*Feedback Thread* What can Udemy do to help you reach your goals?

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*Feedback Thread* What can Udemy do to help you reach your goals?

Bella_0-1675200294820.gif

 

Hey Instructor Community!

 

At the end of each month, we want to take some time to gather feedback from you! As we went through the month of January, we covered topics related to setting your goals as instructors! We’d love to hear what you think about your experience within the community and what more we can do to help you.

 

How can Udemy help you reach your goals in 2023?

 

Send us your suggestions in the comments below!

21 Replies

@Bella, Thanks for starting the thread.

Following are my two cents and opinions/rant. Not targeting any individual, the data is in marketplace insights. Many observations might not apply to every category, but I can vouch for them as factual stats since they apply to the content I am posting.

  1. The rating system is broken. Improve it. The 4.4 ratings heuristic is built in retrospect. A more straightforward like/dislike-based approach might help.
    1. At least update the rating calculation to be average across the last 90 days OR the previous 20 ratings. The window protects the newer longer courses with slower organic growth. Show only ratings, not the numbers accumulated since launch. If the rating reflects 90 days, why show the more significant number against it? The same applies to total registrations as well. That creates a bias in the mind of the viewer. Let SEO drive the traffic; promo and previews decide the outcome.
  2. Remove spammers and bot accounts. I can provide a list of accounts that abused my naive goodwill of sharing free coupons earlier.
  3. UFB inclusion should be more instructor friendly. Have a separate program where content can be created and polished with the assurance of inclusion.
  4. The bloated and irrelevant courses are killing technical learning significantly. Set some standards.
  5. The influx of new instructors will result in the same content creation story, bloating the platform at the mercy of SEO. How about an instructor onboarding course that is a prerequisite to launch the first course?
  6. Categorization is still very stringent. Some older courses abuse the momentum to add unnecessary content and retain the benevolence of sales algorithms.
  7. Coupons are cluttered. Spending time finding shady coupon-sharing sites is disgusting. Abolish the complexity. Simple models work. Udemy owns pricing, and the income share depends on who generated the lead, just like now. Create a preview link for instructors to share with no access to ratings or is considered minutes watched and wholly isolated from marketplace stats. "Get initial reviews from family and friends" is a metric of the instructors bonding in their "social circle," not the content sold. It is a false metric by design! Start a paid course incubator program with lower early access prices.
  8. Selling courses here and entertaining the audience on other platforms for resale is inefficient. With over 50 million accounts being mentioned in sales pitches, Udemy MUST invest in an interactive forum tool for instructors to post to the audience efficiently. Not just their students but the entire audience. Reddit and Quora might be better case studies.
  9. Demographic information is crucial for success. Gen Z scrolls midway through a 15-second reel. Selling them knowledge means knowing a lot more about the content interactions as well. Of course, this factor does not affect everyone, but I firmly believe beginner-level courses are susceptible to being "boring" far more quickly.
  10. Per-video, like, and dislike options to get granular feedback and student interactions. If the best length is 2-7 minutes, why allow an upload outside that reference?
  11. "Eating your dog food." Have product managers run high-quality courses about content creation and become community champions organically. If instructor partners have a say in platform improvements, then the program should be more inclusive to get better diversity. The lack of SEO tools integration in the course creation suite and broken browser integrations in many text fields make search compatibility a nightmare.
  12. Focus on the last mile. Youtube Courses is launching to capitalize on this internationalization opportunity. Udemy has missed this for years; people prefer to learn complex things in their mother tongue. No data to share or not sharing it is killing this growth opportunity. It's rare to find technical experts who are multilingual and good at teaching. Find them and groom them.

Finally, Udemy needs to wake up to capitalize on the slowdown in big tech. The udemy certificates in tech interviews are becoming a red flag. Earning back credibility with simplicity is possible. Start with decluttering the landing page and take a leaf from search engines, not content portals that drown the viewers into the abyss of cringe. Innovation is still legal; not following the footsteps of social media platforms might be the easiest thing to do. Use their tech, not their incentives. 🙂

Edit: I found this moments after posting https://www.wired.com/story/tiktok-platforms-cory-doctorow/

Bravo. Nodding my head on every point you raised.

