Q: Why do I need a Google or Microsoft account to use Udemy through the Library?
The short answer
For our eLearning service Udemy, presented by Gale: Once Gale verifies you are a valid Library patron, Google and Microsoft accounts provide Gale a quick and secure way to create your private learning account within Gale’s Udemy portal. This is a temporary solution put in place while a simpler, more accommodating authentication system is developed for this service.
Gale, a Cengage Learning company accustomed to providing digital resources to libraries, has partnered with Udemy, a consumer-driven online learning platform, to bring the Udemy for Business curated course collection to libraries. Gale's system is built to verify that users are valid library patrons but does not store any individual's data. Udemy uses a different authentication system that only works for individuals, so they had to figure out a way to do both: verify valid library patrons, then identify and "pass" an individual to their own personal account within Udemy.
Using Google and Microsoft accounts is the short-term solution. Once Gale verifies you are a library patron, Gale is temporarily using the quasi-IdP (Identity Provider) services built into Google and Microsoft accounts to create your own personal profile within the Udemy. You can create a free-of-charge Google account or Microsoft account using any email address, and you may already have a Google-supported or Microsoft-supported account through work or school. Once you sign in, you’ll have access to Gale’s learning portal within Udemy.
In the long-term, Gale is committed to simplifying this process so you can easily access Gale's Udemy portal with any email address in just a few steps. This system will take time to develop, so the authentication process using a Google or Microsoft account provides an opportunity for our patrons to access Udemy courses now while that system is in development.
Share your thoughts
Udemy has been in the consumer market since 2010 but is new to libraries. They have partnered with Gale, a well-respected library content provider, to adapt their product to meet library needs. This is a work in progress. Throughout 2020, Gale and Udemy are fine-tuning their systems based on feedback from library users, and the Library is providing access to this product now for our patrons who would like to explore Udemy content immediately and shape its future in libraries.
We highly encourage you to share your thoughts in a 3-minute Udemy feedback survey »