Taxonomy update: changes to category & subcategory classifications

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Taxonomy update: changes to category & subcategory classifications

Community Manager
Community Manager

As Udemy becomes home to more and more courses and students, the way we organize all your content is increasingly important. We periodically make updates to the site's "taxonomy": the way categories, subcategories, and topics are organized. These updates are made based on industry standards, trends in content creation and student behavior, and feedback from both students and instructors.

 

Next week, we'll be making a batch of changes to our taxonomy. This includes the introduction of new categories like "No-Code Development" and "Esoteric Practices," removal of some redundant subcategories like "Home Business," and relabeling of some categories and subcategories to improve clarity. 

 

We've summarized the changes and the reasons behind them in the Teaching Center. If your courses have been reclassified as part of these changes (or at any point), you'll get an email summarizing any changes. 

 

Having the right taxonomy for your courses helps students find the content they want more quickly, and helps us make strong recommendations that keep them coming back for more. 

 

If you have general questions about these changes, please feel free to ask them here. You can always request a change to your category, subcategory, or primary topics by writing to instructorsupport@udemy.com.

24 Comments

The link says: Relabeling the “Mobile Apps” subcategory within Development to “Mobile Development”

 

Why not call it just "Mobile"?

Community Moderator
Community Moderator

Hey @CarstenMuessig, our goal with subcategory names is to be as clear and self-contained as possible, even if the subcategory name is displayed on its own since subcategories are not always displayed with their category names.

 

For example, a student landing on the "Entrepreneurship" page directly from offsite may not immediately see that it's within the "Business" category (see screenshot). That doesn't present a problem for something like Entrepreneurship that stands alone, but if that page simply said "Mobile" you might not know if you were looking at mobile development, the use of mobile apps, or even mobile homes or mobile construction.

 

Related, one part of this update is changing all "Other" subcategories to include their parent category to solve that exact problem.

 

Hi, there is a change of “Project Management” subcategory within Business to “Product & Project Management”.  While the words "Product" and "Project" sounds alike, even sharing the first three letters, these two topics are completely, completely different, and are widely understood as different across the industry.  Mixing these into one topic is not a good student experience.

 

Project Management is about management of scope, schedule, budget, risk, and people.  It has a long history as a certification through the Project Management Institute.

 

Product Management on the other hand is a very important discipline about deciding what features should go into a product, and optimizing the evolution of that product. 

 

There is no business organization where Project Managers and Product Managers are confused as the same person.  They are very, very different.

 

If you do a simple Google search for "product and project management", you will find many, many links that explain that these are very different.

 

This would be a big step backwards.  Here is the key question: how can we ensure Udemy takes a look at this information, and sincerely reconsiders it?  Honestly, just a few minutes of research on the above links will show that Udemy students looking for information on one of these categories will not want their search or topic results confused with the other.

 

Hi @Abbie , will really need your help on this. 

 

I sent an email to Instructor support, and they replied within minutes with a copy and past message that "Currently, this feature is not currently being built by our Product team. We do share all the suggestions we receive with our Product team, for consideration in future site improvements."

 

In other words, they did not understand my email. 

 

Honestly, please read just the first page for a Google search on "Project and product management".  Please, just take a look.  Every single link is about the difference between these two completely different categories. 

 

No business combines or mistakes these two roles.  Combining them in the same topic will be very confusing to all your students. 

 

UFB students in particular will roll their eyes.  Project managers will say "They don't understand we are not product managers?"  And Product Managers will say "No respect, don't understand we are a completely separate and important discipline.".

 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @WilliamStewart - thank you for your feedback. I will escalate this to the proper team for consideration.

Community Manager
Community Manager

@WilliamStewart - I shared your feedback with our taxonomy team. We definitely agree project and product management are different things, and they both do have separate topic-level taxonomy, including specific topic tags for the various project management certifications mentioned.

 

That said, there are some strong similarities that make it appropriate to house them in the same subcategory at least for now — they both concern managing how work is accomplished within a company, and our data shows some audience overlap between the two.
 
We always monitor the impact of these changes, so if we’re finding that students are confused or engaging less with this content as a result of the change, we’ll consider adjusting it. But for right now, our signals suggest this is the right thing to do. 

Thanks @Lili , I really appreciate your efforts and clarifications on this.

All my best,

Bill

@Lili 

 

Would like to chime in, and say that I also am not a fan of the pairing of "Project & Product Management". In my Product Management course, it's already a big issue where students accidentally enroll because they thought it said "Project Management" and then quickly realize a couple sections in that they're in the wrong course (in some cases after leaving a negative review). The two disciplines aren't really that similar, but it doesn't stop beginners from getting them mixed up. Combining the two would add to that confusion. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @EvanKimbrell - Thank you for your feedback. We understand that these are two separate disciplines and that the naming sometimes causes confusion. We feel this would be the case whether or not the courses were in a combined subcategory or separate subcategories. That said, we promise to keep and eye out for increased confusion and should there be any, we will address it in the next round of category changes.

