In Focus: Would you recommend to students, faculty?

By Northern Star staff is an online learning company meant to teach people the skills needed to achieve their career goals, according to their website. NIU signed a three year contract with in November that would allow students and faculty access to the site.

Kara Mercer is diverse in its categories, so I would recommend it to students looking to learn something new.

There are so many topics to learn about on the website, from “Learn Photography: Shooting in Raw Mode” to “Risk-Taking for Leaders.” Students can make playlists of the things they are interested in and come back to them later.

The website lists how many courses there are next to each category. Each video is broken into an introduction and subheads with short videos so users can skip around.

If students are looking for a great way to learn a new skill, is definitely a place student should visit.

Kaylyn Zielinski is a great resource for students who want to learn more outside of class.

In college sometimes it is easy to wait until the last minute to ask for help on a difficult concept. With, students can log in and watch videos that will help teach a topic visually.

Even for students with majors that do not cover these topics, the website is still helpful.

There is never enough time or courses available for students to learn about everything they are going to need in their future career but could help with that. One example of an excellent subject that covers is personal branding through social media, which is something everyone should know with the growing use of social media in all career fields.

I would recommend this website to students who are looking to further their education beyond what is taught in the classroom and to review what they have already learned.

Abigail Zaccaria is a useful tool that provides instruction on many topics, but it is only supplementary and not a good fit for everyone.

Users can contact teachers through the website which is helpful for immediate questions but not all majors are covered in the topics provides information on.

The videos only provide basic knowledge and do not go into detail the way a class would. NIU students are able to access for free but not all majors can benefit from using the website.

I would not recommend it to students as a main source because none of the benefits of the site count for course credits. In short, is not for everyone and cannot take the place of a college degree.

Faith Mellenthin

As an illustration major, I am very pleased with the amount of design help that I have access to through However, I feel the website is lacking in other subjects that students could benefit from.

The subject matter is large, but I think it only handles the basic information for each course. The site is better suited for those who are not looking to go in-depth and are just using as the first step in a learning process. The website in no way can compare to taking courses at NIU.

Students should spend time on the site to see if it will help them based on their major but if it does not apply to their area of interest I would not recommend it.