kick off with the basics, explaining what it is and its relation to Great Courses, before exploring what it has to offer, and its value for money.
In this Wondrium Review, we will also cover how it compares to some of its alternatives, and what people are generally saying about it elsewhere.
We will then summarize the pros and cons for you so you can view them at a glance.
By the end of the article at the wrap-up, we’ll have covered everything you need to know about whether it’s right for you, so you can decide whether you want to press ahead with it.
What Exactly Is Wondrium, Anyway?
Wondrium is basically a streaming service dedicated solely to educating its users through documentaries and online courses in the form of a series of documentaries and educational videos.
Each video is typically around 30 minutes long.
It has a wide range of content available, and a subscription to the service means that you can access any and all of these videos at any time, either directly on your TV or PC, or even on multiple devices such as tablets or smartphones.
The videos are put together by experts in their respective fields, and they are designed to be as engaging as possible, and enlightening enough to keep you wanting more.
All of the videos within Wondrium courses are non-fiction, with the aim of both educating and entertaining the target audience.
The target audience is those who consider themselves lifelong learners, with an unending curiosity and fascination with the world (and the rest of the universe for that matter).
And according to sources, typical customers are older professionals and retirees who have had successful careers.
Wondrium’s mission is “To offer the most diverse, mind-blowing, non-fiction learning experiences to the world.”
What’s The Connection Between Wondrium And Great Courses And Great Courses Plus?
There was once an online learning platform known as The Great Courses, where you could buy a la carte DVDs and downloads relating to educational and edutainment video content.
And from The Great Courses came Great Course Plus, which worked in a different way to The Great Courses, having evolved into a rather different form and business model…
Great Courses Plus was a subscription-based account that gave its users streaming access to the entire The Great Courses catalog, and some nice extras besides.
Later, Great Courses Plus rebranded itself with the brand name Wondrium, which better reflects its place as a “wonder emporium”.
What Are Its Features?
The content available to stream on Wondrium is broadly split into the following 13 categories:
- Business & Finance
- Food & Drink
- Health & Mindfulness
- Hobby & Personal Pursuits
- Philosophy & Religion
- Professional Growth
- Travel & Cultures
The content is provided in the following formats:
- Classic Great Courses
It’s also worth noting at this point that Wondrium has several different short-form videos that are Wondrium exclusives, designed to give you a quick, fun, and insightful look at a subject.
Moreover, you can also view Wondrium pilot episodes where you can watch introductory videos to upcoming Wondrium video courses that serve to provide an overview of what will be covered in the full course when it comes out.
And before you sit down to watch a particular video or series of Wondrium videos at your own pace, you can read the reviews put forward by other users to determine what the video is like before you view it.
What’s more, when this article was written, Wondrium was in the process of making its offering more accessible to persons with sensory disabilities.
What’s Wondrium’s USP?
Wondrium actually has 2 USPs, one of which stems from the type of content offered, and the other from who is behind the content.
Who Is Behind The Content?
As Wondrium’s website states, “All our videos are academically comprehensive, relentlessly entertaining, and led by engaging experts.”
And you can view the credentials of each expert on the Wondrium platform, so users can judge for themselves whether the content really does come from an expert in the field.
How Is The Content Selected For Use?
Another great thing about the Wondrium edutainment streaming service is how the content available is chosen. It’s very much market-led.
Wondrium founder, Tom Rollins is known to use various market research techniques in order to determine not only what online courses to offer, but even what lectures to include as well.
And carrying out tasks as simple as asking the target audience what they want to learn, has really helped the company to forge a loyal customer base.
Is It Good Value For Money?
At the time of writing this article, there were 3 subscription plans available for Wondrium, depending on how frequently you wish to pay… Both monthly and annual subscriptions are available. So, how much does Wondrium cost?
Paying for your video courses monthly is the most expensive method, but is still fairly reasonable considering the breadth and depth of new content you can access.
If you choose to pay for video courses every quarter, you can save considerably more money than paying monthly.
And if instead, you opt for paying annually, you can save a lot more money again, and receive all your content at a fraction of the price compared to paying monthly.
You may also be interested to hear that Wondrium account offers a 14-day free trial to everyone, regardless of whether you prefer to pay monthly, quarterly, or annually.
So there are some serious bargains to be made.
Of course, however, you have to weigh up the Wondrium cost subscription against the plethora of content you can access totally free of charge on the internet, courtesy of Google and other search engines.
But please know that the Wondrium platform has significant advantages over typical internet websites.
This is because it’s all brought to you by verified experts. You can trust what you learn on the Wondrium app, without having to question its validity.
