Udacity is bringing online learning into the real world. A new initiative dubbed ‘Udacity Connect’ (or UConnect) creates localized study groups for Nanodegree students — led by graduates.
While study groups are nothing new, Udacity hopes UConnect will help students feel less isolated in an environment that has them staring at screens most of the time. The company has been running UConnect in beta mode for some time, and says students participating in it were three times more likely to complete their Nanodegree program, and 30 percent more likely to turn in course projects.
UConnect is also a money-making proposition for graduates. Udacity says that top graduates are selected to be session leads for UConnect, are rated by students on their performance as leads and can make up to $11,000 per month. It dovetails with Udacity’s initiative to give graduates jobs as code reviewers.
Starting May 9, UConnect will launch in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. For Nanodegree students, UConnect is an optional $100 month add-on charge. To get everyone interested, Udacity is offering one free month to students that enroll before June 30.