Hey there instructors!
We are looking into adding new sub-groups to the community and we’d like your feedback.
These groups are designed to fit more niche topics within the instructor community that don’t necessarily fit the current categories we have to offer.
This poll ends Friday, February 10th at 4:00pm PT so be sure to get your suggestions in before then!
Which type of sub-group would you like to see come next?
Share your preferred option in the comments below!
I don't see any reason to add more groups. I never use them. I would vote to reduce their number if that option existed.
All I look at is "Latest". If I see something relevant that I want to read or add my two cents to, I click on it.
I agree. Instead, the ability to add "tags" and filter the latest streams based on tags might provide a richer experience. Minimum 1 and Max 3 tags per thread while creation could suffice.
I do not understand what purpose this would serve.
It would simply distribute the posts of a sparse community population across further sections.
I would prefer the team to invest time in attracting participation from other Instructors, and improving the relationship between Peer-to-Peer discussion and direct official responses from Udemy Support.
More sub-groups seem as irrelevant as the Rankings.
I'm in agreement with @MichaelPog. I never use them either. I just look at the "Latest" and "Unanswered" posts to see if there's any info I can add of value regardless of how it's categorized.
I have never opened the ones we have. Like @MichaelPog Michael I go the latest.
@MichaelPog Thank you for the feedback! For a little background, we are trying to find ways to bring additional value to the community. We've heard time and time again from instructors that it would be nice to network with others who are in a similar point in their journey or teach the same subject.
For example, if we were to set up a group for "Instructors with 75k+" students", our hypothesis is that it would allow instructors who are at that level to discuss more advanced topics than what are found in the general community.
Again, just a hypothesis, but a way that we are brainstorming to make this community more vibrant!
@Anonymous Interesting. I'm curious to know more. Would these tags be related to the topic of the discussion, the instructor, or level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) of topic?
Thank you @ChrystieV for providing context to this poll.
I personally still don't see a lot of value from it.
Segregating instructors with fewer students from those with more will not provide any value to instructors with many students but will hurt those with fewer.
I have never found myself coming to this community with a question that I wanted to ask, and then stopping myself from asking it just because there are folks with less than 1,000 students here that were going to see it.
It just doesn't make any sense.
Not to mention that there are many instructors with inflated numbers due to free enrollments.
On that note:
I do think that taking feedback from instructors with 10 students and 1 course and putting it in the same thread and assigning it the same weight as feedback from instructors with thousands of students who do Udemy full-time is incorrect.
I'm not saying new instructors shouldn't be listened to, but I am saying that instructors on different stages on Udemy have different problems. And the number of new instructors with 1 course is far greater than instructors who have 10+ but make Udemy most of their money.
Both groups should be taken seriously, but the feedback should be bucketed separately.
I hope you understand what I mean.
@ChrystieV , the tags should be a predetermined set from which instructor should pick while posting. Example, beginner, course creation, finance. You may check Dev.to for a sample user experience.
@ChrystieV I like @Anonymous idea of giving instructors the ability to tag posts. But I also think that @Human-Science has a very good point, that the goal of the Udemy community team should be to "invest time in attracting participation from other Instructors, and improving the relationship between Peer-to-Peer discussion."
With over 74k Udemy instructors, I'd say that easily less than 1% actively engage in the Udemy Instructor Community on a regular basis. I don't think adding more sub-groups will increase participation, unless Udemy is actively and regularly engaging instructors outside of the community to entice them to check it out and participate in the discussions.
I think the idea of segregating Instructors by any criteria - especially one based on enrollment numbers - is antisocial and could turn the Forum from a barley used amplifier of frustration into virtual extinction. I certainly would cease to contribute on principal.
In my opinion, the team should be concentrating on expanding inclusivity, not implementing exclusivity. Furthermore, are there really enough high enrollment Instructors here to populate this exclusive section?