Furthermore, while TV documentaries were previously very easy to come by on Sky TV, there’s a clear movement of the more interesting documentaries now only being made available on separate subscription-only platforms such as:
- Amazon Prime Video
- History Vault
- PBS Documentaries
What’s more, Wondrium occasionally offers deals to attract more viewers, which would make it available at an even more affordable price.
What Are The Alternatives To Wondrium? And How Do They Compare?
Wondrium is by no means a unicorn, with a great selection of educational videos, unique in its field.
As you likely already know, the largest platform for video viewing, whether live or recorded is YouTube.
And while YouTube is not actually aimed solely at providing educational content, you have to admit that there’s a great deal of educational content available to view there.
If you wish to find out more about educational streaming videos available to view free of charge on YouTube, you may be interested in reading our article titled “Best YouTube Lectures” which you can access on this link.
Wondrium’s YouTube Channel
What’s even more interesting is that YouTube actually has a Wondrium channel, where you can view Wondrium content completely free of charge!
And there are well over 150 uploads on there.
Of course, this free Wondrium content on YouTube is merely there to give you a taster of the platform with the intent of whetting your appetite for more.
They all seem to be one-off documentaries and there don’t appear to be any complete video courses there where you would watch a series of videos on a particular topic.
There is also some rather stiff competition in the form of CuriosityStream.
It offers thousands of documentaries and educational videos online to stream at a fraction of the subscription cost of Wondrium. And it features some award-winning exclusives and originals.
You can choose from the standard plan, which shows videos in crisp HD (high definition), or the premium plan, which shows its videos in 4K.
You can watch anywhere, anytime, at your own pace and you’re free to cancel at any point. You can pay monthly, or save money by paying annually.
The available genres are as follows:
- Curiosity kids
- Art & Society
Then there’s Magellan TV, which is yet another edutainment video streaming service that can provide new online learning experiences.
It has three thousand documentaries available to view, and more are added every week. It is considerably more affordable than Wondrium.
And it’s also available on multiple platforms. The genres available on Magellan TV are as follows:
- True Crime
- Ancient History
- War & Military
- Science & Tech
- Travel & Adventure
- Current History
- Early Modern
- Mind & Body
- Historical Drama
- Art & Culture
Magellan TV documentaries are said to be brought to you by the world’s top historians, scientists, and explorers.
However, you may be interested to know that you can also watch Magellan TV documentaries through the Wondrium platform on a subscription.
What Are People Saying About Wondrium Elsewhere?
As you might imagine, Wondrium’s website features several glowing customer testimonials. Users say things like:
- “It’s hard to beat the accessibility and depth of Wondrium.”
- “I appreciate the ability to enjoy the process of learning in the easy ways that Wondrium’s app provides so that I’m able to listen and learn on the go. It allows me to have a world of knowledge at my fingertips.”
- “I can’t recommend them enough”
Elsewhere on the internet, however, the reviews are more well-rounded.
For example, Wikipedia states that “American conservative analysts have described the social science courses offered by The Teaching Company [which was the former name before rebranding to The Great Courses] as more suitable to general audiences than what is offered at traditional American liberal arts colleges.”
These analysts then go on to say that there’s an “emphasis on covering the fundamentals of a subject as if it were an introductory college course.”
This clearly goes against what the company originally set out to achieve, since the original idea was to provide users with college-level video courses.
And it also diminishes the potency of the learning, making it no different from what you watch on the usual TV channels.
Summary Of Pros And Cons
- No pesky ads EVER!
- 14-day FREE trial
- You can stream it on your large-screen TV
- You can stream it on the go, through the Wondrium app or other apps (on iOS, Android, and Amazon Kindle)
- There are no quizzes, no tests, no exams, and no assessments or assignments to worry about whatsoever
- There are no barriers to entry – anyone can sign up
- It does cost money at a time when a great deal of information is often available at a cheaper rate, or even completely free of charge
Wondrium Review Wrap Up
There’s a lot to be said about being able to stream education documentaries wherever you happen to be.
And the idea of being able to do so without any irritating ads or messages from sponsors.
But the real question, and what it all comes down to, is whether or not you’re prepared to give money for such a service, and if so then how much.
If you’ve got your heart set on such a service (and who could blame you) when choosing which platform to go to, the key factor in the decision is the content provided.
If you scroll back through this article, you may spot that there are subtle differences between Wondrium’s categories, and those of the alternative platforms, CuriosityStream and Magellan TV.
For example, if you were more interested in Food & Drink, Hobby & Personal Pursuits, Music, or Professional Growth, the best option would be Wondrium, whereas if you wanted to be able to stream content aimed at kids, your best option would be to go with CuriosityStream.
Either way, you have some great options available to you for any type of online learning.