Never compromise your teaching integrity!

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Never compromise your teaching integrity!

Hi folks, so .... I don’t post too often around these parts, but this year I’ve seen a huge rise in the trend of people creating information products on subjects that they have no (or very little) experience in. This isn’t cool.


I appreciate the old ‘sales’ ideology of ‘flooding the market for authority and dominance ..... but, in seriousness, those who position themselves as experts in subject areas in which they aren’t will always get caught out.


Yes, it might be possible to fool some people for some of the time, but it’s definitely not possible to fool all people forever.


Over the last five years, I’ve personally created a successful training product range around a subject matter in which I had many years experience of practicing before I even considered teaching.


Sadly, it’s become a globally cultural thing, for people to start teaching before growing in competency and experience. Again, not cool.


So, please hear me right ... this is NOT a rant, but is rather a plea, for all instructors in this community to prioritise maintaining their integrity before all things. Your future reputation is dependent on this.


We are a marketplace, and unfortunately one less than integral ‘instructor’ can result in the rest of us being unfairly (and unnecessarily) judged.


Rather that committing to creating a broad range (a quantity) of bog standard courses, I dare you to commit only to creating QUALITY EDUCATION in those subject matters that you actually have experience and competency in.


Yes, some people create a nice income from publishing 70, 80, 90, 100+ courses that are all virtually the same - and while this might work in a marketplace, this certainly won’t do much for your reputation anywhere else.


As you’ll see, I’m not naming names or pointing fingers here, but I do simply want to state that the future success of Udemy (the company) and us as Udemy instructors will be hugely influenced by how much trust students have in the entire platform - and this will be hugely influenced by OUR integrity as instructors.


Just saying 😉👍


Kain Ramsay
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Not applicable

"I’ve seen a huge rise in the trend of people creating information products on subjects that they have no (or very little) experience in."


This has been going on for decades. The old "fake it till you make it" scheme. I see it all over Udemy. It's really nothing new.

I agree that it needs to be changed in the market. There are too many people with no experience of teaching others on how to do things. I have had to refund a couple of courses where I can clearly see the person teaching has never done what he's talking about regurgitating from the book or someone else's course.


I can pick a few courses on Udemy where the issue comes from.

I think Udemy or anyone else publishing courses should demonstrate using academic background. 


There should be an option to flag up poorly created courses to the publishing platform so that they can deal with this.

Couldn't agree more


One hundred percent totally agree! 


Lawrence M. Miller

Well said. Substandard material/course is really a serious problem for the learning community in general. 
I am new to the platform and I Hope Udemy finds a way to deal with this.


@Kain_Ramsay - Doesn't this problem tend to take care of itself? If instructors are creating quick and dirty courses just to get on Udemy, these courses will be poorly received and rated, which means they essentially become invisible in the Udemy marketplace because they will not appear in searches.

It does but normally... students who purchase a course on a discount day will leave the video course in their catalogue for months until it is fully reviewed and it can no longer refund it. But yes you can review it for comments, however you and I know the they asked for the review at the beginning of the course rather than the end.


I also think that refunded courses do not get rated so it might be misleading.

From my experience, definitely not.

Kain Ramsay

Truth is the director of udemy need balance between quality and quantity.

Setting high standards on instructors would limit the speed of udemy growth.


This is really nice and timely advice.

I agree that it's a problem but I think that an even worse problem is, and I consider it being an elephant in the room, instructors who copy and repackage bestseller courses. They don't just have "no experience" in the topic, but they also steal content. For example, there's a profile of a couple of instructors who sell dozens of courses and they copied at least 2 of mine, having almost even same titles! Among their courses, I recognize most of the bestsellers created by a lot of "original" successful instructors. I watched their content and even bought "my" course. Obviously, it's not a pure copy, they did add some content of their own and the format is different, but the whole course topic and curriculum structure is the same. They basically specialize in reproducing and repackaging some of the popular courses on Udemy.


When you type in my best keywords in Udemy search, their repackaged course comes in second position after mine. 

So when a course is just "bad", it's not a big deal I think because it ends up far away in the search results. However, it's not always the case for copied courses which DO sell. 


By the way, I learned about my courses being copied, repackaged and sold on Udemy by a few of my students who told me they found them. So it clearly also dimishes their experience.


EDIT: Also, another example of how to spot people who sell stuff without having any actual experience in the topic is simply to check if they show ANYTHING to prove they have succeeded in that area. Example: the instructors I talked about above also have a course about Shopify dropshipping (obviously!), but as I checked it, they basically don't have a Shopify store of their own and don't seem to have had any success with one. The same goes for so many courses about "How to succeed on YouTube": when I search for these instructors "successful YouTube channels", they have like 500 subs and a few hundreds of views for each video. Yet here they are teaching YouTube. It's ridiculous.

Not sure how anyone is able to put out say 100 courses ? I average 1 every 2 months and for me it's a full time job. Also I only create courses where I  KNOW the subject and beleive I can add value and teach something in a unique way. It would be EASY for me to regurgitate verbatim from mathematics , physics textbooks but there would be no integrity in it , there would no FUN for me,  it would be pointless. Creating 12 courses in 2 years burnt me out and I have spent the last 6 weeks taking a break from it.


This is certainly a problem which should be handled by Udemy team. Specially during this pandemic time when everyone is locked up in their home, people used platforms like Udemy to skill up but at the same time some bad teachers (or simply call them marketers) came up as teachers and created many crap courses about the topics which they never have applied in their real life. This demotivates the students and break trust in the platform itself.

Hi Kain, 


You make several good points. I've seen this problem on Udemy and other online platforms for sometime now. 


I am not an instructor on Udemy or any online platform for that matter. Real world experience is always an issue. While I may not have not taught online, I've been developing and programming online courses for Fortune 100 clients since the 90's and I have taught at several high schools and universities. 


My question to you is; What do you consider is the right experience? I'm not calling you out, I ask this for my own edification and understanding as I plan to develop courses of my own. 


In reading your profile, it does not describe a teaching career in psychology per se and yet you have courses in the subject. 


Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. 





A practicing career far outweighs a teaching career by any reasonably minded perspective. If my teaching is based upon my experience, and yours is based only upon academia - you offer no value. Make sense?

Kain Ramsay

@Kain_Ramsay  Great Post. Typically you should be an EXPERT when teaching on Udemy. How does one identify an expert. I included 10 criteria in an earlier post:


you need to be an expert at what you are teaching. That means having atleast one of the following:

1) an advanced degree (Master's or PhD)

2) extensive field experience

3) published material about you in media

4) record of speaking at conferences

5) published research

6) extensive teaching record

7) Attendance at events that bring you in contact with business and political leaders

😎 Serving on Boards and in the C-Suite

9) Being a member of major organizations

10) Working on projects that are related to Federal or State Governments in any country

Wow.... interesting insight,  enlightening even ........Perception is Projection. 

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