The fact remains that questions often go unanswered on this Forum, while instructors consistently express dissatisfaction with the same issues, particularly the lack of connection between the Forum and the official Udemy support team. Meanwhile, a depressingly low percentage of Instructors take part.
Surely that is where your attention should be.
And if you really must create a new section of the Forum, then create one where Instructors can communicate with support staff to get definitive responses to the issues obstructing their progress.
The time spent asking us questions, and conceiving of further sections to add, could be spent responding more substantively to the questions we are asking you.
Over and over again, Instructors come here with an issue, only to be told that the Forum is not a Support Escalation channel. Yet, sometimes, a Community Manager will 'escalate' an issue, and forward it on for attention.
Other times, a Community Manager will offer to investigate an issue, but then never actually return with an answer.
Meanwhile, repeatedly, Instructors complain at the template-based responses received from support and Trust and Safety.
Meanwhile, a tiny few successful instructors, like @LawrenceMMiller, @MichaelPog and @SharonRamel have given significant amounts of time to posting responses.
Take those people away and the Forum would be one big - or rather small - echo chamber.
@AHardinis right when he says:
@Anonymous I agree that tags would be very helpful, and you'll be happy to hear that tags are something we are looking into at the moment & hope to be able to roll that out in the near future.
@Human-Science Appreciate your feedback here and will provide you with even more context in the goal of these sub-groups. But first, it's clear that you've been dissatisfied with Udemy support, Udemy policies and the community team at times as you've voiced in different threads.
Our goal within the community is to be a hub for instructor interaction, course creation guidance & networking opportunities. Though we can help with a few support threads, most of them are more involved than this team can manage and therefore we have no choice but to direct the instructor to support.
Our goal with creating sub-groups is not to segregate our instructors but to provide more value. Though you are right... Larry Miller, Sharon Ramel & many of our Community Champions are wonderful and gracious to answer newcomers' questions, we have received a lot of comments that instructors would like to network with others that are on their same level, or locale, or gender, etc. In fact, our data supports this, as it shows that smaller groups (like the Published Instructor Club) have about 82% more engagement than other groups.
If you don't mind, I'd love to give you an example. For instance, Adobe decides it wants to start general community for its customers. As the community grows, members start to get restless because every time they come to the community they see questions and discussions for programs they aren't using. These discussions aren't relevant to them, as a result, they visit the community less and less. BUT then Adobe introduces separate boards for Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. members feel engaged again because they are able to discuss things they are interested in, without having to weed through the hundreds of discussions that don't apply to them.
We see these smaller sub-groups as a way to re-engage our instructors and bring back those who have not returned in months. But again, it's only an idea we are playing with and appreciate the feedback that you and the others in this thread have given us.
@MichaelPog I do understand thank you for the follow-up. You are always very gracious to instructors at all levels of their journey in the community & in our coffee chats so we are lucky to have you here.
You bring up a good point about qualifying the caliber of responses from the community and that instructors at various levels have different needs...to some degree that is what we are trying to solve for with the sub-groups.
We are asking ourselves, "How can instructors who need help get an accurate response from a qualified community member without having to weed through dozens of other discussions?"
One of the scenarios we've considered:
For example, if you are a programming instructor and have a question about setting up a coding exercise in Udemy, would you prefer to ask your question to a group of other programming instructors or the general community? Our guess is that you would prefer to ask the other programmers and we want to be sure that we are providing that level of value to our members.
Again, this is just an idea that we had and the feedback in this thread has been very eye-opening. Thank you always for your candor, I appreciate it!
@ChrystieV I completely understand your intent and I completely support it. This is great that you guys are thinking about it.
Here are some thoughts on how I see it.
If I take your example of the programming instructor literally, then I'd say this.
For technical problems, nobody is going to sit here and answer those questions. Community champions or other people who volunteer their time are not going to replace looking at Documentation and doing the work of Technical Support.
If I read your example more figuratively, then the effect may actually be the opposite of what you'd expect.
