Watch Out, MasterClass: YouTube to Let Creators Offer Free or Paid Courses – PCMag

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Courses will let people buy access to ad-free educational material from their favorite YouTubers. The site is also launching an ad-free embedded player for third-party education sites.
I’ve been writing about tech, including everything from privacy and security to consumer electronics and startups, since 2011 for a variety of publications.
YouTube wants us to remember that its platform isn’t just for watching video essays, vlogs, and fan-made music videos featuring clips from obscure anime. It’s also for learning new things!
The company is looking to support people who use its platform for educational purposes with three new features: YouTube Player for Education, Courses, and Quizzes. (Mind the capitals.)
“To improve the YouTube experience in educational environments,” YouTube says(Opens in a new window), “we’re launching YouTube Player for Education — a new YouTube embedded player that shows content on commonly used education apps without distractions like ads, external links or recommendations.”
The company says this new video player will “improve upon the existing YouTube embedded player in Google Classroom for an even better YouTube experience.” It’s also partnering with education services such as EDpuzzle and Purdue University to make the player more broadly available.
The upcoming Courses feature, meanwhile, is supposed to make it easier for people to learn right on YouTube rather than relying on a dedicated education platform like Udemy or MasterClass.
“Next year, qualified creators can begin offering free or paid Courses to provide in-depth, structured learning experiences for viewers,” YouTube says. “Viewers who choose to buy a Course can watch the video ad-free and play it in the background.”
Which leaves Quizzes, which YouTube describes as “a new way for creators to help viewers test their knowledge.” The company’s preview of Quizzes suggests they’ll primarily be multiple choice questions that creators (and presumably Courses participants) can attach to videos.
YouTube says the new YouTube Player for Education is rolling out now; Courses will enter beta in the US and South Korea next year; and Quizzes “will roll out in beta over the coming months” before “all creators who have the Community tab” gain access to the feature next year.
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I’ve been writing about tech, including everything from privacy and security to consumer electronics and startups, since 2011 for a variety of publications.
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