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Instructor Case Study #1: Updating your Course with Satisfaction Analytics

Student Satisfaction Analytics are a powerful tool for increasing student engagement and happiness within your course.  If you’re dedicated to creating (and maintaining!) a world-class teaching experience in your course but don’t know what to do next, check out these case studies from instructors who have successfully made updates to their course to increase student satisfaction.

Phil ebiner headshot


Phil Ebiner.  Phil, a best-selling Udemy instructor launched his newest course, Photography Masterclass in early February.  The Photography Masterclass is truly a masterclass: 13 hours, 19 sections, 224 lectures.  Quickly, though, Phil noticed a few things that were coming up for his students.


  • Phil’s students noted that certain things in his course were great — notably the Audio/Video Quality and Setting and Meeting Student Expectations.
  • Phil’s students also noted, though, that he needed to work on one element of his course: Addressing the Clarity and Structure of Course Content.Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 2.36.52 PM
  • After looking through his course structure, Phil noticed that his first section was quite long, with many different introductory lectures (lectures like “What will you learn in this course?”;  “How will you succeed in this course?”; “What do you need to take this course?”).  These were great lectures for getting students introduced to the course’s instructors, progression, and requirements, but they didn’t allow students to jump right in and start learning immediately.  
  • As Phil said,  “I used the feedback to organize the lectures of the course so that there is a balance of introduction to the course topics as well as diving straight into the course content.  Having advanced analytics really helps me gauge what lessons (and types of lessons) do well.
  • Phil made a few different updates to his course based on this feedback, all of which contributed to higher student satisfaction and an increase in positive reviews:
    • Phil restructured his intro section.  He kept in an introduction lecture, but moved a lecture that had been further down in the curriculum into the second lecture spot.  The lecture From iPhone to fancy DSLR: the basic photographers toolbox” is a comprehensive lecture that contains actual course content.  It’s still a beginners lecture, but it’s not an introduction lecture — it’s actual course content.
    • For his fourth lecture (still in the intro section), Phil created a new text lecture: a learning pathways document, “Map to Success – What are you interested in learning?”.  This text document covers the different elements of the course curriculum, and directs students to check out certain sections if they are interested in certain topics (for instance, taking photos with a smartphone is Section 12).  This allowed students to jump right to where they wanted to start learning — a crucial addition for a longer course.
  • After moving a more content-heavy lecture in the #2 spot and adding in the learn pathways lecture in the #4 spot, Phil kept the rest of his lectures in the intro section the same.  The result?  A big increase in student satisfaction, with “Organization and Clarity” moving from “Needs Work” to “Doing Great”.

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As Phil says, “We’re at a point with online education now where most people have access to learning and teaching. The next step is making courses comparable to live classes – to make sure students are truly learning the subjects that we teach. Only with new tools like Udemy’s Student Satisfaction Analytics will teachers like me be able to continue to improve our course materials.”

Access your Student Satisfaction Analytics to start hearing from students and making updates to your course!