Recommended process for course creation (and beyond)

Your guide to creating a quality course

With this guide we aim to provide a structured path to course ideation, creation, publication, marketing, and maintenance. 

Our recommended course creation process is rooted in the Backward Design framework, which means you don’t start with your course content. Instead, choose your course topic, learner audience, and then develop the learning objectives you wish to help learners achieve. Then you’ll develop the course content and learning activities to help your learners achieve them. This tends to create a more engaging learning experience, resulting in happier learners (and better reviews). After course publication, the next phase begins; most successful instructors invest time in marketing, iterating, and maintaining their courses over time.

Step 1: Define your course topic and ideal learner audience

Choose a course topic that you’re passionate about, that excites you, and that you’re knowledgeable in. Your topic should meet the needs of real-world learners, whether it’s for professional or personal development. Define precisely who your audience is, and what skills they aim to learn, then refine your idea based on learner demand. Perhaps there’s a special topic within your field that lacks extensive course offerings, or maybe a recent development in your industry has created an opportunity for new content. Read more about this in our define your audience and objectives guide.

Tip: You can check demand interest on Udemy to validate or refine your course idea. Use our Marketplace Insights tool to understand what topics are in demand across our marketplace. If you’re interested in reaching enterprise learners, there’s also our Udemy Business content opportunities tool* which offers a look at what subjects are needed most by  companies that use Udemy Business.

*Note: The tool is currently only available to instructors in good standing who have at least one course with a 4.2 star rating across 25+ ratings for English content or 10+ ratings for non-English content. Opportunities currently display in English, even when an opportunity targets a course in another language. The Udemy team is working to enable official translations of all opportunities.

Step 2: Create your course learning objectives

Based on the audience you’ve identified, think about what your ideal learners will learn in your course. Determine your course’s learning objectives: the knowledge, skills, and attitudes you want learners to have after taking your course. This will help you focus your course content and ensure you’re meeting these objectives. Learning objectives will also help you position your course to prospective learners. You can read more about this in our create your learning objectives guide.

Step 3: Outline your course

Now that you know exactly what outcomes you want for your learners, it’s time to build the foundation of your course! Create an outline for your course content that includes a blend of lectures, practice activities, and assessments that aligns with your learning objectives. You can read more about this in our outline your course guide.

Step 4: Plan your practice activities and assessments

Adding practice activities and assessments to your course can help engage your learners. Learners can practice what you’re teaching and start to think about how they’ll apply what they’re learning in the real world. These exercises help learners assess their knowledge and comprehension. You can read more about this in our practice activities and assessments guide.

Step 5: Record and produce your course content

Now it’s time to create. Script and record your lectures, and create resources, exercises, and assessments that you’ll share throughout the course. Read more about producing your video lectures in our scripting and recording sections.

Step 6: Publish your course

To craft your course landing page, use the learning objectives and ideal learner audience you developed earlier. This will help learners discover your course and set the right expectations for what they can learn. You can read more about this in our create your course landing page guide

Every submitted course is reviewed by our Trust & Safety team to ensure the course meets our requirements before it’s published on Udemy. 

If you plan to charge for your course and participate in revenue sharing, you will be required to become a premium instructor and select a price tier before you publish. After publication, you will need to submit a valid tax form to receive payouts.

 Step 7: Market your course

Build buzz around your course! Share course coupon codes with friends and colleagues. Work on getting social proof for your course by encouraging your learners to review your course. You can read more about getting reviews in our establish your credibility with reviews guide

If you’d like to benefit from Udemy promotional programs and pricing data, opt in to Udemy Deals. If you would like your course to be considered for our subscription offerings, and potentially reach over 15k enterprise customers worldwide, opt in to Udemy Business Content Subscriptions.

Step 8: Engage with learners

Once your course is published, it’s time to engage with your learners. Participate in Q&A, engage with learner reviews, and provide feedback on learner assignments. Pro tip: The more you engage with your learners, the more likely they are to engage with your course. You can read more about this in our engage with your learners guide.

Step 9: Iterate on your course content

Keep your course fresh! Review your course’s performance in the instructor dashboard to get insights on where learners are getting stuck. Update your content in response to industry changes, learner feedback, or new insights you wish to share. You can read more about this in our maintain your course guide.

Key takeaways

Creating an online course can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve outlined a basic guide above — but don’t worry, there’s lots more where that came from. There are tons of resources to draw from in the Teaching Center, or you can connect with other instructors in the instructor community

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