From its website
Udacity courses include lecture videos, quizzes and homework assignments. Multiple video short video sections make up each course unit. Each video is roughly five minutes or less, giving you the chance to learn piece by piece and re-watch short lesson portions with ease. Quizzes are embedded within the lecture videos and are meant to let you check-in with how completely you are digesting the course information. Once you take a quiz, which could be a multiple choice quiz, a fill in the blank quiz or a programming quiz, you will receive immediate feedback. Quizzes don’t count towards your grade, and you can try them as many times as you want.
Udacity’s FREE beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses “prepare students for positions as software developers, web developers, IOS developers, Android developers, QA professionals and Machine Learning Experts.”
Beginning courses include college algebra and introduction to computer science; intermediate–web development and software testing, advanced–design of computer programs and applied cryptography. Udacity courses are self-paced and organized with a syllabus, videos of the instructor, homework, and exams. Discussion boards and wikis are used to support learning with peers. Udacity advertises that it promotes learning by doing, uses real world examples, offers active communities for learning support. By studying at Udacity, learners are building their opportunities for academic and career advancement. So far everything is free; it remains to be seen how Udacity will monetize its services in the future.
Udacity emerged from experiments in teaching computer science classes online at Stanford in 2011. Sebastian Thrun, a Research Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, a Google Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the German Academy of Sciences converted to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) when he realized he and other educators could reach many thousands of learners in one course. He set up Udacity along with with David Stavens and Mike Sokolsky at the beginning of 2012. Thrun has been joined in the 100,000 student virtual classroom by Peter Norvig from the Google Research Division and NASA Ames Research Center and educators from the University of Virginia and San Jose State University among others.