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Contxto – Finding the best e-learning platform can be laborious, especially with so many options now available on the internet. This is why I did the work for you and tested out Crehana and Platzi. Both Latin American startups provide a variety of courses with top-notch teachers.
These platforms offer online courses covering diverse subjects. For added convenience, you can take the class whenever and wherever you want. This way, they allow you to enhance your resume without disrupting your everyday routine.
The online learning phenomenon
The possibility of learning from experts that live on the other side of the globe might have sounded like a fantasy a few years ago. Now, thanks to the World Wide Web and platforms such as Crehana and Platzi, this is something that’s easily accomplished.
By 2024, the e-learning world market is expected to reach a value of US$406 billion according to Global Industrty Analysts Inc. The need to stay updated and prepared for future work requirements is constant. Sometimes it is also hard for some to return to school, hence the advantage of online learning.
With this in mind, here is a quick overview of these startups and what they offer. Both provide online education but each of them approaches courses differently, especially the manner in which they are taught. To truly know how they work and what they offer, I enrolled in a free digital marketing course on each platform.
The student experience: Crehana
The Peruvian startup describes itself as an “educational community for creative people.” When browsing through its class catalog and vocations, there’s no doubt about its creative target audience. Topics include drawing, 3D animation, digital marketing, web design, photography, business, and video creation. All from a creative perspective.
With Crehana, I participated in the free “Digital Marketing through Facebook” course. Honestly, I didn’t expect much from it since it didn’t cost anything. But I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. The audio and video quality were great, and you could tell the teacher knew what he was talking about.
Thankfully, the class presentation was also very informative and straightforward. It is also available for downloading, making it easily accessible to return and review the most important content.
What I liked the most about this class was its practicality, though. That’s to say, the instructor didn’t beat around the bush and went straight to the point. Every single second of the course was worth it.
One of the coolest features of Crehana’s course platform was its notes section. You can even jot down notes while watching the video and save them automatically.
Also, the fact that students must make a project made me like it even more. Putting into practice everything you are being taught makes the information easier to understand and that is a huge plus for me. When uploading your project, you also get feedback from other students as well as the instructor.
Overall, the course taught me exactly what it promised: a step-by-step guide to create my Facebook business page and how to advertise it. Personally, I thought the content was very precise and straight to the point.
The student experience: Platzi
Many people across Latin America are familiar with this Colombian startup offering lectures from top industry players, depending on what you want to discover. To understand Platzi better I took a free “Word of Mouth Digital Marketing” course.
First of all, I must say it wasn’t so simple to choose a class since Platzi offers over two hundred courses. In terms of coverage, it feels quite infinite. Many of the topics range from marketing to programming, business, photography, blockchain, and even startup creation. You could very well say that the possibilities of learning are endless.
In my opinion, the most valuable thing about Platzi is its “specialized” content offered through different courses, programs and brands. Some of them delve into Amazon Web Services, IBM Cloud, app development with React Native, WordPress development, among others.
Students have the option to create a study plan, adding up to nine courses based on their interests and goals. Platzi will then strategically arrange them in a logical order, basing everything on content and difficulty.
The teacher used a lot of useful examples from world-known brands which I think it’s a great idea. This way concepts are seen on a practical example that students can relate to. Even though there wasn’t a practical task, there is a test you can take at the end to validate what you learned during the course.
Another thing that I appreciated about my Platzi learning experience was how the instructor recapped each lesson to assist students in connecting topics better.
Ultimately, the course provided me with useful information and was definitely worth my time. Downloading the presentation is also possible, but it doesn’t really have much information. You need to actually listen to the class to understand it.
It’s only natural that when looking for a course, you’re also looking for the most qualified instructors. Knowing the reliability of the information can determine if you register for the class or not.
On both platforms, the teachers introduced themselves and their work experience within the first lecture. Both educators had marketing work experience. They were even part of well-known companies like Cabify, Phillip Morris and P&G.
The great thing is, Crehana has a profile page for each of its teachers. Before selecting a course, you can review the instructors’ portfolio, degrees and work experience. You can even find personal descriptions with pictures of them.
The intimate touch this gives to the class is great and especially made me feel more welcomed. If you liked the way the instructor lectured, you can always go to the profile page and see what other classes he teaches.
On a different note, the author profiles on Platzi were rather hidden. Their profile picture and name wasn’t clickable and I could only find my teacher’s profile at the bottom of the course’s main page.
Despite this, the teacher turned out to have a great background. Perhaps, it would be recommendable to make these profiles even easier to search and find, as well as incorporating a more personal touch to descriptions.
Twitter and Linkedin links are great, but getting an idea of a teacher’s personality and style before starting the course would be a great aid for students choosing between a universe of content.
User Experience and User Interface (UX/UI)
Having an intuitive website is essential to keep customers happy and engaged. All the while, making it pleasing to the eye will add even more points. In this regard, Platzi and Crehana have very different layouts and designs. Each has a unique feel and overall different experience while navigating the sites.
Crehana has a very presentable and colorful interface. I would dare to say it’s pretty intuitive and easy to navigate. When looking for a course you can filter them by topic and add some of your interests to make it more personalized. From there, the search engine will provide the most suitable lectures.
