May 19, 2017 08:16 AM EDT
Imagine having a design class with Frank Gehry, or a cooking lesson with Gordon Ramsay, or a scriptwriting class with Aaron Sorkin - that would be pure heaven. This is not impossible anymore because Master Class, an online learning platform, offers such classes. The question, however, is if it is worth it.
Master Class is an online learning platform in the tradition of Khan Academy, Udemy, and other MOOCs platforms. What makes it stand out, however, is that for $90, anyone can have lifetime access to a class taught by big names in different disciplines.
For example, Steve Martin teaches comedy, Diane von Furstenberg teaches students how to build a fashion brand, David Mamet teaches dramatic writing and Shonda Rhimes on how to write a script for television. Most of these classes contain 20 10-minute videos on different topics about the class.
When criticized for being just a marketing ploy to get more money from students, Master Class co-founder David Rogier explained that he just wanted people to learn from those who are the best in each industry and discipline they belong to. He also added that students will never get tired learning from these masters even if it's after 100 years later.
Rogier has a point but is it really worth it?
Some of the students who took the classes have mixed reviews about the. For example, author Sherry Strong took classes taught by Steve Martin and Aaron Sorkin. She said that Steve Martin's class helped her infuse some comedy in her discussion which helped people warm up to her. On the other hand, she found Aaron Sorkin's screenwriting class missing some 'key basics.' She was quick to add that perhaps Sorkin's class is meant for advanced writers.
Master Class might be a brilliant move or a waste of money depending on who takes the classes and the expectations they have of them. However, if having a celebrity instructor would do good on the resume and increase employment opportunities for the person, it might not hurt at all.
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