I think that in order to protect the instructors from low ratings without any justification, udemy should not accept 1 or 2 stars rating unless the student provides justification about his/her rating.
This will help the instructors know their mistakes and correct them according to the students feedback.
Hi @DamianMcKinnon, thank you for sharing your honest thoughts. We strive to respond to community posts as soon as possible, however, we know that we have instructors from all over the world in the community due to time differences, sometimes we're unable to act on a thread as quickly as we'd like. We're very sorry to hear about your negative experience. Just know that your feedback is very important to us and we'll definitely take this into account so we can work on preventive measures for dealing with these types of issues moving forward.
This is an old topic that refuses to go away. That same stock standard copy and paste email - it's not good enough. I think in all my time in this community I have seen one complaint acted upon. Let's see if the new CEO makes a priority of representing instructor interests. But if I was a betting man I know where I'd lay down my money.
A couple points about reviews, reviewers and reviewees:
1. First, all review systems are based on the subjective biases of those doing the reviews. There is no objective review system. Even when the reviewer is a professional whose job it is to review, they often get it incredibly wrong because of their own biases. For example:
MobyDick, the reviewer wrote: "First, we must ask, does it have to be a whale? While this is a rather delightful, if somewhat esoteric, plot device, we recommend an antagonist with a more popular visage among the younger readers. For instance, could not the Captain be struggling with a depravity towards young, perhaps voluptuous, maidens?"
...of Rudyard Kipling: “...you just don’t know how to use the English language.”
...of D.H. Lawrence and his Lady Chatterley's Lover: “...for your own sake do not publish this book.”
...of Steven King: “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.”
...Louisa May Alcott's Little Women: “Stick To Teaching.”
The Beatles were rejected by numerous record labels and told that there was no market for boy bands with guitars. Too bad for them.
Successful authors, musicians, etc. recognize and accept the subjectivity of ratings/reviews and move on.
2. Locus of control. There is a continuum from internality to externality (see the Rotter Scale) in how we explain or interpret events in our life. The first stage of my career was working in prisons in North Carolina with young inmates. Most of them had one thing in common. They didn't think they were responsible for being there. They all had a story about how the "other guys" got them in trouble. If we could have caught those other guys we would have eliminated crime in North Carolina. They scored very high on the external locus of control scale. They didn't believe in their own responsibility, therefore they didn't process feedback and had great difficulty improving. Working with successful entrepreneurs and executives it was very apparent that they scored high on the internality side of the scale. That is why so many successful entrepreneurs first have failures, acknowledge and learn from those failures. They don't talk about "the other guys", they ask "what should I have done differently?" And, they move on quickly. They take action, doing what they can to determine future outcomes.
Everyone of us have received bad reviews, the issue for instructors is how we react to those reviews. Do you blame the reviewer or the review system (the other guys), or do you accept the inevitable subjectivity and learn from any useful feedback? How this is answered is an obvious distinction between the more and less successful instructors, and the same could be said of authors, musicians, etc.
Very good insight here.
However, the issue stated here isn't really about useful feedback that just happens to be negative. The issue is bad reviews with no justification or actual content to them that states why they gave a bad review. Fake reviews come to mind.
There is no issue with someone not liking my course, but if all they say is " . " or a one word "no" that doesn't do anything for future readers or for me as an instructor to improve.
Hope this helps.
Hi @georgeshahat @RobertBrown028 @AhmedMagdyMohamed @DamianMcKinnon, thank you all for taking the time to share your feedback. We understand how important this is for instructors and will continue to forward your insights to the appropriate teams at Udemy. We want to be transparent and clarify that we currently are not prioritizing updates to the weighted average rating or requiring written reviews, but when we do, your suggestions will certainly be evaluated.
Once again, thank you for your comments. Our team is very grateful for your passion, engagement, and willingness to share your opinions to help improve our product.
I completely agree with this....not to prevent me from getting lower ratings, but to prevent all the accidental 1-2 star ratings. I've reached out to SO MANY STUDENTS about low ratings, and every single one of them responded that the rating was an accident (or they don't know how it happened), and they updated it.
