The November 2023 Udemy Instructor Insider

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Hello, Instructors! Welcome to another edition of the Instructor Insider, a semi-regular look at what we’ve been doing and what’s to come.

There’s a saying that “the only thing constant is change.” Well, we have a particularly exciting change to share. If you’ve watched the video above, you already know that Genefa Murphy has joined us as Chief Marketing Officer. She’s brought a refreshing new energy to Udemy, helping to  get Udemy — and your courses — in front of even more eyes.

There’s more change too. Technology and the economy, forever linked, are changing the ways people do their jobs and companies do business. We’re in a skills-based economy now, and we — you included — are at the heart of it. Your courses are helping businesses to fill crucial skills gaps, while also enabling individual learners at all points in their careers. You’ve responded in big ways to that by creating fresh, engaging content.

What we’ve done

Of course, it’s our job to make that job easier for you. We’ve been adding new tools for your practice activities and course creation, while making sure that new visitors to Udemy know what we’re about, and current learners keep coming back for more.

Learner retention and engagement: We want learners to keep coming back and engaging with your content again and again — it’s good for skill-building and your bottom line. That’s why we’ve been testing and launching features to motivate learners, such as learning streaks. Subscription learners may now see the number of consecutive weeks they’ve made time to learn, as well as their progress towards the current week’s milestone.

AI-assisted search: Because learners will search Udemy for something specific, we’re now using artificial intelligence to parse course transcripts to better match their queries to your specific lectures. This should be good news for enrollments in the marketplace and greater course consumption for Personal Plan and Udemy Business courses.

Better video: We started improving video quality with course previews, which reduced start time and doubled watches. Now we’ve brought those improvements to lectures too, and have improved the average bitrate by over 400%. Best of all, adaptive streaming and 1080p resolution is now enabled for all new courses. This means that any new courses you publish, or any updates you make to your current courses, will be automatically available to your learners in HD.

Udemy Business content opportunities: If you’re teaching with Udemy Business, you can now take advantage of what we know about what our enterprise customers want. That way you know what content to create next. Our first iteration of Udemy Business content opportunities  is available now.

New resources: You may not see these improvements all at once (or in your market), but we’ve rolled out new guidance on managing course updates, a new space in the community for instructors with one or more Udemy Business courses, more community events, and Vietnamese language support for emails and the Teaching Center.

New homepage: We’ve talked about this for a while. But we are pleased to announce our new homepage is now live in the United States. It’s designed to give visitors a more complete view of Udemy. After all, we’ve come a long way, from being a place where individuals come to just buy a course or two. 

Pricing and taxes: This isn’t the fun stuff, but it is necessary. We created a new pricing page to make the Deals Program more intuitive, and we’ve continued to work to improve the tax form process across our global platform. Hint: If you haven’t already, please submit your tax forms by the end of the year.


What’s coming up

You can expect to see continuing progress on many of the projects above, such as learner engagement and the Udemy homepage. Beyond these, we’re also hard at work on new improvements that we hope will lighten your load with generative AI and drive more enrollment and course consumption through partnerships and marketing. 

Certification preparation: The demand for certifications keeps getting bigger, so we will further our partnership with 1EdTech to integrate their Open Badges into Udemy. This means courses that prepare learners for certifications will be designated with a corresponding badge.

Plus, after our successful experiments with our learning streaks program, we’re now working on something similar to help Udemy Business learners stay on track for certification preparation.

Practice test enhancements: Just as we did with coding exercises, we’re now starting to add AI-power to practice test creation. We’re beginning with features that make it easier for you to create explanations for your answers, as well as alternative questions.

Q&A improvements: We know it can be challenging to keep up with Q&A when you have a lot of learners working through your content. We’re exploring how we can use generative AI to make it more manageable to help your learners, while still maintaining that personal touch.

Changes to our subscription program terms: To support continued platform development and growth, we’ll be making adjustments to the instructor revenue share for Udemy Business and Personal Plan beginning in January 2024. You can read more about this change here.

Reaching new learners: The marketplace continues to be a big driver of enrollments for your courses as well as the place where courses gather ratings and reviews. For example, we recently announced partnerships with several trusted brands including Docker and F1 racing to help bring more and more people to the Udemy platform to build their skills. As Genefa said in her introduction, we want to put Udemy in front of even more people and bring more people to your courses. So keep your eye out.


Wrapping up

We hope the things we’ve been working on are helping you do what you do best, teaching learners new skills that make changes in their lives. And we hope that you’re excited about all the things to come. As always, your feedback is incredibly important to us. So head on over to the instructor community to tell us what you’re excited about, what’s working for you, and what you’d like for us to do next.

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