Khan Academy Review - Introduction
Khan Academy is becoming more and more popular as the years go by. It is but natural that, with this increasing popularity, people are going to look for Khan Academy reviews. Well, if you’re one of those people - today’s your lucky day. Read on and find out everything that you’ll need to know before deciding whether or not Khan Academy is worth your time and attention.
First of all, I'll tell you what is Khan Academy, what it does, what does MOOC stand for and so on. After we’re both on the same page, we’ll move on the actual Khan Academy review - we’ll talk about the features, content, learning experience and everything else related to the platform. At the very end, I’ll give you a few examples of websites like Khan Academy and finish the review off with a pro and con list.
So, let’s begin by talking about what is Khan Academy. After all, it would be a bit tough to start discussing the learning experience of the platform without having an idea of what it stands for, right?
Khan Academy is a non-profit MOOC provider. Let’s break that statement down, shall we? The platform being non-profit means that there is no such thing as pricing - everything that you’ll find on the site is available completely free of charge. MOOC abbreviates as Massive Open Online Courses - this means that Khan Academy provides its user with free, widely available and subject-specific courses that they can learn from.
The company was founded back in 2008 by Salman Khan. The entirety of the content on the site is presented in the format of YouTube videos - the same platform that Mr. Khan used in the very beginning to host his tutoring videos aimed at a small number of people, mainly his cousins.
With that said, you should now have a basic idea of what is Khan Academy. Let’s move on to the actual Khan Academy review - we’ll start off by talking about the usage and aesthetic side of the platform.
- 100% free
- Good and reputable content
- A wide variety of courses to choose from
- No ads
- Could have more courses on certain specific topics
- Some visual improvements would be great
Ease of Use
It’s very important that an e-learning platform would be easy to use and have an aesthetically pleasing design. Even though these things might not be on the top of the priority list, they are still very important - if the UI is smooth and the design doesn’t poke your eye, so to speak, then you’re probably going to be more likely to stay and explore the site, rather than just turning it off a couple of seconds after entering. First impressions matter, so let’s take a look at the main page of Khan Academy.
As you enter the Khan Academy’s main landing page for the very first time, you will be greeted by their slogan and an interface where you can choose one out of three options - for learners, for teachers, and for parents. The layout of the page is very simple and straightforward - you’ve got your course topics and subjects, search bar and other basic interlinks, such as “About”, “Contacts”, etc. I must admit, I really like their front page - not many Khan Academy reviews stress this, but the simplicity of the page is actually a really nice aspect. It doesn’t burden you with needless information, and aims to give you the main idea as soon as you enter the page - “You can learn everything. For free. For everyone. Forever”. The page, even though it’s simple in design, isn’t generic. It offers a unique course topic layout that allows you to get a pretty good idea of what you can find on the platform itself.
Once you decide to choose a course, you can either do so by typing a desired keyword into the search bar or choosing a topic from the drop-down menu on the top of the main page. One thing that I immediately noticed is that even though Khan Academy offers a wide selection of topics to choose from, the main emphasis lies in math and subjects directly related to it. Just a little something to keep in mind!
Once you choose a topic and a specific course, you will end up on that course’s landing page. Now, before we continue, I have to stress something - my pet peeve is when pages have stuff that follows you as you scroll up and down. I know that it’s probably practical and useful (in most cases), but it’s just something that I can’t stand - it distracts me and makes me irritated. The reason why I mention this is because the course page does have a scrollable UI like this - you might like it, but it’s just something that I can’t handle.
The course page itself is a bit confusing. You have all of the basic, required information, such as course summary, overview, the “about” section in place, but the way that this information is scattered around the page could definitely be improved. This shouldn’t take credit away from the quality of the information, however - a read-through of the page creates a pretty good idea of what you can expect from the course itself.
Overall, both the technical and the design parts of Khan Academy are pretty good. Even though I wouldn’t personally agree with some of the UI placement decisions, I haven’t seen any user Khan Academy reviews that would be upset with this. The user interface is easy to use, simple and clear. Nothing lags, nothing crashes. The design is also very simplistic, but it serves its purpose - the site looks pretty, yet it doesn’t distract you with flashy color patterns, pop-ups or banners.
The topic of content quality is one that often surfaces in conversations and Khan Academy reviews when people try to figure out is Khan Academy good. And rightfully so! The platform being completely free doesn’t mean that it gets a free pass when it comes to the quality of the content that it provides - if anything, it should have a pretty high standard when it comes to providing users with great courses. And, truth be told, most of the student Khan Academy reviews that concern the content are rather positive.
