@Bella I know student satisfaction is paramount and quite rightly so.
Here is a cautionary tale.
Many if my courses include a Diploma of Achievement. This just states what a student has done etc. It is free. To get this you have to have done the workbooks and involved yourself in discussions. Some courses also involve writing a short essay.
A student gave me a 4.5 star review…
So a good course and very happy. He also wanted the Diploma.
It turned out he had been involved in NO discussions and done none of the exercises in the workbook. He was asked where all the homework was. His response a few hours later…
I would try to dispute that rating. Unfortunately, support doesn't apply sound logic most of the time, you may be able to win with those screenshots and timeline. It certainly appears to be an abuse of the review system.
@Bella I did try and dispute but apparently repeat posting of 1 star reviews (and thus by repeating this deletes the Instructor's comment) does not breach guidelines. He has reposted today too. So four ratings in 4 days: one 4.5 star, then the request for diploma, then three 1-stars.
Updated the review again to:
"A complete waste of time of 7 hours and money. This instructor is here just for reviews and money and it and any gives him 1 star review he starts making fake allegation about the student and showcase himself as he done the right thing. He deserves a negative 5 and be banned from udemy."
@Bella Oh it gets a lot worse (he updates the review every few hours to delete my response)
First I am going to post what T&S safety responded:
This is what I wrote to T&S:
But first you are therefore confirming that a person can leave a 1 star review then update it (with no further watching of lecture) to make it more current and then again and again and again. This does not seem to bring authenticity to the marketplace as by its nature the 'updated' review is not on any new experience and is merely done to annoy the Instructor and mislead the students not enrolled. This is dishonest.
OK my next question. I am sending three attachments. Please look at them carefully and you will see that this is a clear case of a student lying to cause harm to the Instructor.
The first review is a 4.5 stars. The students loved the course.
Then the student said he had done ALL the homework (except essay) and wanted the Diploma.
Then it became apparent that NONE of the homework had been done - the student was asked where the homework was.
The student then - hours later - changed the rating to ONE star and said the course description was inaccurate, the Instructor was rubbish etc.
This is blatantly dishonest.
I enclose the screenshot and ask that you look at how the rating changed in a matter of hours.
It is clear I am saying his repeated reviews delete MY response.
"Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We appreciate how this has been a frustrating experience for you. Please note that we have a system that scans all student ratings and reviews. I can catch when a student is clearly going against our rules or playing with our system.
We took a closer look at the review, we were not able to find any abuse in our review guidelines. Because of this, the reported review will remain published as it does not violate our current policies. Also, you mentioned that you deleted your response to the review. We always recommend instructors utilize the review response feature to address concerns like these. In this way you can not only engage the student who left the review, but you also can show other students how you handle their concerns. "
There is definitely this idea that "the client is always right". If what you say is true, this student wanted the diploma without completing the requirements of the course. I have been teaching in physical schools in various countries and online for years and while there is a psychology to be kept with your students/clients, I do not believe that the student is always right. Udemy's policies are in place for a situation like this but I wonder whether the instructors are protected sufficiently from, as you say, someone who has the power to give you negative ratings and abuses it out of spite. Perhaps in a situation like this (e.g. a clear case that one of the parties is abusing the system for a negative reason), Udemy should contact the student and mediate with clear guidelines/boundaries. In all my years of experience, the first and basic rule of thumb to keep control of your classes and establish your level of authority is strong boundaries, fairness in all dealings, and not allowing for manipulation of any kind. I am not sure whether this helps but I wanted to participate because the world of teachers can be a very lonely or misunderstood place at times where we have all the responsibilities and not always all the benefits.
I also wrote to T&S about recent PUBLISHED reviews:
The latest review states:
"Awful, Just Awful A complete waste of time of 7 hours and money. This (worthless) instructor is here just for reviews and money and it and any gives him 1 star review he starts making fake allegation about the student and showcase himself as he done the right thing. A majority of reviews in this lectures are paid reviews. He deserves a negative 5 and be banned from udemy."
My guess is the "worthless" comment. It's a personal insult. Although, the cynic in me gives the "paid reviews" comment a 50/50 chance of being the cause, despite Udemy's position that "truthfulness" isn't a reason they would remove a review. Given their weirdness about reviews, I could see them violating their own terms to ensure nobody thinks reviews are paid for. Either way, it's a win for you.
I find students do not want to do any assignments unless they know it helps them understand something for a new career. Most prefer to put the video on auto play. They have little accountability. If they had to submit assignments to get a LinkedIn badge and their review was more public it would be different.
In my experience as many years as a teacher, I think that what students want is to "first connect" with you. They want to know "WIIFM". Bizarre - right? Your obvious answer would be "you are working on your future - what else should be in it for you?". But for us old foggies who grew up in a time when we were "commanded and instructed", those methods don't seem to work any more. Some of the students are very motivated, the majority want to achieve the learning without putting the necessary work - yes, as if with a magic wand!
So what I find is that my first job is not even to try to teach anything but to "connect" with them as a person. Once they have their compass in your direction, now you have their attention. Next, you follow up quite close and they realise that you are not there to nag them or tell them off, but to support and supervise... because as I always say, the human being comes first and everything else comes second.
By this time, it is very possible that they have already understood what you and I already knew from the beginning: that learning is an active endeavor, not a passive receiving of useless information. And when they click into feeling that they "actually" do want to learn the subject, then you are just there on a mini-holiday, while they do the work... not even realising that they are actually doing the work.
This philosophy may sound simplistic but teachers need to realise that this is a process. It takes me about 4 months to develop their trust in me and to give them the "will" to actually want to "own" the knowledge - and then I am everyone's favourite teacher! 😅
Anyway, I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Best of luck,
On the topic of paid reviews, in 2019 I sent Udemy:
1. The correspondence with someone offering paid reviews
2. The course where the Instructor had paid for the reviews
3. The reviews he had paid for - allegedly
The course is still there, happily selling. I notice in the Q/A for that courses, posts have gone unanswered for 3 years.
But no matter, I mean if you're paying for 5 star reviews and getting away with it, what else do you need to do?
It is this sort of thing that does Udemy harm