The Great Courses Reviews
About The Great Courses
The Great Courses, found online at TheGreatCourses.com, is a subsidiary of The Teaching Company which promises people educational courses that are “uniquely crafted for lifelong learners.”
How Does It Work?
According to their website, the creators of The Great Courses choose course subjects and select professors from thousands of options each year, and then build support teams for the professors so they can create “a customized and entertaining educational journey that’s both comprehensive and fascinating.”
The website says that their students can get fulfilling learning experiences without the drawbacks of traditional university classes like prerequisites, homework assignments, or exams. You can also choose the format that best suits your needs, whether that is video or audio, discs or digital.
Customers who know that they will take advantage of more than a single course are also welcome to sign up for The Great Courses Plus, which is a monthly subscription service that provides you access to all of the great courses which are conducted on video – it does not include audio courses at this time.
Currently the range of subjects offered by this company include Science, Music, Economics & Finance, Mathematics, Religion, Better Living, History, Philosophy, Professional, Fine Arts, Literature & Language, and more.
At this time, there are actually two different mobile applications for The Great Courses at this time. The first is the general application for students of The Great Courses, and the second is the app specifically designed for The Great Courses Plus, which is designed for video streaming. These apps are available on iOS, Android, Roku, and more.
Customers who are interested in purchasing a single course will be able to find them at a variety of price points, from courses as affordable as $19.95 to those that begin as high as $89.95. Customers who are interested in signing up for The Great Courses Plus can do so for $49.99 per month, which will begin with a free one month trial, or you can choose to pay annually which is $359.99, or a 40% savings off of paying monthly.
Whenever you order a course from this website, a Return Form will be printed on the back of the invoice included in your package. To return or exchange a product, all you have to do is fill out this form and send it back with all original discs, boxes, and guide books.
The Great Courses says that their customer satisfaction is 100% guaranteed, and customers who are dissatisfied with their purchase are welcome to exchange it for one of equal or lessor value at any time within a year of the initial purchase date. And if a disc ever breaks or warps, they will replace it as long as that course is still in production.
Customer Service Contact Info
Customers who would like to speak to their Customer Service team about their questions, concerns, or complaints can do so by phone at 800-832-2412 or by email at [email protected]
It appears as though this company has mixed reviews at this time, but mostly because of issues with their mobile applications. The courses themselves, their design and their content, all appear to be well liked, dating back to the time when the company was originally called The Teaching Company.
But most people are at a place where having the convenience of accessing their purchases via mobile apps on the go is extremely important, so having an app that still has issues and glitches is very disappointing to many customers.
Customers must consider this when choosing whether or not to invest in this company’s courses.
Competitors and Alternatives?
If you have experience with this company or their products, please leave your The Great Courses reviews below.
4 ‘The Great Courses’ Reviews
Typically high production value. The information is well presented by those knowledgeable in the field. Depending on the topic and the instructor the material may be slanted. For example, when it comes to the theology courses, I do not understand the inclusion of Bart Ehrman who has an overwhelmingly skeptic opinion. Why would you have a person who does not believe teaching what to believe?
On the other hand, the courses by William Cook are amazing and informative and well aligned with the "orthodox" position of historical Christianity.
Meaning, if you expect things to be 100 percent the way you believe you will be upset. At the same time you must not be too terribly familiar with higher education which frequently confronts the student with different and even radical ways of looking at a subject.
Bottom-line - If you see a course that looks interesting, do a quick search for the professor, see what he or she has written, taught, said, in the past and see if that is the type of person with the priorities you are interested in learning from.
I agree with the above review about left wing bias in the Great Courses. I mainly get the courses on science and mathematics. You can see the left wing bias in many of the course descriptions. For example, a new course has just come out, "Fighting Misinformation: Digital Media Literacy" with major support by IREX (International Research and Exchanges Board), which is a left wing propaganda organization. I don't object to people expressing their point of view, but I object when it is called education as a subterfuge for propaganda.
On the other hand, there are some courses that I thought would be biased and were not. The new course "The Rise of Marxism" by Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, was surprisingly not biased, at least in my opinion. He didn't downplay the failure of Marxism as an ideology or the atrocities Marxism has engendered. Another one, Understanding the Misconceptions of Science, I was expecting a propaganda campaign targeted to fundamentalist Christians who doubt Evolution. But it was pretty good.
You have to look closely at the course descriptions. With the online version, Great Courses Plus, you can pick and choose courses, stop watching one that looks biased, and move on to another one. But if you have to buy the DVDs, then you should be careful.
I've purchased 70 courses from them. Most are science, astronomy, geology, photography etc.
NOTE: any website that controls its OWN 1-5 star reviews is a SHAM. Do you REALLY think you will get the WHOLE picture?
I've written about 40 reviews - most 4-5 star positive reviews. The process is as follows: the review is submitted then read and analyzed by their "politically correct" staff, then posted. If economically threatening (as this note is), then they call it "moderation" (censored).
They've CENSORED twice my review on the course Power Over People where I pointed out that the professor goes into great detail about the RIGHT-wing atrocities of 6M dead (genocide) and 70M dead in WW2.
However when it comes to the LEFT-wing communist atrocities of 20M dead under Stalin and 40M dead under Mao – the professor blathers to us with frivolous insignificance about Karl Mark’s furniture and burial site and other irrelevance.
WHAT does that tell you? Is this rocket science? They refused to post this.
So avoid buying any courses on history and especially politics.
I find the courses themselves exceptional but I have always listened to them in my car so I have always downloaded the audio version because the video version was useless to me (driving my car), the CDs were inconvenient (I don't walk around with a CD player) and the audio versions were reasonably priced. It seems that Great Courses has teamed up with Audible and Audible requires that I maintain a subscription with it which I don't want to do or I pay for a "one-off" at a seriously inflated price. As a result, I will be checking into other options.