I think it’s great that Platzi provides users with so many course options. Options are wonderful. But when it came to navigating results, it honestly got a little tedious. The interface is friendly but there was just a lot of information on the screen. Sometimes less is more.
I did eventually get tired scrolling. All the courses are listed on one page, so there’s no easy way to go through them all besides a handy COMMAND + F on your Mac. I guess you have to know what you’re looking for to do this.
Nevertheless, it makes up for it with such an assortment of courses available. You can really learn about anything with Platzi!
Can you imagine downloading free ebooks or design tools? I’m pleased to inform you that Crehana provides its students with that and more.
The startup offers an array of articles on its blog section with topics like UX/UI, marketing, web design, branding, and other similar subjects. Besides free ebook downloads, design tools and quick two-minute tutorials are also accessible. Additionally, the platform gives you exclusive prices for Wacom’s design products.
In the community section, you can find live videos about different topics of interest, projects from other students and different resources for any class you might take.
Every Thursday there’s a live class available on Platzi. Listen to experts on various topics and reaffirm something you already saw on one of their courses, or just get a taste of something that might interest you. The great thing about these live sessions is that you can ask questions and get answers on the spot.
Additionally, you can read its blog and participate in the forum. See what others in the community are interested in, exchange ideas and engage in conversations.
Platzi is also very active on social media and has a lot of insightful and useful content on free platforms such as Youtube. This is a great way to drive traffic back to its monetizable content and letting us know more about them.
Knowledge at your fingertips
We may not always have our laptop or computer at hand. Mobile apps make our lives easier in so many ways. Thankfully, both Platzi and Creahana thought about this. You can go right now and download either of the apps on your phone.
Crehana’s app takes only 54.9MB of phone space and allows you to download up to 3GB worth of content on the app. Additionally, you can access the blog section with different tips and tricks.
Storage isn’t as optimal on Platzi since the app takes up 91.10MB of phone space. It also gives you access to some features you cannot find on the website.
With Platzi’s app, you can schedule reminders to advance your classes and read interesting blog posts. But there’s no doubt the best part is the podcast section.
I’m pretty sure you can spend hours listening to podcasts on this app. There is a ton of content with different topics and speakers. Choose any that might interest you and enjoy the ride.
Not all of them are technical or business-like. I even found one about “How to make people laugh.” So, if you decide to download Platzi to your smartphone, you should at all costs check this out.
And now we’re off to a very important topic. Pricing. There are always certain perks when you put a little money into it.
With Crehana you can get Premium access from around US$100 a year. This will grant you unlimited access to courses and degree options. You’ll even be invited to different events and meetups and get a free entrance ticket to Crehana Fest. Get advice on any topic 24/7 and download content to your phone to experience offline.
There’s also the Plus package. By getting this subscription, you will receive free access to all courses, webinars, meetups and some live events. Offline classes on your phone, and a diploma when finishing a class, will also be available. It comes out to a total of US$20 a month.
Platzi has two different memberships, Expert and Basic. The Basic package is US$40 each month and includes access to the over two hundred courses you can find on the learning platform
The Expert package costs US$300 per year and has the following advantages:
- Access to over 200 courses,
- Exclusive access to nine professional growth courses and a startup creation workshop
- Preferred entrance to PlatziConf worldwide
- Ability to retrieve diploma from wherever you are
Platzi’s special English platform
One of the things Platzi has, and Crehana doesn’t, are English courses taught by native speakers. Platzi describes them as “thoughtfully crafted courses with the most up-to-date thinking in attractive careers.”
Certain lectures are also taught by teachers that work at renowned companies such as Waze, ShopKeep and Y Combinator. Some of the partners of this project are Microsoft, Y Combinator, Adobe, and 500 Startups.
Even though both courses were free, both had competent teachers with relevant experience in their respective fields. Each of them also covered marketing basics before moving on to more advanced sub-sections such as Digital Marketing, which is smart in my opinion.
Ultimately, Crehana’s course felt more practical and offered step-by-step info to accomplish the ultimate goal of the course – effective Facebook marketing.
On the other hand, Platzi’s course seemed more theoretical. However, that’s simply the nature of a word of mouth marketing course with less immediate uses compared to a Facebook marketing course.
Nonetheless, my Platzi course had a lot of interesting insights due to the instructor’s experience in the marketing field. Moreover, its case studies of successful marketing campaigns certainly helped.
From my general experience with online learning companies, I can say that Crehana was a bit easier to use. This is thanks to its smooth course search engine, pleasant design, interface, but above all, the usability.
Despite this, when it comes to content variety and overall knowledge available within the platform, Platzi is a gigantic digital library. As I mentioned earlier, you can learn about almost everything on this platform.
Final thoughts, although Crehana might seem easier and more intuitive to navigate, it is more niche and the content could be limited to creative industries. At the end of the day, Platzi has more content to explore and learn from.
At the end of the day, though, courses and content vary depending on what your goals are. Trust me when I say that both have their advantages and disadvantages, it’s just a matter of your end mission. I encourage users to try them both and comment below which one you like the most and why!