- High-profile instructors
- Over 150 courses
- Straightforward platform
- Real-life projects
- Trained teaching assistants
- No certificates
- Billed annually
- English only
Learning is possible at any age. If you give yourself enough time to pursue your chosen subject, the sky is the limit for personal growth and professional development. But learning becomes easier and more rewarding when you’re guided by the best of the best, who can also give you an insider’s perspective. MasterClass is an online education platform for individuals who wish to either acquire a new skill or improve an existing one. The service offers studio-quality video lectures hosted by top-notch talent from different fields, sharing industry-related guidance with students. There are hundreds of classes to choose from, so you’ll be sure to pick up more than just one new skill. And although memberships are billed annually, MasterClass offers a generous 30-day satisfaction guarantee on all plans.
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E-learning through MasterClass is a lot like being mentored by the creme de la creme. Each course includes several videos that range from 2 to 30 minutes long, which you can watch at your own pace. Although the audio is only available in English, it’s possible to turn on same-language subtitles to help you absorb the information. Each video comes with a downloadable PDF course guide and, sometimes, extra materials related to the lesson like an mp3 audio.
The service is user-friendly and you can take notes while watching videos using My Notes, which appears on the right-hand side of the screen in standard viewing mode. Anything you type in gets automatically saved in your account, and it’s linked with the lesson and video you were watching. This helps students remember key information and solidify knowledge. In addition, it’s easy to find and rewatch your favorite chapters by using the bookmark tool below the video.
MasterClass offers over 150 online courses across 11 categories, including arts and entertainment, music, and writing. With so many options to choose from, deciding which mentor and course to pick can be daunting. Fortunately, Playlists enable users to learn a specific skill from a variety of instructors. For example, the playlist Inside The Craft is a good starting point for students who wish to explore the world of screen and stage. There are topics ranging from crafting impactful dialogue to dealing with writer’s block and developing a plot that hooks viewers. As a bonus, you get to learn from award-winning personalities like Martin Scorsese, Helen Mirren, and Samuel L. Jackson, to name but a few.
Each playlist includes four to eight video lectures picked from a variety of courses, allowing you to discover at a glance what each mentor has to offer. If students like a particular lesson hosted by a specific mentor and want to hear more from them, it’s possible to explore the full course that they teach outside of the playlist.
If you like learning by reading, there are over 12,000 free articles to devour on MasterClass. Articles are basically guides, blogs, reviews, and other written posts related to a category like food, business, wellness, and more. Fresh content is constantly added to the learning platform so students can definitely discover something new every day. Most of the content is written by MasterClass staff and is just as good as the courses. If you’re curious about a topic but wish to know more before starting a course, it only takes a few minutes to read an article. And if you happen to really like a post, you can save it by clicking the bookmark icon.
An e-learning platform with video lessons and articles is all well and good, but it’s also useful to put what you’ve studied into practice and receive constructive feedback. This is where Sessions can help. During 30 days, students follow a well-structured curriculum taught by a premier instructor. The lessons are in video format, but there are exercises, assignments, and projects to be completed as well. You also receive valuable feedback from a trained teaching assistant, who actively answers questions of all kinds. If you need more support, you can easily strike up a conversation with other students on the Community page. This is handy for those who like to discuss their work with peers.
The best part about Sessions is that it’s included in your subscription to MasterClass, so you can take your learning one step further at any time. Although there are only a handful of courses, these are enough to keep you occupied for a couple of months.
Mobile and Add-ons
There’s no official MasterClass desktop app, but users can easily access the service directly through its website. Everything is very well organized, so it only takes a few minutes to know your way around. If students prefer to watch the lessons on a smartphone, the dedicated iOS and Android apps are extremely convenient. Although My Notes is not available on the mobile app, you can select the audio mode to listen to the videos while you use a separate note-taking app. It’s also possible to purchase MasterClass on Amazon or stream the video lectures using Roku, meaning you won’t run out of ways to access your courses.
MasterClass offers three subscriptions that are billed annually. The cheapest plan – Individual – allows students to access the courses using one device at a time. If you’re using your computer and decide to switch to the app, make sure to close the browser first. Although the plan doesn’t let you download classes for offline viewing, you may not need this feature anyway since most people have regular access to Wi-Fi or mobile data. The plan is advertised as $15 per month, but the full year must be paid upfront.
Users can watch the video lessons offline when they choose either the Duo or Family plan. This is especially useful if you’re hopping on a plane that doesn’t offer Wi-Fi or if you have a poor internet connection. Although the Family plan is slightly better as it supports up to six devices simultaneously, all three subscriptions offer the same features.
If the annual fees seem too big of a commitment, you can start by attending the free online events on MasterClass Live. Everything is recorded and posted on the website so you can watch it whenever you like. Goes without saying that these sessions aren’t at all as in-depth as the paid courses. Although there isn’t a free trial, all plans come with a satisfaction guarantee that entitles users to ask for a full refund within 30 days of signing up.
MasterClass provides 24/7 email support. You just need to fill in the request form on the website and a team member will get in touch. It’s also possible to contact support via phone from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends – not to mention that there’s a chatbot to help with queries about refunds, enrollment, and how to redeem a gift. Moreover, MasterClass is very active on several social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But before getting in touch, it’s good to look through the comprehensive FAQ page for information about accounts, billing, getting started, troubleshooting, and more.
Overall, MasterClass is an excellent online learning platform that is easy to navigate and enjoyable to use. In addition to a star-studded list of instructors hailing from various fields and industries, the studio-quality classes are split up into bite-sized video lectures that give students the chance to really digest all the information. The fact that there are dedicated apps for both iOS and Android is a plus point, too. Students can easily watch the lessons on their phones during a commute or stroll. MasterClass also offers 24/7 email support, reasonable phone customer service, and a thorough FAQ page to ensure that everyone gets the help they need. Although subscriptions are charged annually, it’s possible to try out the service yourself through the 30-day money-back guarantee. This gives you more than enough time to watch as many videos as you like and decide whether it’s worth your time and money.
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