Introducing: New Announcement and Messaging Tools

Big changes for Udemy, students, and instructors are coming in 2016!  We recently announced the complete rebuild of the course taking experience that will help students better engage with course content that you work so hard to create. This rebuild includes focusing on lecture types and resources that improve the overall student experience.  All of your content will remain available to students; however, we recommend that you learn more about these changes to ensure the optimal student experience.  As part of this initiative, we’ve also completely revamped our Instructor communication tools: engaging with students is faster and easier than ever!  

Whether it’s a message from a prospective student asking about course fit, a promotional announcement with news about a new course, or a direct message congratulating a student upon course completion, communication tools help connect students and instructors on a more personal level.  We’re in awe of how much time instructors invest to creatively engage with their students!

With these changes, our communication tools are more intuitive, helpful, and accessible to help instructors interact with potential and current students. Now we’re thrilled to share what we’ve been working on:

Announcements

After collecting feedback from students and instructors, we added some highly requested features.

  • Create new announcements and view your previous ones on the brand new Announcements dashboard
  • Check the status of your promotional announcement email – whether it’s in progress and when it’s been sent to your students.
  • Target students by course progress, for both promotional and educational announcements.
  • Before clicking that oftentimes intimidating Send button, preview the Announcement within the course and even send a test email!

Learn more here.

Messaging

Part of what makes teaching on Udemy so unique, aside from the ability to reach nearly 10 million students around the globe, is the ability to connect with a single student, to impact their learning on a personal level.

The new messaging interface allows you to efficiently manage your inbox so that you can respond to more students in less time.

  • Easily filter your messages so that you can prioritize the ones that you choose.
  • If you need to do some research before replying, simply mark the message “Important”.
  • If you don’t get to finish reading a message, just mark it as “Unread”.

Learn more here.

Questions & Answers (Discussions)

Last but not least, our Product, Engineering, and Design teams are hard at work building our new Question & Answer tool to help students and instructors better ask and answer questions.  The feature will be released in the upcoming weeks along with the new student course taking experience!

Improvements to Course Content

As we continue to work on providing an immersive and engaging learning environment, we are simplifying the types of content that can be created in Udemy courses.

Students on Udemy indicate they prefer courses with video based lectures but we also recognize the importance of written material. As a result the new course taking experience is optimized for video-based lectures and article-based lectures.

The majority of your content is already in this form and will benefit from the improved video player and article viewer. All your PDF, presentation, audio, and iFrame lectures will remain accessible, but the way students access them will change. Please review the lecture description of these types of lectures.

As of February 15, you will be able to add new content in types other than video or article by attaching them as resources to lectures. Resources will become more visible to ensure students are aware of the richness and depth of your course content.

For a summary of all the lecture types, please see below:

Table_Phase2_sunsetting

Note: If you previously received notice about externally hosted content or SCORM lectures, please see this article.

 

Onwards!

We’re incredibly excited about the new student and instructor experiences, especially the redesigned and optimized Announcement and Messages tools. Share your feedback in the Studio or email us at instructorsupport@udemy.com.  Happy 2016!

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