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Written by:
Martin Barrett
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Is Wondrium The Same As The Great Courses

Wondrium vs The Great Courses: Are These Platforms The Same

The Great Courses was one of the first big names to enter the home learning business skills.

Offering users a chance to purchase high quality lecture series on VHS, it later expanded to a DVD and download service.

In 2015, The Great Courses entered the streaming market with the addition of The Great Courses Plus.

The Great Courses Plus subscription service proved popular, and was rebranded in 2021 as Wondrium. This rebranding was to reflect the growing diversity of learning offered by the service.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at Wondrium courses, and how it differs from its predecessor.

We’ll also compare Wondrium VS The Great Courses, to find if this is a service that’s right for you.

What Is Wondrium?

Wondrium is an online learning subscription service. Users sign up for a paid subscription and get access to the full range of online courses offered by Wondrium.

These courses range from lectures about applied mathematics to documentaries about world travel.

Originally known as The Great Courses Plus, Wondrium was an extension of The Great Courses à la carte learning service.

Instead of purchasing just one course, users could purchase a subscription, and view as many courses as they want!

Since its launch, the Wondrium platform has greatly expanded, and now covers a huge range of topics for a diverse range of learning styles. There are more than just traditional lectures for curious lifelong learners!

As well as the website, Wondrium can also be accessed as an app.

The app has a full range of courses available, and as well as unlimited streaming, users can download their chosen course. This is excellent for learning on the go.

The major downside to the subscription service is that when you stop paying, you lose access to all your favorite courses.

What Is The Great Courses?

The Great Courses was launched in 1990 to offer video courses to home learners.

The courses of The Great Courses were recorded lectures from Harvard Law School professors, which could be purchased on VHS.

The company later expanded to include lecture series from other teachers, and in a wider range of subjects.

If you were interested in a lecture from The Great Courses, you could purchase a video à la carte. This would then be sent to your home for you to watch, enjoy, and learn.

As technology changed, The Great Courses offered a DVD service, and, later, digital downloads. Again, these were purchased on an à la carte basis.

In 2015, The Great Courses expanded with the release of The Great Courses Plus.

This was a streaming service, offering learners access to a range of audio and video lectures. Unlike the standard The Great Courses, Plus was a subscription-based service.

The Great Courses is still available (and still known as The Great Courses). It offers digital downloads and DVDs of lecture-style courses. These are one-off purchases, with no subscription service.

Is Wondrium The Same As The Great Courses?

Wondrium is a rebranding of The Great Courses Plus. So, if you were a fan of an original Great Courses course, there’s a good chance it’s still available on Wondrium.

And if you were a fan of The Great Courses teaching method, then it’s definitely worth checking out what Wondrium has to offer.

Wondrium isn’t the same as The Great Courses. Instead, it’s a rebranding of The Great Courses Plus. The Great Courses is still available, offering a one-off purchases for home learners.

The Great Courses Plus was created to meet the new demands of adult learners. With The Great Courses, enjoying multiple courses could quickly become expensive.

With the Plus Service, learners were able to access an unlimited number of courses and documentaries for a monthly plan fee.

However, as the variety of learning opportunities expanded, the name no longer seemed apt. Hence, the rebranding from The Great Courses Plus to Wondrium.

This reflected the new additions to the site and linked the service to the free newsletter page; Wondrium Daily.

To sum up, Wondrium is a rebranding of The Great Courses Plus, which was a subscription service offshoot of the original The Great Courses à la carte learning platform.

Both Wondrium and the original The Great Courses are still available, but The Great Courses Plus is now defunct.

Wondrium Vs The Great Courses: What Are The Differences?

Wondrium and The Great Courses are not the same services, although they are both owned by The Teaching Company. At a basic level, both Wondrium and The Great Courses are learning platforms.

However, they offer very different user experiences.

Streaming Vs Downloads

The most obvious difference is how the platforms deliver their courses.

The Great Courses sells courses as DVDs or digital downloads. Users choose a course, and they then have permanent access to the course material.

Courses can be purchased individually or bundled, which sometimes comes at a discount. When you’ve finished one course, if you want to try another, it’s a separate payment.

Wondrium is a streaming platform. Courses can be streamlined online via the Wondrium website, or on the Wondrium app.

App users can also download the courses, to be accessed offline. Wondrium does not offer users a physical copy of the course.

Subscription Vs One-Off Payment

Wondrium and The Great Courses both differ in payment methods.

The Great Courses offers one-off purchases. You pick a course, you pay for it, and that course is yours. It’s the same as buying a book on a subject that interests you, but with audio and course materials.

Wondrium is a subscription service. Users can purchase a monthly subscription, a quarterly plan, or an annual plan.

This gets you access to the full range of Wondrium’s courses and documentaries offered. However, should you cancel your subscription, you no longer have access to the new courses you’ve viewed.

Course Type

The Great Courses was originally inspired by video lectures from Harvard Law School. Many of the courses covered traditional subjects, designed to appeal to a wide range of viewers.

Over the years, the course selection has expanded to include more practical courses and general education courses.

