I created a short course to test the water in Udemy:
It has 700+ students enrolled, and nearly zero minutes watched. So I dug into the data a bit. Many of the enrolled students are enrolled in *thousands* of other courses.. This seems quite odd, but I guess maybe people just click 'enroll' on thousands of courses?
So I looked into the handful of students who had actually watched some of my course, and it starts to look even weirder.
Three out of 700+ students have watched > 0 mins.
Two of those have watched ~10mins ... but they have somehow done that in the FIVE SECONDS which elapsed between them starting the course and their last visit.
One student has managed to watch the whole 1hr+ of video, but they have done that in the FOURTEEN SECONDS which elapsed between them starting the course and their last visit:
Started Date: 2022-02-09 22:10:48
Last Visited: 2022-02-09 22:10:53
What's going on?
Seems likely that lots of the accounts who sign up to thousands of courses are bots, but what is the scam here? Are they posting fake reviews on all these accounts? Is this some gaming mechanism to get courses ranked higher?
And what's with the watching one hour of video in 14seconds thing? Does the bot account look more credible if it has actually watched the course? But surely Udemy can spot if someone is watching the entire course at 250x normal speed?
Or maybe the "Last visited" timestamp is wrong, maybe that's the time they last commenced a visit, so this user did then watch the whole course in one go? Although that user is enrolled in 7896 other courses, with no obvious theme, which does look a little odd to say the least.
I'm left feeling there is some kind of scam going on here which I cannot spot. I can see, if I login as a student, that there are some real courses here, with real instructors. But there seems to be this strange underbelly of weird gaming / scamming going on under the surface. Very peculiar.
Any other instructors have thoughts on this? Or can Udemy comment on:
(1) Why some students are enrolled in thousands, or tens of thousands, of courses?
(2) How some students appear to be able to view the content at 250x normal speed?