The great thing about this community as it is, is we all teach in different categories and we don't directly compete with each other.
If you put programming instructors in one group, business instructors in another, and management in yet another, why would they sit there and help their direct competitors?
Here is another observation of mine from using the Udemy community since 2018.
Most of the posts here are not about asking for technical help.
The majority of what I see is a pure rant, and that's normal. We get peanuts per enrollment, and occasionally get emotionally abused by unfair reviews. We are all by ourselves and nobody around us even understands what exactly we do. So this community is a perfect place to come on a bad day and get some emotional support. (I'm not saying it's all bad, otherwise, we wouldn't be here, but there is this aspect)
Another very popular category of posts I noticed is frustration with Udemy:
Support, Policy or stuff just breaking, payments being late, etc.For that, talking to an empathetic human being like you, Bella, and other community moderators is a real-life savior. Seriously!
Other than that, I don't see any pattern in the community and that's why I don't have any ideas for new groups.
If anything, instead of thinking of new groups I would suggest upgrading your roles from "community moderators" to Udemy Spokesperson or something like that.
Or dedicating a person on your team to that specifically.
The biggest problem I see is the information between instructors and Udemy has no clear channel.
Example: I proposed to add analytics for coding exercises ages ago as part of a different group. I've been shooting in every direction trying to figure out what team has it on the roadmap if at all, and when will it be delivered (if at all).
Eventually, by accident, I had the chance to ask that during the last AMA, and I was lucky to get the answer, because the person in that AMA (Jacob, I think?) was just the right person, at the right time to know this information.
This happens all the time.
Having a person with a clear role of digging information out of the internal Udemy teams, product roadmaps, and all the bureaucracy and getting it to us as well as taking our information and bringing it to the right people at Udemy will have the biggest value for instructors. Actually, you've been sort of unofficially doing it already. But you've also indicated at different points that technically it's not your role and you don't have the capacity for that. Well, I think is what we really need.
(This was very long, but I hope it helps.)
@ChrystieVAdding a few more ideas based on the conversation till now. As a relatively new community member, I could easily see the noise suppressing polite queries unintentionally. This is a common problem across the medium itself, not just this forum but the internet in general. There is no silver bullet, but my concern is about burning out people who are genuinely engaging for the betterment of the community and reaching out voluntarily. This includes instructors as well as community managers.
The following suggestions might reduce the workload and help human intervention organically. ( Based on my limited experience and opinions.)
1. The instructor badge ranking system seems to have increased the noise. Toning down hierarchies might help. Only being vocal getting incentivized over adding value is an issue. I understand it's a tightrope to walk. But "less is more" should be prioritized.
2. Make instructor and student onboarding courses mandatory before moving to the following stages. Instructors must know about all tools before publishing, and students about the platform. Make free course completion a check. Won't eliminate issues, but it might reduce the unanswered backlog.
3. Publish more stats fortnightly or monthly. The earning milestone posts can be autogenerated. Limit the response to likes and disable comments. Publish category-wise earnings distribution monthly. Holding back the earner's name will do. The trends matter. Automated dashboard alerts for instructors about payment issues might reduce confusion.
4. Publish the top categories of posts per month as word clouds. As mentioned, sometimes, knowing others face the same issue is all one wants to hear. Having a daily updated banner might be too fancy.
5. Publish the instructor partners list regularly. It's a built-in indication of being familiar with the platform. If the instructor partners are not active in the community, then much experience-based information will continue to get reposted. Here is an example of a similar situation with a famous text editor called Vim https://stackoverflow.blog/2017/05/23/stack-overflow-helping-one-million-developers-exit-vim/
6. A nuanced feedback system beyond ratings is needed. This will need some initiatives across the platform, but AFAIK, it's an innovation that might easily earn a couple of years of advantage over competitors. The ad-seller platform mentality heavily influences the current system. The anxiety in the community posts reflects the same. The average content quality confirms the same. The lack of incentives for accountability towards the community proves the same.
