FAQ: Free course testing

I hear there are some changes to the free courses on Udemy lately. What’s happening?

Free courses have always been important to us. It’s how students sample Udemy, try new instructors, explore other areas of study, and learn new skills they couldn’t otherwise afford to learn. Over the past year, we’ve been doing a lot of work on understanding value in the Udemy marketplace, making sure we’re providing meaningful price differentiation for courses, while helping instructors share their knowledge and make a profit (if they choose). Part of that work involves looking at the features and functionality that students expect from the courses they pay for as well as the ones they get for free.

Are you going to remove free courses?

Not at all. We believe that free courses are powerful tools for both students and instructors. We want to identify the best way for both students and instructors to interact with them. You may see some changes, however, as we do some testing.

What tests are being run?

You may see changes that affect how free courses are classified or displayed, along with the functionality they have. Some of these tests may include highlighting free courses on their own landing pages. These tests will be ongoing and will evolve as we finetune things, make observations, and listen to your feedback. 

How will this impact my free students?

Students who have already enrolled in a free course should see no difference in that course. However, unenrolled students may see the changes we’re testing.

What impact will this have on my revenue?

Since the tests being run at this time are only on free courses, there won’t be any direct impact. However, we will be looking to see if the changes affect revenue for courses that have paid enrollments.

How long are these tests running for? Will these changes be permanent?

We plan to run these tests for approximately 6 months. These changes may be permanent if they improve the student and instructor experiences, as well as overall marketplace health.

Will I still be able to send announcements to my free students?

You will still be able to send educational announcements to your students as you do today. Our current policy of not allowing promotional announcements within free courses will remain unchanged.

What other changes can I expect from free courses in the coming months?

The tests that Udemy will be running on free courses are dynamic. They will be adjusted or altered based off of results that we see throughout the tests. This blog post will be updated periodically with those changes.

I have feedback about this project. Where can I share my opinions?

We would love to hear about your experiences as we run these tests. Please submit your feedback or concerns with this project through this google form.

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