@Lili @Abbie

Pls see below screenshot which is taken from my instructor homepage. There are 2 errors:

 

- red arrow: i at the the beginning missing

- green arrows: HTML tags are shown as text

 

Pls fix.

 

Untitled.jpg 

I am completely in agreement with William Stewart's views. Combining Product Management and Project Management is absolutely a retrograde step and displays a lack of understanding of nuances of business management disciplines, by whoever decided on this at Udemy. I have held very senior management positions in transnational companies in different industries and have been teaching MBA students for two decades .... and I think I know what I am talking about - the two disciplines are so different and call for totally different skill sets.

Hi Lili - 

Thanks for taking time to listen to community feedback.  I appreciate how much time can go into Categorising things.....

 

I'm just getting towards finishing my first course here on Udemy - about Compost.

 

Best category I can find is 'Lifestyle' and 'other'.  Which is obviously not great...

 

Obviously 'compost' would fit within 'Gardening', if that was possible.  But it's just not there.

(From my point of view, compost is a 'technique' we use as part of an overall 'strategy' within permaculture / holistic / regenerative design.  So it could also fall under Landscape & Gardening, or 'Ecological Design'...)

 

But 'Gardening' would seem to be a good start.

 

Thanks Lili,

Regards,

Darren.

Community Manager
Community Manager

@CarstenMuessig - the team is aware and are working to fix it. Thanks for letting us know!

 

@bala2020 - thanks for the additional feedback on the matter. I've passed this to the taxonomy team.

 

@InterConnected - thanks for the feedback. As more courses are created within a particular category or sub-category, we may add additional options in the "Gardening" realm. In the meantime, you might consider using the Home Improvement subcategory.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @WilliamStewart @EvanKimbrell @bala2020 -


Thanks again for the clear and concrete feedback on the planned changes to the Product/Project Management taxonomy. We shared your concerns with the taxonomy team, and after careful review of your feedback and re-review of the data, they have decided not to move forward with this particular change. Project Management will remain a discrete subcategory, with courses on the Product Management topic continuing to live in their current subcategories.

 

In the long term, we do still seek to highlight the overlapping skill requirements of these fields, and help students understand the relationship between them. However, we recognize that a shared subcategory may not be the best way to achieve that goal at this time.

 

We will update the documentation to remove this change and move ahead with the rest of the taxonomy updates this week.

 

Thank you!

Lili - Udemy Community Manager

Thanks so much @Lili .  It is really nice to see Udemy respond to Instructor feedback.

 

Thanks again.

Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

For instructors creating spiritual courses, the move to place us under Lifestyle  - Esoteric is nothing short of appalling. I have emailed the taxonomy team and received a patronising pat on the head telling me that "we know best and we hope that you know that we know best". Quite a typical response from data-driven types. 

 

I’m struggling to believe they aren’t aware of the industry standards of public libraries and bookstores that invest millions in taxonomy and always feature subjects like tarot, shamanism, psychic development alongside books on Buddhism, mindfulness, meditation and numerology and astrology - not alongside books on hair and makeup, travel journal and making cushions.... nothing to do with personal development at all. 

 

It is not generally the nature of we spiritual types to embrace arguing in this way however many of us have our heckles raised by what we see as madness. 

 

@Lili - over to you..... 

Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

@Lili please ask the team to consider our credibility as instructors and leave us here under Personal Development - Spirituality (if you wish to remove R&S) - Shamanism and the plethora of other courses from witchcraft - tarot - mediumship etc which are all adversely targeted in this rebranding by Udemy to Lifestyle.

One of the most difficult tasks we face as instructors teaching in these realms is credibility. Credibility by those who purchase and ultimately consume our courses is critical. By removing us from our natural taxonomic home you strip both us and our courses of that much-needed credibility. You automatically suggest that we are cheap consumables rather than agents of change for people genuinely wishing to change their lives in a deep and meaningful way. You confuse the definition of what we do in the consumer's mind.

Whilst making your new hairdo (Lifestyle) and pretty cushions (Lifestyle) is nice - it cannot bring the deep spiritual core life-changing awakening our courses are delivering. Whilst I in no way denigrate lifestyle courses - and some may lead to a career change - they are a different genre completely from what genuine teachers of spiritually infused courses are trying to do. 

We have worked long and diligently to gain respect, a following and to bring quality - love-filled courses to our tribes, to make a difference, here on Udemy  - only to have our courses and our reputations trashed by the potential move to Lifestyle. 

We simply do not belong in Lifestyle with gaming, baking and travel journaling et al.

It is noted that the taxonomy team once alerted to another potentially poor change reversed their decision. It is with the hope I write this that they no longer send out patronising emails patting us on the head because we do not understand data. We may not understand data - but we do understand our core market, the drivers and why people purchase our courses. Ultimately I wish us to remain both visible not buried under multiple layers of clicking under personal development - our natural taxonomic home.