7. Removing inactive members' access might improve the login rate. But logging in to maintain active status rarely add value to the conversation.
A (even more) random thought, as long as this community is closed to the student's views, the accountability aspect will never happen. The moment actions here become part of the public image of the instructors among potential customers, the community will go from Twitter to Instagram overnight! I guess we are looking for a middle ground. If only I could think of some monetary correlation to design such an incentive... 😃
I would see value in #2 for full time instructors with teams, not really the rest.
I think there's some confusion over what a "sub-group" is. I think we're just talking about expanding the taxonomy for new posts, right? So if you want to post something that doesn't fit into "Published Instructor Club / Course Creation" etc., like a discussion specific to growing sales for instructors at a certain point in their journey (that's my vote, by the way) there's a place to put it. Or maybe there's an "off-topic lounge" where people can just post stuff about... whatever. Good places to be a digital nomad, what people are doing for other side businesses, etc.
But, these wouldn't be closed communities, right? I assume they would still make into the "latest" and "trending" buckets that people check on a daily basis, if so warranted.
@Thor assuming you replied to my post.
I mean common Udemy maintained courses. The platform experience being dissociated from community queries might reduce burden and frequency of usage related questions and bad reviews related grievances. If a product team runs those courses, they get the feedback directly instead of convoluted email and community media. Just a thought.
The cloud vendors have such getting started courses running as automated environments so something the user experience team at Udemy might be able to adopt after necessary tweaks.
I understand and appreciate your response.
However, Adobe Forums meet a need by providing actionable definitive answers to software users. A contributor rarely needs to post a reply that diverts a user to Adobe Support. That is because the Forums remain highly populated with users who have in-depth knowledge of how to use Adobe Applications. We cannot meaningfully compare that to the Udemy Forum because members of this community, including the Community Managers and Champions, are, by their admission, often unable to substantively answer individual queries.Another comparison might be the Google Webmaster Forums. When I was a member of those Forums some years ago, experienced Webmasters who did not work for Google and had no access to their internal policies provided advice to those seeking to maximize their SEO.However, they also had some Google Staff who monitored the Forums and stepped in with definitive answers when non-employee contributors needed more inside knowledge to answer posts.By contrast, this Forum has absolutely no contribution from any Udemy representative knowledgeable about policies, protocols, guidelines, or technicalities.As with most life domains, the victims of this deficit are the poorest and most vulnerable. Novice instructors struggling hard to penetrate the Udemy Market come to the Forum hoping for clarity, often already frustrated by the template-based responses from Support.Community Managers often tell them this is not an escalation channel for Support. So far, I have not seen a Community Manager explain how an Instructor can escalate their inquiry.Sometimes, a Community Manager contradicts the claim by telling an Instructor they have forwarded their inquiry to the Udemy Support Team, offering to get back to the Instructor upon receiving a reply.Yet, it remains a mystery why sometimes Community Managers retort with the stock reminder that the Forum is not a channel for escalation and other times expedite a forwarding process.Furthermore, it seems equally dependent upon a pot of poorly defined luck whether or not an Instructor receives a reply following the forwarding process.Consequently, Instructors cannot come to the Forum and find threads containing a reliably definitive response on behalf of Udemy. You might argue that they can find the official line in the Support Articles. However, notwithstanding those who come here before mustering the effort to read them, the Support Articles often fail to provide answers which is why Instructors come here in the first place.I am not suggesting that this Forum or its Managers and Champions fail to meet some of the needs expressed by Instructors. I am not criticizing their work or their person. And I am grateful for the assistance I have received since joining the Forum.I am suggesting that the absence of contributions from Udemy Staff able to analyze and respond to issues of policies, protocols, guidelines, and technicalities, in the context of individual cases, including Udemy for Business, Personal Subscription, and the Marketplace renders the Forum of very little use for those seeking to make their way through the often intimidating maze of course publication and promotion.It would make little difference if the Community Managers resigned from Udemy and joined Community Champions to start a Forum offsite on a private domain, invited Instructors to join, and sent them back to Udemy Support for answers to questions beyond their knowledge. Furthermore, it may provide a better experience because they could redefine the permissible parameters of self-expression without corporate constraint.How does it benefit the user that this Forum is Udemy owned and hosted? What is its value proposition that any Champion could not swiftly and efficiently duplicate and exceed?The answer to that question ought to be that as a Udemy-owned and hosted community, it can provide definitive and authoritative official answers to queries that help Instructors move forward with confidence.I would like to know if anyone could proffer that answer in confidence.Therefore, if you start a new section, it should be an indexed, searchable group managed by representatives of Udemy, who can respond definitively to issues. Then, instead of sending Instructors back to the Support channel that has failed to answer their queries in the first place, Community Managers and Champions could escalate them here, flagging them for an official support response, which would be transparent and available to everyone.Over time this would also reduce the load on Support and limit the repetitious circuitry that bounces Instructors from Support to Forum to Support.Unless this happens, I see little longevity in the Forum.