Thank you @Bella for asking an interesting question,

I personally believe that the following Udemy's features can help me set/achieve my 2023 goals:

1. Skill development: Udemy could offer courses on instructional design using the latest teaching methods and strategies.

2. Course creation: Udemy could provide a me with a more user-friendly environment to cater my courses to a global audience.

3. Marketing and promotion: Udemy could provide me with easy to use tools to help me promote my courses (email campaigns, social media promotions)
4. Professional recognition: Udemy could help me build my brand and establish myself as an expert in my field.

Best Regards.

Ahmed Jendoubi, Ph.D.

It would be nice if we had the option to conduct quarterly live meetings with our students.

 

For example: It could be live coding, or Q&A, maybe even something like the coffee chat Udemy has with their instructors.

 

I mean it would be good if Udemy provided some guidelines before such a meeting. For instance what is permitted and what not.

 

Just thing it would be a more personalized experience that the students get to know the instructor a little better and vice versa.

 

Thanks !

My feedback: 
1. Learn a lesson from the #1 physical and digital products marketplace platform in the world. Amazon.
Starting this year, Amazon will restrict refunds for ebooks purchases where more than 10% of content was consumed. 

I have a 4.7 Instructor rating. All my courses are above 4.6 and yet, I'm losing hundreds of dollars every month due to refunds.
People buy, watch, leave a review and take a refund. With a similar policy, I'm sure that figure will drop by 30% at least.


2. Amazon Associates Program has a 180-day period to make enough sales, otherwise, you're removed from the program. Udemy should be very generous in allowing new instructors to join and have a chance to compete and have a great living, teaching on Udemy. But there has to be a limit where Udemy needs to realize that they are paying more for video storage on some instructors than the money they bring in. Those courses should be removed. Again, after a generous amount of time. That can be a year or more.  There are instructors who just clutter and devalue the platform, making 200 courses with thousands of free enrollments, confusing paying students, and bringing no value to anyone.

 

3.  Disable mass-free coupons. Save the pain for those who haven't figured out this doesn't work. And again, stop devaluing our courses in the eyes of paying customers. Replace the one coupon for 1000 free enrollments with 1000 coupons with a single enrollment in each one. This way, I can give a free coupon to a student or a stranger without worrying that this coupon will end up on some website.


4. I feel like some instructors completely ignore Marketplace insights. How many more 2-hour Python/Java courses do we need? There should be a warning for those instructors in the course editor, telling them they are about to publish a course in a very crowded space.


5. Decouple Discount coupons from tracking coupons. Whenever I launch a course, I send promotional emails to different email lists, social media accounts, etc. I can't track which channel brings the most conversions because coupons are tighter to discounts, and those are limited to 3 per month. Keep the limit of discounts the same, but allow us to generate more tracking coupons to track conversions.

1. Returning the 50/50 split of the marketplace

2.Allow instructors to let our students know of our other courses and services,digital products etc..(For us in the creative space this would be an incentive to create more courses on udemy )

3. Refocus more on the marketplace (not every student wants a subscription)

4. Push a wider variety of course offerings (not everyone want's a tech job).

 

I am not naive and have no magical thinking on any of this. I know your only responsibility is to your shareholders, and that's fine. That's business. And while I do not have a million students I do (like many instructors) have just over 100K.  My overall ratings are good. My courses are good(At least that's what my students tell me LOL). 

I cannot be alone in seeing through my revenue that some of your non-tech spaces have been left out. I have twice as many courses as last year and make about 40-50% less. I am slightly hopeful the new leadership will turn this around. The more money you make the more we make. 

Remove the personal plan and replace it with instructor-level subscriptions. 

Raise prices on course topics with high Q&A demands; the cost of supporting them has risen with inflation, while the revenue we get per enrollment has fallen. Margins are getting thin for instructors. (I know pricing experiments are already underway)

 

Build systems to help learners support each other and build their own communities.

 

Allow instructors to schedule recurring promotional announcements, so we can spend more of our time and money making content instead of promoting it.