The course range at Wondrium is much expanded (although there is a crossover between the two platforms). Wondrium includes educational videos on subjects such as personal development, travel, and current events.

They offer much more than just courses, transforming Wondrium into a more general education platform where people can learn about subjects they’re interested in.

Wondrium Vs The Great Courses Plus: What Are The Differences?

Wondrium is a rebranding of The Great Courses Plus, intended to recognize the greater range of learning opportunities offered by the service.

The differences between The Great Courses Plus and Wondrium are minor and reflect the natural growth of the service rather than anything else. However, we’ve covered the changes below.

Course Type

As The Great Courses Plus was originally developed from The Great Courses, the course list was slightly limited.

With the rebranding to Wondrium came new deals with new content creators such as Crafty and Kino Lorber.

This greatly expanded the course range on offer, adding independent nonfiction films, self-improvement, travel, and much more.

The name change — from The Great Courses Plus to Wondrium — was partly done to facilitate the new diversity of learning options available.

Wondrium offers more than just your standard courses, and the name was changed to reflect this.

Documentary

Wondrium has moved away from the core of The Great Courses — recorded lectures.

With Wondrium, you have access to a massive range of non-fiction documentaries (as well as the expected courses).

These documentaries offer a different style of learning.

Instead of guiding you through a process, the documentaries introduce you to notable historical figures, philosophical concepts, political theories, and much more.

Partnerships

As The Great Courses Plus transitioned to Wondrium, the platform also added a host of new partnerships. This was key to expanding the variety of learning opportunities offered by Wondrium.

These new partnerships included Kino Lorber, MagellanTV, and Craftsy.

While there are some differences between The Great Courses Plus and Wondrium, primarily other content, the basic principle stayed the same.

This is an online streaming platform for learners, with a subscription service providing access to the full range of courses.

Wondrium Vs The Great Courses: Methods Of Learning

The Great Courses platform is better for traditional learners. The courses themselves are modeled on lectures, with a teacher guiding you through each section.

You can watch in your own time, and revisit the lectures whenever you like.

Wondrium offers a better variety of learning opportunities, thanks to the wider array of courses.

There are longer, lecture-type series, and shorter videos offering introductions to a topic.

And because everything is streamed, you can watch on different devices, including smartphones, and smart TVs.

Which Is Better: Wondrium Or The Great Courses?

Wondrium may have grown from the original The Great Courses series, but the two platforms are now markedly different.

The Great Courses is for one-off learners, who want an in-depth class on a specific subject. Wondrium is better for more casual learners, offering a vast array of streaming courses and documentaries.

Neither is exactly better than the other, but if you’re looking for variety, try Wondrium. Wondrium has more educational content, from more sources, covering more subjects.

And because it’s a subscription service, you can really explore everything that is on offer.

Fancy spending a morning learning about the Universe and an afternoon understanding Van Gogh? You can do that with your Wondrium subscription.

The Great Courses platform is better if you have a focused interest in learning a specific subject. Once you’ve purchased your DVD or downloaded it, you have access to that course forever.

You can learn at your own pace, and revisit the course for no additional cost. However, when you want to learn something new, you have to pay again.

The Great Courses approach is much more traditional, following the à la carte style of most online retailers. As Wondrium is a streaming service, it’s designed to appeal to a newer generation of online learners.

Wondrium is also better for anyone who wants to learn on the go! Wondrium is available as an app, and courses can be downloaded on the app to enjoy offline.

What Is Wondrium Daily?

When The Great Courses Plus transformed into Wondrium, they were building on an existing IP: Wondrium Daily. Wondrium Daily is a free online newsletter, featuring educational articles and Wondrium videos.

Wondrium Daily is free to all users, and you don’t need to have a Wondrium subscription. If you’re interested in subscribing to Wondrium, then Wondrium Daily is a good starting place.

You can discover a little about their learning methods, and the kind of subjects covered by Wondrium.

Is Wondrium Worth It?

Wondrium is a growing platform, with a rapidly expanding range of courses on offer. It’s well-priced, particularly for an online streaming service, and all our videos are produced to a high degree of quality.

However, compared to similar online learning platforms such as Masterclass and Skillshare, Wondrium cost is quite small.

There are fewer courses available, and although the subject range is pretty broad, it’s still lacking in some areas.

But Wondrium is relatively new, even if it is built on the success of The Great Courses before it. Hopefully, more videos and courses will be added in time.

If you’re curious about trying Wondrium free trial. This is an excellent way to sample the courses, see what’s on offer, and decide if Wondrium is right for you.

Summary

Wondrium isn’t the same as The Great Courses, although they are both owned by The Teaching Company, and share many courses.

Wondrium is a rebranding of The Great Courses Plus, the streaming subscription service offered by The Great Courses. The Great Courses Plus was founded in 2015 and became known as Wondrium in 2021.

If you’re interested in a subscription learning service with a diverse array of high-quality videos at a lower price, Wondrium is definitely worth checking out. And with a 14-day free trial, you can sample (amply) before you buy.

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