Black Friday: Structure Your Course for Student Success



Meet the #BlackFriday2015 Challenge

  • Your course must have one student practice activity in every section (quiz, exercise, or project), except the Introduction and Conclusion sections.
  • Make sure the lecture containing the activity is titled something like “[Activity] Take Your Photo” or “[Exercise] Find Variable X”. This immediately signals the actionability of your course to students!
  • You must also have at least one supplemental resource in the course.
  • There is no due date for this task, your course just must have the requisite student activities when you submit it for review. But if you’d like some community feedback, be sure to post your outline in the Studio by October 13.

Best Practices for Structuring Your Course

Students want to learn in a logical and conceptual way, and they want to learn skills that are immediately applicable to their professional or personal lives. You should always give students different ways in which they can practice their newfound skills or apply their recently learned knowledge. A successful course outline with associated practice activities will ensure that your students are happy and that your course creation process is a breeze. Here’s how to make that happen:

  • For every section, focus on one skill; for every lecture, focus on one concept. All skills should be connected to the overall learning goals of the course.
  • Choose the appropriate format for each lecture. Once you decide on the content of the lecture, then you can decide which format makes the most sense. Check out the below table for help choosing the right format.

shot selection table

  • In EACH section of your course, include at least one practice activity (quiz, exercise, or project) to help students apply what they’ve learned in that section. Describe in your video lectures how the activity is relevant and always know how it connects to your course goals.
  • Provide all the needed resources for each activity, such as worksheets, source code, practice files, etc. If you’re teaching a course on HTML, CSS or Javascript, be sure to add coding exercises!

Got it? Now it’s time to create your course outline! Use this template to do so.

Get Feedback from the Community

We’d love to give you feedback on your course structure to ensure that you’re creating the best possible course!

  1. Follow the tips in this article to plan out your course outline and practice activities using this template.
  2. Post your Google doc link in the Udemy Studio with the hashtag #BlackFriday2015 by October 13. The community and our Instructor Team will offer feedback on your outline and activities!
  3. After you’ve incorporated any feedback, go to your draft course curriculum page and add all your section titles, lecture titles, and lecture descriptions.

If you’re not a member of the Studio yet, apply to join here.

7 thoughts on “Black Friday: Structure Your Course for Student Success”

  1. Michael R. Gaudet says:

    Dear Udemy, I am happy to say that I have already created all of the “Outline Activities” in my course.

  2. Ben Pearson says:

    Is a quiz an acceptable activity? In the course I’m planning, the main goal is to pass a specified test, and I was hoping as an exercise to test the students on the knowledge of each section of the test. Is that acceptable for this purpose?

    1. Udemy Instructor Team says:

      Hey Ben, you bet! Quizzes count.

  3. Peter Dickinson says:

    I have put the template together for the structure of the course as per the BlackFriday challenge and I am happy to share it with your instructor team but I don’t want to share it with the community as the ideas in it could be easily copied. Is there anyway I can get your team to review without making it public?

    Many thanks


    1. Udemy Instructor Team says:

      Hey Peter, right now you can only share with the community for feedback!

  4. Atmovivek G. says:

    Dear all, I am happy to say that I have already created all of the “Outline Activities” of my first MASTERMIND course MEDITATION COACHING- LEARN ART & SCIENCE OF MEDITATION.

  5. JOY says:

    This was awesome, I updated my Face Reading course then saw this challenge and went for it. Got so inspired I stayed till 3am, now have 12 JOYscriptions, one in each category, to help my students learn more effectively.

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