Wow @AhmedMagdyMohamed way to go with throwing out accusations of racism, and then following it up with ageist remarks. That sort of behavior isn't acceptable here, or anywhere else. Perhaps you could offer some more constructive feedback, such as how you earned ratings of 4.9 - 5.0 on some of your courses. We must have a lot to learn from you about how to create some of the best content on the platform, and how to motivate students to write positive reviews. Please share your tips with us!
Look, EVERY review system is fatally flawed. They are ALL subject to gaming and the biases of the reviewers. But like it or not, students - which are Udemy's customers, and our customers - expect them as a tool in making a buying decision. If I were in charge, I'd eliminate reviews entirely in favor of some objective engagement-based metric from the behavior of paid students. But I'm not, and reviews are here to stay.
Bad reviews hurt my feelings too. That's why I don't look at reviews at all, or respond to them. Only if I notice a course is doing noticeably worse than my others will I dig into reviews looking for actionable feedback on what's wrong with it. And if there is some, I act on it. Otherwise, I accept that reviews are for students more than they are for me, and that the system is about as good as it can reasonably get.
It's been awhile since Udemy talked about how the review system works, but there are quite a few nuances that help us out you might not know about. The last we heard, written reviews carry more weight in your review average than reviews with no text - so those one-star reviews with no text may not have useful information for you, but they also don't count much. And reviews don't count at all after a few months, so even if you are hammered with unfair one-stars, they will eventually go away and let you start with a clean slate again. I think Udemy thought this all through a lot better than some of the huge tech companies, like Amazon.
Suggesting mandatory written comments on one and two star reviews is not an unreasonable idea. But it would bias reviews toward the positive, as it would introduce friction to negative reviews, and make the reviews less helpful to students as a result. "OK then, require comments on all reviews" you may say - but there are just too many courses on the marketplace, and reviews are spread too thinly as a result. Udemy needs to drive all the reviews they can get, in order to get a meaningful measure of every course's quality from learners. I appreciate Udemy's stance on this, and it's really an impossible situation.
Anyhow, my advice as always is to focus on what you can control. If your course is getting hammered by bad reviews, there's probably a reason why. Make your course better. Stop offering it for free and making it easy for trolls to access. And if you really think there is a concerted attack against your course from competitors - find evidence of it, and present it to the policy team. Never in the history of this community have I seen anyone actually have evidence of an attack from competing instructors, though. More often it goes back to Larry's point of how we want to blame someone else for bad things. Larry's a very wise man by the way. Y'all should listen.
@FrankKane Actually all the champions here deserve to be treated the same you treat us if we ask for something you donot like.. So if you see it is racist to say "old man" then let it be! and I donot care at all!
I have been attacked, accused of really bad things I never did and your community let it go so I will let it go the same you let your attacks go. Good Luck with your day, week, month and year and your career.
@FrankKane I am sorry I donot mean that but Lawrence accused me and said alot against me in an archived thread I am saying " old man " because I donot know what to call him after all his accusations to me . I was just asking for something!!!
Three major difficulties make this an ineffective exchange. One is there isn't a common set of facts, partly due to some instructors defining that reviews are for their benefit. Without a common understanding of review systems, how they are created and how they are evaluated, common understanding is not going to happen, nor the acceptance of opposing viewpoints.
The second problem is that for some, this is an emotional issue. Logical responses only incite more intense emotions; which is happening here.
The third is the different desired outcome. Some want a system that eliminates valid and invalid low ratings to benefit instructors while others support a system that maximizes student input. This difference in goals is the natural result of defining the issue differently. N'er the twain shall meet.
Perhaps a fruitful discussion would be how to productively handle the sting of a low review. Not looking at them until a course is not performing well seems like a good idea. I've learned to do that with my books.
But I do want to acknowledge the pain some of my fellow instructors are feeling. I go through periods when I think about returning to book writing sooner rather than later to avoid some of the built-in Udemy frustrations.
Community Champions donot seem they encourage fruitful discussions here.
If they are treating themselves like Udemy's Gods and accusing anybody at anytime, they wont give a chance for a constructive feedback. Admins here are serving them too which makes the situation even worse. If you want respect, you have to show some respect.