 

Or if you're looking specifically for community ideas:

 

Bring in actual filmmakers and cinematographers to do webinars on how to create compelling and visually interesting videos. What can course creators learn from Hollywood?

International bank transfers so we don't flush our earnings down the toilet 🙃

I usually write long posts about what should be done so here's a list. Again the idea is to grow the marketplace to 4 billion a year which means more for everyone. Im modeling my suggestions from observations of other marketplaces. 

 

- Reduce Udemy's share to 30%

- Allow us to opt out of international pricing

- Allow us to put certain courses in international pricing

- Allow us to bundle our courses and sell bundles at a discount

- Remove the personal subscription and replace it with instructor-level subscriptions

- Order bumps on our coupon

- Order bumps on free coupons

- NO order bumps on our courses from other instructors

- Allow us to talk about our other ventures outside of Udemy

- Bring in a leader board of people who make the most Enrollments, sales, and reviews, on a weekly basis.

- Change the algorithm to be more sales-based and not engagement based

- Allow us to set our own affiliate percentages

 

These suggestions are more Udemy specific

- Put a second price floor at courses above 30 hours.

- Get away from the minutes watched versus a la carte pricing.

 

Instructors will always make more money with a la carte purchases versus minutes watched. 

 

All somebody has to do is make a direct competitor with the above suggestions and instructors will flock to that site. 

 

In short, please give us more freedom to build scaleable businesses. Udemy should be more like Steam, the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon and less like Disney+

Hi,

 

I have a few suggestions:

  • We need a bundle system for promotions. For example get my 5 cyber security courses not four 50$ but 40$. We can promote our bundles to students. I see some instructors are trying to do this manually, but it is impossible when you reach a mass audience. 
  • We need an improved Teaching Assistant dashboard. I need to see how many questions are asked and how many are answered by TAs to track their performance in a better way.
  • We used to see more country specific promotions, pr activities, local launches etc back in the day. I think you have a very well structured sales team for UfB in local countries maybe you can spare a few people working for marketplace as well. However since we are not very involved in internal dynamics, you can ignore this suggestion if it is not relevant.
  • I don't have any suggestions for pricing, marketing etc. As far as i am concerned, i see revenue consistent or going up starting from the day i signed up as an instructor. That's what it matters for me. I think what you are doing is working, just keep doing it.

Great way to gather feedbacks btw, thanks.

 

Atil.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to share your feedback on how we can help you achieve your goals. This thread is a fantastic source of inspiration, and we're so grateful to have such an engaged and passionate community. 

 

Your ideas are being forwarded to the appropriate teams at Udemy to consider each and every one of them as we work to improve our product. We will keep you updated on any progress and let you know if any of the suggestions make it to our roadmap. 
 

Keep the ideas coming! 🙌

 

Bella Almeida

Udemy Community 

Please also relay that we want to see significant growth in marketplace revenue. Ideally, we have double-digit growth in the marketplace, not declines. 

Hi Bella, thanks for starting this thread, my problem is that I have listed two courses on Auto-body and Painting and have more then 1000 students, where I teach how to paint vehicles, the thing is the topic Auto-body and Painting is not listed on Udemy, please consider it as a topic to learn, and add it to the list. thank you so much..

  • Raise the standards to publish - they were considerably higher in my first few years here on Udemy - the desperate move for more, more, more courses lowered the standards too far.
  • Understand subscription models almost everywhere are struggling and you are literally confusing people and turning them away from the Marketplace and not necessarily maintaining their presence.
  • Learn why your retention on Marketplace is so low student-wise. Given instructors like myself and many others have loyal students returning year after year for the quality courses we produce. 
  • Refocus on the broad church that is the Marketplace rather than the very limited algorithm that only rewards the highest sellers.
Sharon Ramel
Spiritual Guide, Shaman, Priestess of the Blue Rose

If Steam can be a 4 billion dollar-a-year marketplace, there's no reason Udemy can't be as well. That's good for instructors, investors, and employees. Literally, everyone wins. 

 

It seems like Udemy simply does not care about the marketplace anymore. Numbers don't lie. I expect the marketplace to decline. What we really need is the marketplace to double in revenue.

