Hi, I am fairly new

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Hi, I am fairly new

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I joined Udemy about six months ago and posted a single course at that time.  It was priced in the lowest tier but sat there with no subscriptions until I changed it to free.

Within days the subscription numbers skyrocketed.  That encouraged me to publish another free course and a paid one.  Again the latter in the lowest pricing tier.

Subscriptions for the free courses kept increasing to 1600 while nothing for the paid one.  Take it back, yesterday someone signed up for it then somehow withdrew.

I am probably coming to the conclusion that my material must be horrible and that I should give up.  I have been teaching for decades but I think I must not fit this medium and should forget about it.  Or, is it possible that this platform attracts people looking for free stuff and I might as well stick to youtube if that's the case?

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Hi Drewprof, I just looked at your courses and it's pretty clear, to me at least, why you're not getting any traction. I particularly looked at your 'Struct in C' course... if I remember correctly, I think it had 7 lectures and was a little over an hour long. Another had 5 lectures (2 were preview lectures so i'm paying for 3 lectures) and was 50 minutes long and you were asking me to pay 13.99 for it. Please don't take this the wrong way, but in my mind they are not courses, more like snippets from a course... something you would find on Youtube. IMO, I don't think you'll get people paying for that. I could be wrong, but I have bought courses in c# and c++ and they are fully blown... learn these languages courses, with 100s of lectures and solid projects to follow.

 

I think you need to take a step back, have a look at your format and research how others have presented thier courses. Your style is OK, I can follow you clearly enough, although I'm sure he's cute, but I'm not sure I want to know about your cat. This type of learning can easily be done on YouTube because you're only offering a tiny fraction.

I hope you don't mind me saying all of that, but IMO, I would certainly start looking there. Also, there a ton of coding course on Udemy, and you need to stand out.

 

Hope it helps...

Kevin...

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@drewprof wrote:

My courses are about coding.  I just need to find a different style that's more appealing for this medium.

There is no way I can deliver in 3 to 5 minutes concepts that take a lot more time to implements and comprehend in the context of the code they live in.

Then change the context. I've created a dozen programming courses that are available on three major platforms. I found a way to dissect my content into digestible chunks of 3-5 minute videos, and explain abstract concepts such as protocol-oriented programming or machine learning.
Your topics - C structs, basic C++ syntax, etc. - do not require lengthy videos either.
All you need is to reconsider your approach. Online teaching isn't the same as in-class teaching (luckily). I just wish my college teachers were able to explain stuff as clearly as online instructors such as Simon Allardice or Barron Stone.
Just trying to help. In the end, it's your decision.


Karoly Nyisztor - Software Engineer, Author, Entrepreneur, and Life Hacker

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@KarolyNyisztor I get your point, but what I am teaching is a process if you will.  Yes, it's lengthy because it starts from scratch using a step-by-step approach.  It's a different style than lectures as well.  I have attended many where instructors hide implementation and just talk about concepts.  It takes time to show the actual coding, that's what I am showing; that experience!

Maybe, I should have an introductory video that explains my aim and why the videos will be lengthy; because of the amounts of details to consider, and to experience the flow when coding.

Think of physics concept being derived rather than being applied with a given formula.  The process of deriving the formula makes it memorable. 

My videos are not meant to be simply watched.  They are guides to actually do the work.  Think of them as lab work rather lectures.

Yes, I will need to repackage them to make sure that's understood.

Do you think that could be a better compromise, or just scrap it and copy other people's proven styles?

 

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It's not about copying styles, but rather about doing what actually works.
Studies show that student engagement drops off abruptly after 6 minutes.
Quoting:
"...the median engagement time for videos less than six minutes long was close to 100%–that is, students tended to watch the whole video (although there are significant outliers; see the paper for more complete information). As videos lengthened, however, student engagement dropped off, such that the median engagement time with 9-12 minute videos was ~50% and the median engagement time with 12-40 minute videos was ~20%. In fact, the maximum median engagement time for a video of any length was six minutes. Making videos longer than 6-9 minutes is therefore likely to be wasted effort."
https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/effective-educational-videos/

 

Again, this isn't conventional education. We should keep in mind that most people take online courses in their spare time, for example during their lunch break. If the video is lengthy, they don't even start it.


Karoly Nyisztor - Software Engineer, Author, Entrepreneur, and Life Hacker
LawrenceMMiller
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

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@drewprof I would strongly encourage you to study other hiighly successful courses on coding, app development, etc. Your promo video has to sell your courses and yourself, or it won't sell. It is that simple.

Your topic is anything but unique to this medium. In fact, Udemy has been built on tech courses. Please take a look at Angela Yu's intro videos and how she presents the value, organization, benefits, etc. of her course. https://www.udemy.com/course/ios-13-app-development-bootcamp/. This one course alone has 186,000 paying students. Do the math!

I looked at a couple of your courses and when I started watching what should be a promo video I felt like I had just walked into a class that was in the middle of a semester. That will not sell. Also, create one course that presents a lot of value, not courses that are just bits and pieces of something larger. Customers buy value. 

