Top 8 Drivers of Student Success + Streamlined Quality Process

Our team constantly strives to never stop learning from our vibrant community of 4 million hungry students and 10,000 passionate instructors. While you’ve been hard at work teaching the world, we’ve been diving into the deep data pool kicked off by more than 12 million course enrollments and hundreds of millions of hours of learning.

Whether you’re a new instructor working on your first course or a seasoned veteran that’s looking to stay fresh, we’re excited to share a few new insights about what truly drives student engagement and, in turn, instructor success.

Let’s start with the basics.

Why is student engagement so important? Active students complete more of your course, purchase more of your other courses, leave reviews, and spread the word about your amazing teaching. When students are successful, instructors are successful.

How did we analyze what students really want? To be honest, we got pretty nerdy. Our team analyzed the attributes of the 20,000 courses on Udemy, the teaching styles of thousands of different instructors, and the consumption patterns of students across 12 million enrollments. Big Data at its best. We layered in insights from reviews, surveys, and user testing. If you really want to geek out, make sure to check out the full breakdown from Udemy’s Learning Science team.

What did we find? All of that research boiled down into 8 main drivers of student engagement and instructor success. Some of these factors are going to be relevant for you while you’re building your course, some of them only after you publish. All of them are integral to creating an ideal learning experience for your Udemy students. So, without further ado…

The Science of Student Success on Udemy
Top 8 Attributes of a Killer Course: Research from Udemy’s Learning Science Team

1. Instructor Delivery — students appreciate an instructor that is clear, confident, engaging and well-organized. Umms and ahhs have no home here, so put forward your most prepared and charming self.
2. Production Quality — students have a high bar when it comes to production quality, so it’s very important to make sure that your audio and video enhance, rather than detract from the learning experience.
3. Depth + Breadth — whether they are a just-in-time or a just-in-case learner, students truly value deep, comprehensive coverage of a given topic. Avoid the surface level sandtrap and dig in to the details.
4. Defined Goals — Udemy students arrive with a mission in mind, so setting (and exceeding!) clear expectations in the form of concrete learning objectives is critical.
5. Reinforced Learning — remember how much you hated extra work or quizzes in school? Well, Udemy students love them. Drive engagement and reinforce learning through quizzes, exercises and supplementary resources.
6. Structured Teaching — students look to your course to walk them down a clearly marked path toward success, so be sure to organize your course content (from your individual lectures to your curriculum as a whole) comprehensively and logically.
7. Real World Applications — students on Udemy love actionable learning and practical applications. Utilize concrete, real world examples to connect your topic with your students’ daily life.
8. Responsive Course Community — students look to you to be a resource as they dig into your course topic. Create an engaging community inside of your course, and be an active participant by responding to students’ questions promptly.

We’ll continue to learn from you and dissect the science behind how you’re making students successful, but in the meantime you’ll begin to see these new insights in two main places:

  1. We’ve simplified the process of getting your course reviewed by Udemy’s Quality Team by bringing that review process out of your email inbox and into your Course Dashboard. We’ve also streamlined the Quality Review Checklist and incorporated these new findings. These changes will be live for all instructors beginning December 8.
  2. We’re launching a new and improved instructor-oriented site, the Teach Hub. Here, you’ll find amazing resources on course creation and course marketing, and you’ll also be able to stay in touch with what’s hot in the Udemy Instructor Community.