Classroom innovation with Professor Richard Okumoto.
Professor Rich Okumoto created a course on Udemy and innovated how students learn at colleges. Learn how Udemy helped him flip the classroom.
Hometown: Newport Beach, CA
Udemy Course: Personal Financial Wellbeing
Countries Reached: 3
Q: Why did you decide to teach a course on Udemy?
Rich: Udemy is the perfect platform to test a new model for developing, implementing, and maintaining higher education course materials. Udemy met my specific requirements which included the following:
- Digital content that can be viewed across many hardware platforms (desktop, laptop, pads, and smartphones)
- Digital content that is not operating system limited
- Digital content that efficiently handles video
- Digital content that is easy to maintain and update
- Manages administrative functions such as:
- Collecting student information
- Providing student progress reporting
- Providing student completion reporting
- Issuance of certificates of completion
- Collection of student fees
- Collateral advertising and sales channel management
Q: What do you hope students get out of your course?
Rich: My objective is to have students gain a basic understanding of personal financial well-being. And, use the course as a reference source throughout their lives.
Q: Tell us a bit about what makes your course special?
Rich: The course was designed into a University accredited course. The Udemy course materials replace a hard copy text book. I have promoted the Udemy course as a “Digital Media Textbook” which will be updated as needed. This provides a life-long learning source for the price of the original purchase. Essentially, this mirrors a software license paid-up in perpetuity!
Q: How has the Udemy community helped you achieve your goals?
Rich: The Udemy community has encouraged me to move forward. Taking this activity as an example; Udemy staff has helped me crystalize my thoughts and helped me promote the legitimacy of this new approach to develop, implement, and maintain university level course material.
Q: What have you learned from teaching online?
Rich:I have learned that staying connected to student needs is critical.
Q: What’s your approach to teaching online and what are some teaching tactics that you’ve tried that have been successful?
Rich: Be natural, be real, and deliver meaningful and timely information. Provide a visual framework of your course and provide building blocks – keep it simple!
Q: What are some teaching tactics that have not been so fruitful?
Rich: Filling students’ heads with a lot of really important facts and figures (Wow – that sounds sarcastic)!
Q: Do you have a favorite student success story?
Rich: I had a student who was physically challenged – having course materials online provided a safe haven for this student. The student did not lose time maneuvering his wheelchair around campus. The student reviewed my Udemy course materials in a safe environment; using a stop-and-start approach. At the end of the course this student was in the top 5% of the class.
Q: What do you know now about teaching online that you wish you had known before you started?
Rich: Students want to feel they are connecting to the instructor. This is truly difficult in a mediated communication environment. I have the advantage that many of my students attend the university where I teach and use my Udemy courses.
Q: What advice do you have for an individual considering becoming an instructor on Udemy and getting ready to create their first course?
Rich:I suggest talking to others who have developed and taught Udemy courses then “go-for-it!”
What are you waiting for? Sign up to teach online today!