 

The only problem with that is the way Udemy accomplishes that goal is they have to give way more freedom to the instructors. IOW they have to reverse the marketplace policies over the last 7 years. It's hard to explain that to investors. Here is how that is accomplished.

 

"We want the marketplace to generate 1 billion dollars a quarter. In order to do that, we have analyzed other top-performing marketplaces. Since the variables of business change over time, we have decided to reverse a lot of the policies that we have put in place since 2015. While these policies at the time lead to more growth, we have concluded due to the current business environment, that the best course of action is to change our policies to drive growth. Our target revenue of the marketplace is 4 billion dollars a year"

 

It is really that simple. They have to basically give instructors more freedom to make money. But it seems like Udemy only cares about minutes watched and subscription numbers. 

Having Udemy function closer to Steam would be incredible. 

I know. It seems like management at Udemy really doesn't want this to happen even though most of the public views Udemy as "the App store" of eLearning. 🤷

A few more things. I think would be helpful

 

1. Marketplace promotions and advertising . Maybe it might not be cost-effective but a few months wouldn't be so terrible.

 

2. Promoting courses that are not just Business and tech. Creativity is important.

 

3. Allow us to promote our other sites,courses (as long as it's not a competitor site). I think having a place where instructors can promote their courses, books, etc, to a wide marketplace would be a huge incentive for many of us to continue to make new content. 

This also would help us in the creative space since it doesn't seem like we have been a priority for the past year. Actually, I feel we have been outright ignored. 

 

4. Return the 50/50 split. Or at least something a bit closer. This has been a huge factor in decreasing of my revenue (I can't speak for anyone else).

 

Having over 100K students is no small thing . I have a pretty good overall rating as an instructor. I would love to grow and many of us who arent in the "Million student club" would like to get there or somewhere close. We cannot succeed on Udemy without your help. Promote us and what we teach . My art courses have Doctors, engineers,IT people and those who write code.  So it's obvious they are open to creativity and have other interests. 

 

I hope some of these are taken into account and not just responded to in "Corporate speak". I am not trying to appeal to a corporation's  "heart" LOL. The more money we make, the more you make. It would be nice to be excited about creating new courses again. I think you could create "Udemy Ambassadors"  who promote the overall brand alongside our courses . 

I should be able to succeed here on this platform once again without having to teach Python or AWS or a business/tech course. No diss to them, I take a few as we have amazing instruction here on the platform. 

Also, it doesn't help when you don't see yourself or your courses reflected in the "Priority topics Q1 2023".

 

 

1. Reduce Udemy's share of revenue.

By the time ITunes and Udemy take their cut, I get a quarter of my retail price - and that's before discounting.

The only reason I am on Udemy is for exposure to a larger customer base. The sales I make on this platform are a loss leader.

 

2. Provide full HD streaming - we're not in the 1990s anymore.

 

3) Stop the "pile 'em high, sell 'em low" philosophy. Increase the quality of courses and charge more.

 

4) Deal with piracy properly.

 

5) As others have said, don't give refunds if an entire course has been consumed. Generally, the students who consume a whole course in a day and get a refund are the pirates.

 

For me personally, Udemy income has plummeted since June 2021. Until policies change at Udemy, I won't put my premium courses here.

 

Earnings 2023-02-11_17-57.jpg

Hi

I was just looking for a way to voice a concern or let's say feedback for improvement if I may, and I saw this thread, thankfully.

 

There is a rule on Udemy platform that once a course goes live, you cannot change its URL. For example if you choose your course name to be The A Technology Deep Dive, the URL will be like udemy.com/the-a-technology-deep-dive and it cannot be changed later.

 

Given that some instructors prefer to maintain a course and overhaul it for a long time, and even maybe reorganize it in a way that it can be called with a different name, it would be good to be able to choose a different URL than what you chose years ago, reflecting the name you currently use for the course. The Udemy platform can still keep referring the old URL clicked by some users to the same course, while also allowing a new more relevant URL to be used.

 

Dear Udemy, could you please kindly consider supporting this feature? You can add some restriction though, e.g. "You cannot change course URL more than twice in 6 months", or something like that.

 

What do you think?

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