FWIW

 

 

Lawrence M. Miller
Author/Instructor

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Hi, I think it depends on how engaging it is. Some of mine are twenty minutes long, and a few that are even longer. Becareful of too many slides... that can get boring. If you can make it hands-on, so they work on a larger goal / project, that's how I plan mine.

 

Look at the best one in your category and see what they did.

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Personally I despise PP Slides.  I like to delve into coding and hopefully get the students involved.  They can always follow along, pause, code and learn the concepts along.  But, I see some of the points in this discussion and they have merit.  I am now thinking that I should have small lectures in the first session, then take the hands-on projects to illustrate the concepts in context in the following sections.  I am just thinking out-loud...

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While I agree that such micro courses (less than 2 hours) will struggle to find buyers, I think 40 hour course is the other extreme and could be avoided as well.

Your average revenue per sale is going to be in the ballpark of $3 (could be as low as a few cents for some sales). On top of that instructors are usually expected to support Q&A as well. Therefore 40 hour courses do not make any business sense. I think 12 to 15 hours duration is the sweet spot and one should move the remaining portion of the course (typically advanced topics) to their own platform (teachable, thinkific etc.).

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Rasu84, 12-15 hours is a long course. I don't think we should compete by the length of a course. I believe it's all about the transformation you experience in a course. Which means: if you get the point across in 3 hours it's fine - I mean it's about what I want to learn. If I wanna learn X and I can do it in 3 hours I do. If I need more detail I most probably digg deeper. I usually check the course curriculum. If I feel it fits my needs I get the course - no matter how long it is. Still if it is just about under an hour I'd doubt that it would bring the point across...

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@Monja Wessel Totally agree that it should not be about the duration but the ability to impart a meaningful learning experience. Courses in my domain tend to get longer because it draws from a number of disciplines and I struggle to justify courses which are less than 10-12 hours in runtime. However, your point is fair.

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@rasu84 When I look at myself I'm a bit confused as well 😉 - when I purchase a course I like it to be longer but then as a learner I'm happy to learn as quickly as I can and have not spend tons of time getting through the course. Oh well, a bit of a dilemma! Thanks for considering my point as well 🙂

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I couldn’t agree more

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Hi drewprof,

I agree with Kevin. 

Paying for 3 lectors and having a 50 minutes course is not acceptable. It might be that you covered it all in a much better way and you bring the point across much faster - but - when I come to your landing page I have no clue that you do that. The only thing I notice is that I should pay 13.99 for a few minutes. 

It sounds hard but it's not meant like that. I know how hard it is to start and believe me I'm dealing with similar problems.

But the good thing is that we can always improve! Add more lectures, give samples, program something with your students - there are plenty of options!

Good luck 🙂

Monja

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I have now turned that particular course for free.  I am working on a larger course that will be over 5 hours.  My only problem will be that my lectures will be between 12 to 30 minutes.  It's just too much content that I want to explain.  My audience will not be typical, but I am okay with that as long as I have at least one paid subscription.  I will call that a victory!

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Once again I wouldn't care. As a teacher I need to make sure that my student learns what he/she should before he can move on. Sometimes that happens in an hour, sometimes in 10 minutes. Sure it's a bit different on video. So when you plan your lesson maybe you can merge a few things or move the example a bit quicker or so... I'd strive for about 10-15 minutes max because people don't have a large attention span these days or not that much time (me included) 😉

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@drewprof wrote:

My only problem will be that my lectures will be between 12 to 30 minutes.  It's just too much content that I want to explain.

 

 


You keep saying that, but it doesn't make any sense. Even quantum physics can be explained in 5-minute chunks. You just need to organize your material better.


Karoly Nyisztor - Software Engineer, Author, Entrepreneur, and Life Hacker

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@drewprofIt really doesn't matter about the length for now. I know you're getting a lot of different opinions on here, but I now a millionaire who has lectures that are 30+ minutes, it certainly works for him, so you just need to make it compelling. And just get on and do it. You can break it down so the 'topic' has a start, middle and end and they can be small topics. Or a portion of a topic. Just do what feels natrual for you, you'll learn what works.

 

Mine vary from 2 minutes to 25 minutes and I have NEVER had a complaint that it's been too long, ever, or too short for that matter. You just need to get it done and you'll see what works and what does not.

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Yes, the opinions on length are certainly interesting.  I am sure there will be a sweet spot for my kind of delivery, I just have to find it.  Thank you @KevinOxland 

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Update: It seems that my external ad is driving most of my enrollments.  I now have over 5700 student enrolled from one ad that ran for 5 days.  That ad generated 21K+ of activity.

The ones that signed up, they were for the free courses only.

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Really interesting! You can market your new course to them later😉 my question: how much did you spend on these ads?

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$10

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Is there a mass message within a course?  I seem to have found a one-to-one communication and even then, I am not sure if the message reaches the student within a free course.  In addition, am I allowed to make them aware of a paid course from within Udemy, specially when I come up with new material?

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