@Lili I have to echo Sharons words and in fact it is not disappointing to be herded in this way it is very much insulting. 

I have been working for decades to bring spirituality to the masses and importantly bring credibility to the area.

Udemy has helped this in a way I never felt possible and with over 24,000 enrolments and an average rating of 4.8 together we have helped change lives. Please take a look at the reviews from the stand point of the impact Udemy and us as instructors are providing within spiritual development, Here is a review recently posted "I found this class to be very helpful. I am excited to implement these techniques to assist others in finding their divine purpose and a life of joy"

This isn't a lifestyle category this doesn't deserve to be lumped in with Gaming and home improvements, I say this with no slight on people within those categories.

I would truly urge you to consider now the change of category in lifestyle to remain spirituality in personal development. 

Please don't say let's wait and see November is our biggest month hence we can make the biggest mistakes.

Please Please Please reconsider this move now.

I asked 3,000 of Udemy students in our study group and less than 1% understood the meaning or the word Esoteric but 100% understood spiritual development thats my data and moral stand point.

Thank you for all you do and please understand that the success is a team, but this is wrong im afraid to say on a moral and search basis.

Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

 The more thought that goes into it, the crazier the decision to lump us is with Lifestyle is. What we do is clearly under Personal Development. This move cheapens and demeans everything we hold sacred. @Lili  few in our genre will actually speak up. You have no idea what it is to teach the subjects we do, I for example live in a rural community filled with ultra right wing types, I am considered an oddity and dangerous because my beliefs. I don’t give away my power to the local church nor right wing rhetoric. What I teach is radically outside of their comfort zone. It doesn’t stop me, I simply smile and send them love. What I teach is global and belongs to us all. Once hidden through inquisitions and suppression of the old ways is emerging stronger than at any other time in our history. The simple message that you are your own spiritual guide and to open your heart and trust your intuition - never to give away your power... And Udemy wishes to demean what we do by turning it into a chattel in Lifestyle.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @SharonRamel and @JulianJenki396 -

 

We've been sharing your concerns with the taxonomy team and they have been considering them carefully. Our goal continues to be ensuring students can easily find and discover content relevant to their interests.

 

After examining a few alternatives, the taxonomy team is going to see if we can include Esoteric Practices within both the Lifestyle and Personal Development categories for a period of time. We acknowledge that much of what you teach could be reasonably classified under both categories, and we want to understand which one better serves the goal of making your courses accessible to the students most likely to engage with them. We'll keep you posted as we look into the feasibility of this approach.

 

Thanks again for continuing to share your direct and candid feedback. We know these changes can be sensitive, and we appreciate you continuing to speak up as we try to find what works for students, your courses, and the collection as a whole.

 

Lili - Udemy Community Manager

Is there a way to tell what classes can no longer be taught or have moved just categories? I know that I got an email from a teacher that said her classes were "no longer allowed to be sold" by you Udemy but we could still take them (could have been that her audio was terrible rather than Udemy banning).

I am trying to plan my next course is why I ask. I notice a few ideas I had months ago are not topics any longer.

Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

@Lili clearly someone is in love with a word very few people understand. That word is esoteric. It beggars belief that the team came up with it and are insisting on maintaining it. I can show you polls within my group that suggest people simply DO NOT know what it means - so why would they bother to click it.

 

Personal development is often considered different from spiritual development. However, the two are integrally related. You can’t have one without the other. Indeed, if you seek a more profound spiritual experience, your spiritual practise needs to include a personal development practice as well.

 

Personal development and spirituality are one and the same. There is no difference. Every personal development conversation I have comes back around to spirituality.

 

The best way to deepen your spiritual practice is through a focus on personal development. It does not relate to making cushions… that is an activity… personal development and spirituality are actions within to improve our lot within - you might say that is an activity but the focus is completely different - one is internal (being) and the other - well writing a pretty travel journal or blog (doing).…

 

With your placement of Spiritual practices aka Shamanism (in my instance) in with Lifestyle you reduce it to a chattel, a meaningless nothing, Whatever spiritual actions taken are demeaned into nothingness, empty manner.  

 

Personal Development - Spirituality - Shamanism is clear and direct. Personal Development - Esoteric - huh? Even worse Lifestyle - Esoteric - yes you are focused on sticky fingers - sales - with a word people do not understand. You are focused on sales without a thought to the ethical and cultural problems we face as instructors in these areas.

Community Manager
Community Manager

@debra1111 - there was a content policy update in July which you can read about here. The Restricted Topics policy can be found here. If you have any specific questions, you may want to reach out to policy@udemy.com directly.

 

@SharonRamel - I don't have any more updates to share with you at this time, but your feedback is being passed to the correct team.

 

Thanks,

Lili - Udemy Community Manager

Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Thanks @Lili