@Anonymous Ah no, I meant this one:
Groups related to different stages of the instructor journey (Just getting started, part-time instructor, full-time/established instructor)
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion groups to talk about initiatives with content. This is a much sought after training area. I have students from a lot of countries, although mainly USA and India. This could be a space to talk culture and learn about the students. Also, instructors could share about cultural considerations when teaching…..things a westerner may need to know.
I actually think that a logarithm YouTube style that earmarks you on topics that interest you, rather than you having to search through the maize of possibilities, might be more appropriate for us busy and hard-working instructors 😂, hence we could be organically grouped and we could have the option of opting out when we outgrow a subject, etc. I honestly don't even go into the myriad of possible subject matters available because I don't have a lot of time and I get disheartened 🥺
Thank you all for your valuable feedback on the community sub-group poll. We have taken your suggestions into consideration and will keep them in mind as we look into this.
In the meantime, I am happy to announce that we have now introduced the "tags" feature in the community (thank you @Anonymous for the suggestion). Members can now add tags when creating a post, which can help to categorize and filter content for a richer and more personalized experience.
We're also looking into the 'Latest' posts tab to be more visible and easily accessible on the homepage.
Thank you for being a part of the community and helping us make it a better place.
Oh thank God @Bella !
(And thank you of course;))
I also wanted to point out that community announcements don't show up under the latest tab.
Maybe it can also be fixed?
Firstly, @BellaA thank you for asking. Secondly, thank you to the instructors who took time to add value and contribute constructive ideas. I didn't even read all the responses, because it became too time consuming, but here were some: @LawrenceMMiller @MichaelPog @SharonRamel
Last, but not least, I think that this thread is an example of how not do have these discussions. Would there be greater value and better use of everyone's time if you brought in a group of instructors, and organised a series of brainstorm calls? These would have to be diverse to include experienced and less experienced instructors, as well as different time zones.
I feel it's a very important topic. As I am new on udemy, but on teaching online, I was searching on YouTube how to find the url of my published course on udemy. And you ppl. Know what stuff I found on YouTube. Hundereds of videos in which there were a lot of tricks to download the udemy courses and videos for free.
I feel this is an era of online work and it will increase with time. Aa a result, the cyber threat is increased.
I suggest udemy must use some more and power full tools for cybersecyrity. It's the concern of alll the online works. Banks are on especial danger.
So, udemy must update the pitfalls and leaks so that no one could scam it. Thousands of hardworking ppl work goes just free of cost. There is no ethics in Scammets.
Please consider my suggestion.
And at the same time, if someone can tell me where can I find the url of my first published case with students. Because the url I received after my course was published, it plays the while course.
A url specifying a suumary of the course. I hope I made my two points. Please reply.
Prof. Shahzad Waseem
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