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.

A professor uses Udemy to teach online

Who: Richard Okumoto, University Faculty at  San Jose State University & California State University, Long Beach

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:

  1. Digital content that can be viewed across many hardware platforms (desktop, laptop, pads, and smartphones)
  2. Digital content that is not operating system limited
  3. Digital content that efficiently handles video
  4. Digital content that is easy to maintain and update
  5. 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!

2 thoughts on “Classroom innovation with Professor Richard Okumoto.”

  1. I’m routinely hearing “student-instructor connection” as a theme to positive course experiences. Thank you for sharing, Rich!

  2. quinton says:

    i am so inspired would like to learn more and more to educate others

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