Youtube is the de-facto university for online learning. But due to its enormous size, it is quite challenging to search for an online course that is of good quality and right fit for you. Here goes some tips to utilize Youtube education to its best and find the most relevant Youtube courses in less than five minutes.
Enter concrete keywords to filter Youtube education channels
For Google and Youtube, keywords are everything. Your keywords needs to reflect facts about the video you are looking for.
What you need to keep in mind though is, you are not searching for a standalone video. You are searching for is a reliable, consistent Youtube education channel that you can spend your time for months to learn a crucial concept.
For example, instead of searching “best tutorial for Java programming“, try to gather concrete results by trying combination of search:
- Write down “Java tutorial by X” – but do not search for that yet.
- Google “Best Java Youtube tutorial“, “Most effective Java Youtube course“, and “Best Java Youtube tutor” – try to compare results and see if any channel / tutor names appear in all searches. Replace X with those names (for example Java tutorial by FreeCodeCamp)
- Go to Youtube and search for “Java tutorial by FreeCodeCamp“
Why this is good approach? Because it gives you a better Youtube search filter suitable for your needs. It shows you content quantity and teaching scope of each prominent tutors. Depending upon if you want to learn just basic Java, or advanced Java, you can have your shortlist of Java Youtube channels.
Sort results by like/dislikes, number of views and channel subscriber count
This is a no-brainer advice, yet a large number of Youtube learners ignore it.
Youtube search sorts results by relevance. But you can sort it by number of views to gauge its popularity.
But to decide viewer satisfaction and overall engagement, two more stats are useful: Likes / dislikes and Subscriber count.
Likes count reflects individual video content quality (or popularity), while subscriber count reflects overall viewer engagement with entire Youtube channel. Obviously, more is better, and you are more likely to stick with a channel having 100k+ subscribers and/or 500k+ views.
Do not skip comments
But don’t take them too seriously!
If the video has too many comments, you need not read all comments, and you need not decide just on a couple of them too. Youtube allows you to sort comments by their popularity (how many people find that comment helpful), and comment post date.
On top of that, what you need is the essence of what they tell about the course content.
- Are the comments detailed enough? If yes, it shows that course content is detailed enough to arouse that level of discussion.
- Do they reflect too much troubleshooting is involved in learning the tools?
- Does the Youtube video creator responds to critical questions raised in comments?
- If top comments are simply spam containing abusive / unrelated messages, you should simply stop judging the course from comments. Instead, watch some part of the video to take an objective call.
Some comments might suck qualitatively, yes, but their highs-and-lows are quite a reflection of course quality, and eventually it will reflect how much viewing time it deserves from you.
Check for links in the Youtube course video description:
While many of us don’t focus on Youtube video description, this may contain important information. Before you dive into the course, check if its just meant to drive sales to certain products, or provide value to you as a student.
Divine online course creators put links to free code examples, diagrams, images and other important resources in the description. Mortal ones tend to put links to their salable products. Choose wisely 🙂
When it’s authority, just follow it
Irrespective of what trolls’s comments / likes / dislikes say, some youtube channels simply provide quality education. Each of their videos are great because they follow some common framework to make their content engaging and convincing. Some of the established Youtube educators include:
- FreeCodeCamp.org is a great non-profit blog that publishes youtube courses too, for everything from Node.js to Data Science
- Codecademy.com’s youtube channel also has extensive list of courses from OOP, API, Ruby on Rails to HTML and CSS. They too have a comprehensive blog explaining about programming topics.
- Brackey’s channel is a leader in Game Programming using Unity
- Edureka has very comprehensive courses for Devops learning
If it sucks, move over to another Youtube education channel
Seriously? It’s free after-all! How much can you expect from it?
While you are not paying a dime to watch Youtube content, you do spend serious time on this medium. And time is money, because
- Internet data costs you money
- Youtube course creator is getting paid by the time you watch ads on their channel.
In fact, this whole idea of free & passive Youtube browsing has another, bigger impact on your learning habits that you don’t realize.
Youtube is a great stockpile of content – quality content. Unfortunately, although it has taken some steps to prevent spams, finding quality content from Youtube is harder than finding a needle in the haystack.
When you don’t find a Youtube course that’s comprehensive and answers your crucial questions about technology or programming, you end up
- Screwing your understanding
- Wasting your precious time
- Deciding to never to find a better alternative
- Miss a serious career break
- Pick the right Youtube Course from search rankings, subscribers, views, likes and viewers’ comments.
- Never miss #2 to #10 search results entries while picking up a Youtube Course. Pick what is best, but also remember that what is best for everyone may, or may not be the best for you.
- Rule # 1: No matter what your friends tell you, Youtube education triumphs over most of the paid online courses, most of the time. Stop paying foolishly for an online course.
- Rule # 2: Be brave to abandon a Youtube course early if its not adding to your understanding. To find an alternative, follow Rule # 1 again. If you do not succeed, follow Rule # 3.
- Rule # 3: Abandon a course, skip some videos, but never abandon your goal. If Youtube can’t provide you a quality course, go for free and paid online courses on other education platforms.