It’s difficult to find a Khan Academy review that would be even somewhat negative towards the quality of the courses. It seems as if everyone loves them, the information they provide and everything in between. What fascinates me the most is that this isn’t only the case with the Khan Academy’s math courses - whether it be engineering or science, people seem to be generally happy with what they get. The only reoccurring criticism (if you can even call this criticism) that I could find when it comes to Khan Academy reviews is that the platform could offer more courses on the popular topics.
Since, according to the Khan Academy reviews, the quality of the content on the platform holds a pretty high standard, let’s take a closer look at the features that the site provides. When it comes to paid, subscription-based e-learning platforms, cool and interesting features are usually used to attract potential new customers while maintaining the already-existing ones. Since Khan Academy is free to use, however, all of the features that it offers are just a nice addition to an already great package.
If you choose to use Khan Academy, you will have access to personalized dashboards, instructional videos, various exercises and so on. One thing that I noticed while browsing the course page is that the platform even has an integrated “level” system - you gain XP (experience points) for learning and taking certain courses, thus increasing your overall level with time. This is a great visual motivator, and it adds some interactiveness to the overall process of learning.
The company also offers some interactive features for teachers and parents. After they create an account, teachers are able to access a huge data pool of information (all standardized and up-to-par), practice exercises, video tutorials and so on. Furthermore, Khan Academy offers tools to track student progress - something essential to all teachers. If you’re a parent, you can create an account for yourself and your child, and thus track his or her learning journey.
Pricing is a tough topic, so we should really go in-depth into all of the plans that Khan Academy… oh, wait. There is no such thing as pricing in Khan Academy!
As I’ve mentioned and reiterated probably a hundred times now (and as many other Khan Academy reviews state), creating an account and learning on Khan Academy is 100% free. The company aims to provide and make education available to anyone and everyone around the world - free of charge. Keeping that in mind, why did I even include this point in the Khan Academy review, then? Well, I thought it would be interesting to find out WHERE the company gets all of the money to fund itself, seeing that it’s a non-profit.
The answer is actually pretty simple - donations. And I’m not only talking about individuals coming in and donating money to the platform - although it helps immensely, there are also companies and corporations that fund Khan Academy and all of its ventures. Just to give you an example, all the way back in 2010 Google donated $2 million USD to the Khan Academy. This was done to fund further development of the website’s content and for course translations into other languages. And this is just one donation all those years ago - there are multiple different philanthropic companies that donate to and fund the platform.
Individuals have two options to help the website out - either by donating a certain sum of money or by volunteering. You can donate either on a monthly basis (which is the encouraged option) or with a one-time fee. Volunteering is a bit more abstract - you do so by spreading the word about the website and its mission in any way that you can (social media, emails, friends, etc.).
A student’s learning experience is something that is really difficult to objectively measure. Different people will have different experiences - and this is not only because they will choose to learn different courses. Whether or not you had a fun and productive learning experience depends on many different factors - your mood, deadlines, wants vs needs, time of day, health and - naturally - the course itself. However, as subjective as this point may be, it's still possible to get an overall idea of what you can expect, whether it be from Khan Academy reviews or from trying the platform out for yourself.
To get a pretty good idea of what you can expect your learning experience to be, you can simply take a look at Khan Academy’s YouTube channel. Since the main format that the platform uses are YouTube videos, you’ll be able to find a lot of different topics and subjects covered in them. Taking a look at their subscriber count and, more importantly, their comments is a dead giveaway - the people truly do enjoy learning on the platform. It really is difficult to find a Khan Academy review that would be completely dissatisfied with the learning quality or experience. So, is Khan Academy good? Well… It really does seem so.
At the very beginning of this Khan Academy review, I mentioned that I would tell you about some other websites like Khan Academy. Truth be told, this isn’t all that easy. Why? Well, because there aren’t really all that many reputable websites who would offer all of their content completely free of charge. However, if by saying “websites like Khan Academy” we’re talking about reputable, legitimate e-learning platforms, then you could take a look at our review of Coursera or Pluralsight. With that said, I hope that you’ve found this Khan Academy review useful, and it helped you answer the question “is Khan Academy good?”.
And now, as promised - a pro and con list to sum up what we’ve talked about.