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Great Courses Plus Review: Engage Your Mind

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iPad on desk: The Great Courses Plus ReviewDo you want to have a better understanding of the universe, learn the secrets of great mystery and suspense fiction, or master Tai Chi? What if you could do all these things without leaving the comfort of your home? Instead of binge watching TV shows, put your mind (and body) to good use binge learning thanks to The Great Courses. You’ll have access to courses that you can view anytime, taught by some of the world’s top professors in their field, for around the same cost as a Netflix membership. And, you’ll be just as entertained, as The Great Courses experts take you on an adventure with interactive, engaging content that makes learning fun (without the pressure of tests, homework or grades). So sit back, relax, and enjoy endless hours of e-learning on a variety of fun topics.

The Great Courses Plus logoVisit The Great Courses Plus Website

What Is The Great Courses Plus?

The Great Courses (formerly, The Teaching Company) is a website with a database of DVDs, CDs, audio and video downloads for purchase à la carte that has been around for more than 25 years. The Great Courses Plus is an online subscription service model that takes some of their content and streams it online and via an app.

Unlike other e-learning sites that are more focused on serious-minded and professional content to expand your skill set, Great Courses Plus lessons are designed around more leisurely and personal growth topics including everything from learning about Middle Eastern history, to how to draw, to gourmet cooking classes. These courses are taught by award-winning professors from Ivy League schools and reputable organizations like National Geographic and The Culinary Institute of America.

The Great Courses Plus videos also combine dynamic visuals and real world environments to make learning fun and more memorable than your average classroom lecture. For example, you’ll learn about wine at a bodega in California, get photography tips in real life event situations and find out how to master Tai Chi in tranquil spaces. Now that you have a better understanding of how The Great Courses Plus works, let’s take a look at some of the specific features and pricing info.

Key Features

  • 8,000+ video lectures (with new lectures added monthly)
  • High-definition quality on most courses
  • Courses come with detailed custom guidebooks (up to 600+ page PDFs)
  • Subjects include science and mathematics, history, fine arts and music, literature, business and economics, better living, philosophy and more
  • Access on the go via streaming video (also available via Roku, Apple TV and Google Play)
  • Take an entire course or individual classes within the course
  • Create a watchlist and view at your own pace in your own time

Pros

Cons

  • Taught by well-vetted instructors from accredited universities and institutions
  • Available on multiple devices and applications
  • Read reviews of courses and watch trailers before taking them
  • One fee gives you unlimited access to content
  • Free 30-day trial (for monthly subscription plan)
  • Members receive 70% off CDs and DVDs at TheGreatCourses.com
  • No accreditation/certification programs offered
  • Most courses are entry-level only
  • Some content seems a bit dated
  • Complaints about the apps not playing videos well

Great Courses Plus Cost

How much does Great Courses Plus cost? If you are looking to try it out, you should start with the monthly plan which comes with a free trial. If you think you’ll get good use from the membership, then upgrading to an annual plan is a good idea as it will save you money in the long run.

  • Monthly Plan: $19.99/month and has a 30-day free trial
  • Annual Plan: $14.99/month with annual plan billed at $179.99 annually (no refunds or free trial)

Great Courses Plus Coupon Code

None available at time of writing.

Great Courses Plus App

Another great thing about Great Courses Plus is their Great Courses Plus app. In addition to streaming online via a web browser, their apps allow you to take the content with you on the go. The Great Courses Plus app is available for iOS, Amazon Kindle and Android, as well as access from any Amazon Fire TV, Roku device or Apple TV (4th generation only).

What Do Customers Think of Great Courses Plus?

Positive Great Courses Plus Reviews

Although I am someone who has enjoyed the great courses and has a stack of “to watch” (guilty cringe), signing up for the GreatCoursesPlus has definitely been a good decision for me. I have already enjoyed the two courses that I have watched (the Black Plague, and living history) and utilized some of its features, going back and rewatching a few I didn’t understand. I am excited as I scroll through topics I normally don’t focus on, by the idea that I could watch one or two lectures to see if they interest me after all. – Mokilee, iTunes

These courses are not stuffy or boring. They are fun and I enjoy them very much. I have been purchasing them in the DVD issue for years now but I like this better on the streaming as I can do several different courses in a day while on the treadmill. The genealogy course if cram packed with great advice and information that I wish I would have had when I started out on my family tree over 10 years ago. Nonetheless it is still helpful and great to learn about the different sources. -Sue V, Facebook

Negative Great Courses Plus Reviews

Downloaded the app for our fire TV, my wife has a subscription. However, when trying to watch a chemistry class series, we constantly get an unable to play message and it causes it to stop and skip to the next episode, where it does it again. – G Mayer, Amazon

While the production values have gone up in recent years I’m afraid the quality seems to have suffered. In the early days of The Teaching Company the lecturers came across as very natural. They sounded as if they were giving their normal lectures to a classroom full of college students. In the more recent courses that sense of naturalism is sadly missing. The lecturers appear to be performing more to the camera. Many of the lectures also seem rather “dumbed down”. Often, the lecturers tend to speak unnaturally slowly, as if they suspect maybe their audience is a little dim. – Ben, Facebook

Video: Start Learning With The Great Courses

This minute and a half video shows you a basic overview of what to expect with The Great Courses Plus content.

Learn Something New Today

Visit The Great Courses Plus Website

If you are curious and have the desire to grow, then The Great Courses Plus is a great way to do so affordably. While it can’t teach you how to juggle or explain why the sky is blue, it can be a way to dive into a new hobby or learn a new skill. While their courses won’t turn you into a doctor, they are taught by people with PhDs and the topic areas are just as diverse as your imagination. With a free trial you have nothing to lose, so give them a try!

What will you learn on The Great Course Plus?

Sadie has been exploring the world since she was young - her first international adventure when she was 16 to Japan. She's traveled Europe and throughout the U.S. and loves to experience new places and things. When not writing, she can be found cooking vegetarian food, practicing yoga or enjoying museums and various cultures around DC.

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Awesome… I have been wanting to learn something new in the new year, this is just the motivation I need!

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