After 7+ years of running Class Central, one thing I have learned is that people don’t always know exactly what they are looking for. Most people who visit Class Central never type a query into the search bar but instead find courses by browsing through our lists of subjects, universities, or trending courses. In fact, out of the hundreds of thousands of learners who use Class Central every month, only 3-4 % ever use our search feature.
As anyone who shops online can attest, a well thought out categorization system makes the difference between a delightful and frustrating browsing experience, especially if you aren’t totally sure what you’re looking for. The same is true for a search engine and discovery platform like Class Central. To date, we have been using a two-level subject taxonomy, which we first launched in 2015. It worked to track the MOOC space at that time, but now that the number of courses has grown 5X (as of our latest reporting on MOOC numbers), it’s time for us to expand our taxonomy to match.
We’re ready to go more granular. The new taxonomy we are designing goes far deeper – up to four levels deep. This allows us to create more specific subjects so that learners do not have to wade through hundreds of courses to find that perfect course. Once our new taxonomy is live, instead of browsing a single large category, such as Finance, you will be able to drill down to a much more narrow topic, like Personal Finance, Financial Valuation, or Corporate Finance.
The additional granularity also means that by using the follow button, you can really fine-tune your Class Central experience.
Over the next few months, you will see us greatly expand our taxonomy. We eventually plan to open source this taxonomy, so that anyone who is trying to understand or build for the online education space can benefit from our work. If you are interested in helping us build this taxonomy, please check out our open position.
In no particular order, here are all the new subjects on Class Central: