Talk:Udacity

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Notability[edit]

I wanted to address the notability tag recently placed on the article. As a general rule, institutions of higher education are notable (although not every website purporting to do so is such, of course). In this case, there does seem to be sustained coverage in the media, which is certainly an important feature. For instance, the Oregonian just ran a story two days ago about a new education startup which noted Udacity was noted as a competitor. Likewise, it was mentioned in a Mashable article a day before that, again noting it as an early adopter of a increasingly crowded field. In addition to these, I see two more mentions in the news this week (a Business Wire article on the MCD conference and a Observer-Dispatch article on online education at Colgate University).

My inclination is to remove the tag (but, as the one who wrote the stub, I am slightly biased). --TeaDrinker (talk) 22:17, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

I wouldn't call Udacity an institution of higher education. At least officially, it's not a university/college and according to the definition at higher education it doesn't fit the bill. It is more of a course producer/authoring platform.
This platform was announced this year, and it doesn't seem it has gotten much press coverage or an impact in any field. Even if this platform could become notable, Wikipedia shouldn't be including articles about potentially notable institutions.
My inclination is to include any information about Udacity into the article Sebastian Thrun. I don't have doubts about the notability of him, and it won't be misplaced since it looks like he is the most prominent person in this enterprise. XPPaul (talk) 00:11, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
I did a quick search on Lexis-Nexis and Access World News. Thun and Udacity are often mentioned together, but others are included as well. Here's my list:
Here are the news mentions I could locate from Lexis-Nexis and Access World News:
  • The Guardian, April 20
  • Oregonian, April 19
  • New York Times, April 18
  • Mashable.com, April 18
  • Business Wire, April 17
  • Observer-Dispatch, April 16
  • Tech Crunch article syndicated:
  • Alemeda Time-Star, April 4
  • The Argus, April 4
  • The Chronicle (Centralia, WA), April 4
  • Contra Costa Times, April 4
  • Daily Review (Hayword, CA), April 4
  • Oakland Tribune, April 4
  • San Mateo County Times, April 4
  • Tri-Valley Herald, April 4
  • The Chronicle (Centralia, WA), April 3 (a different article)
  • International Herald Tribune, March 29
  • New York Times, March 29
  • Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 28
  • Daily News of Los Angeles, March 27
  • Market Wire, March 17
  • Pittsburg Post-Gazette, March 11
  • Irish Times, March 5
  • New York Times, March 5
  • The Chronicle, February 28
  • National Public Radio, January 23
Many of these are not specific to Udacity, but rather discussing online higher education in general and giving Udacity as an example. In that sense, they are not always in depth or describing new material. However I think there's more than enough to work with to demonstrate independent notability of the subject. I added a bit from the Guardian to the article.
As for whether it is higher education, most of the articles seem to describe it as part of a trend in higher education, although you're absolutely correct it is not a traditional degree-granting institution. I am not sure how to make this clear in the lead. --TeaDrinker (talk) 00:43, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
I still do not feel like calling Udacity notable. Most mentions are around the same date, which implies that they are talking about one event. And many mentions are of completely unknown newspapers. Honolulu Star-Adviser? Who reads that? Anyway, although it's an important project of a notable person, and should have a place in Wikipedia therefore, why should it have its own article? XPPaul (talk) 14:24, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is Hawaii's largest newspaper with a daily circulation over 100,000. But multiple articles in the national press seems to be sufficient to me; because something was covered in small media sources does not negate its coverage in major. What are you looking for to establish notability? I feel like we have sufficient evidence to meet WP:CORP. Many of the sources mention both founders, or just say "Stanford Professors." If you still don't agree, it sounds like you want to propose a merger. --TeaDrinker (talk) 00:40, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I think I'll propose a merger. In any case, I won't propose a deletion of this article. XPPaul (talk) 11:19, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Let me know if you need any help. (I oppose the merger, but would be happy to help set up the discussion page, etc.) --TeaDrinker (talk) 23:15, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Any objections to removing the notability banner? --23:05, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

rmv[edit]

I removed the following sentence: It is the outgrowth of free computer science classes offered in 2011 through Stanford University.[1].

Actually Coursera is the outgrowth of the classes at Stanford. 88.14.194.7 (talk) 23:55, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

I believe both originated with Stanford. Udacity with Thrun and Evans, Coursera with Ng and Koller. I have also removed the claim that Udacity plans to sell private information to finance itself, since that was uncited. --TeaDrinker (talk) 00:45, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
True, both started at Stanford, the AI class was taught by Prof. Thrun and Norvig from Stanford, and KnowLabs, the company helping with that course is now part of Udacity. (www.ai-class.com has even the Stanford logo on it) --Silvrous (talk) 09:32, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

For-profit corporation[edit]

I edited the article to mention that Udacity is a for-profit corporation, but the edit was marked as vandalism and removed. I'm not sure why. Udacity is a for-profit corporation. Higher education providers are routinely classified as for-profit/non-profit and public/private. The fact that Udacity is for-profit is certainly as relevant as the fact that it is private.

Is the word "corporation" objectionable? I'm OK with leaving it as "organization", but it seems strange to treat Udacity differently from other corporations. Apple, IBM, etc. are all described as corporations on Wikipedia. Why not Udacity? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.40.69.232 (talk) 00:52, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

It just looks odd as the opening sentence to the Lead paragraph: "Udacity is a private for-profit educational corporation founded by ..."
Why does it need to be so prominent? Are you not making a *point* here? Seems so to me, but ...
I shall leave it as your original revision.
What do other interested editors think, I wonder? Cheers!
— | Gareth Griffith-Jones | The Welsh Buzzard | — 08:42, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Just for comparison, look at University of Phoenix and note the for-profit nature of the school is in the lead sentence. I've seen similar kinds of sentences on several other institutions of higher learning. I fail to see any problem at all as long as it is factual, sourced, and not overwhelming the article, which this isn't. Some minor tweaking of the sentence can happen, but certainly the words "for-profit" is not a problem in that sentence or where it is located. --Robert Horning (talk) 21:43, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree that it looks a little awkward. I think it's because "private for-profit" is somewhat redundant. If it's for-profit, then it is almost certainly private. But if it's private, it is not necessarily for-profit. So I've removed the word "private". I also replaced the word "corporation" with "organization". Although it's not as accurate, it doesn't change the meaning much and it will probably seem more neutral.108.40.69.232 (talk) 12:17, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Even that isn't quite true. Stevens–Henager College is an example of a private non-profit college, to give an example of where the "for profit" and "non-profit" distinction might actually matter when you are talking what type of private school is being operated. As for a distinction between a private and public "for profit institution or organization", I suppose that is also in the eye of the beholder. Some government sponsored universities and colleges actually do become a profit center (aka earn money) for the respective governments, even if their charters don't necessarily require that to happen. --Robert Horning (talk) 21:13, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Suggestion about article structure[edit]

It seems that the opening section is awkwardly large because it incorporates not just a summary of info about Udacity but also a fairly detailed account of its origins and history. I think it would improve the article to create a separate History section. I notice that EdX has such a section and Coursera also does not. Unless there are loud objections, or somebody else decides to make this change, I will make it in a few days. I'd also like to add a reference to this article about Udacity's origins. Having road-tested courses from Udacity, Coursera, and EdX, I think it is striking that Udacity's seem to be built on the model of Khan Academy (visuals and quizzes) whereas the other two seem to be built on a model of lecture/talking heads. But I guess that strays into the territory of discussing "the subject of the article." HouseOfChange (talk) 01:53, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Professor leaving Stanford for online education startup". MSNBC. 25 January, 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)