Spring Clean Your Course: Relevance

Using Student Satisfaction Analytics to Make Your Course Shine



Any instruction you deliver in your Udemy course should always relate back to your target audience and your course learning objectives. If you set the right expectations from the get-go and then deliver on them, your course will be filled with satisfied students!

This article goes into the importance of RELEVANCE and its applicability for live and draft courses – so both new and existing instructors take note! For live courses, we’ll cover how you can use the lecture start data from your Student Satisfaction Analytics. You’ll learn how to diagnose the relevance of instructional material and make cuts, edits, or additions where needed. For draft courses, we’ll explain how to structure your course creation process to ensure your course is set up for success.

Live Courses

Look at the number of active students that start each lecture:

relevance 2

Identify lectures with the lowest starting percentages and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this topic relevant to the course’s learning objectives?
    • If the answer is no, perhaps this lecture isn’t adding real value to the course and should be removed altogether.
    • If the answer is yes, then the next step is to make the lecture “packaging” more attractive!
  • How are you signaling the relevance of this lecture? If the lecture topic is indeed important, perhaps it’s not clear to students exactly why.
    • Lecture title: Could you make it more interesting or descriptive? Is it clear what the value add is?
    • Lecture Description: Are you using a lot of jargon?
  • Do the surrounding lectures have higher start rates? You can capitalize on this to “hype” the particular lecture in the previous lecture by including an exciting lead in!

Now identify lectures with the highest start rates and ask yourself the following questions:

relevance 3


  • For lectures with hyper high start rates (>70% of active students are starting the lecture) are you giving enough information on this topic to match student interest?
    • Perhaps a second lecture could be added to fulfill all that interest!
    • Or, do you want create another course – a “deep dive” course – on the topic?
  • Did you do a good job of signaling this topic in your course summary or introductory lecture? If so, how can you mimic these signals for other course lectures and translate that success to the rest of the course?

Let’s get started!

  1. Identify which lecture has the lowest start rate.
  2. Edit the lecture title to make it more descriptive. Be sure to signal the value proposition of the lecture – what can students accomplish with the knowledge or skills they’ll learn? For example, a lecture called “Step 5: Baking” is much less descriptive than “Putting it All Together: Baking Your Cake”.
  3. Edit the lecture description to highlight the topic’s importance and relevance (and make it sound fun too!) Avoid jargon and speak directly to the student using the second person “you”.
  4. Post your old lecture title and description along with your new lecture title and description in the Udemy Studio, Faculty Lounge, or How To course discussion board. The community can help you further perfect it!
  5. BONUS: Add a closing clip to the end of the previous lecture to “hype” the lecture and get students excited about the topic.

Draft Courses

Every lesson and every piece of instructional material you’re planning for your course should relate directly back to the course’s learning objectives. This will ensure you keep out the tangents and keep in the relevant goodies! Here are some strategies for keeping your course content relevant:

  • When you add a lecture to your Curriculum page, explain to yourself in 1-2 sentences why this particular lecture is fundamental to the course goals. If it’s easy to explain, then you’re on the right track. But if it’s difficult, you may need to redefine it or scrap it entirely.
  • For every lecture topic, include an additional resource (challenge, worksheet, cheat sheet, exercise, case study, etc) that demonstrates how students can apply this piece of learning to their lives…immediately. Udemy students are looking for highly actionable instruction so this is key for satisfying your students!

Now it’s your turn!

  1. Choose one of the instructional lectures you’ve added to your draft course’s Curriculum page. It’s okay if you don’t have the lecture actually produced yet, as long as you’ve filled in the lecture title and have a good idea of the topic.
  2. Think of a “brainbuster” (a quick 2 minute exercise) that will allow students to apply the knowledge or skills you’re teaching.
  3. Write down the brainbuster in your lecture description! For example:Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 4.56.56 PM
  4. BONUS: When you produce the lecture later on, refer to the brainbuster to let students know it’s there.


For a better understanding of the “Student Satisfaction Journey”, check out this graphic representation. We also talked with a few instructors who’ve already used Analytics to make course improvements – read how Phil Ebiner and Steve Churchill did it!


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