Udemy Instructor Toolbox: Planning, Promoting, Visuals & Extras

Our instructor community is a tremendous source of information and expertise. Individuals from around the world come together in the Udemy Studio to exchange knowledge, tips, and best practices, and to connect with one another as professionals and online colleagues. We asked instructors to share their favorite tools and resources for course planning and promotion, and we’ve curated their posts to create this Udemy Instructor Toolbox.

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Keynote
  • Uses: Presentation tool 
  • Tip: “After mastering a few simple animation skills and using relevant graphics with minimal text (key words), I then apply automatic transitions between each slide. Next I record the slideshow and add music. Sometimes I voice record as well. Final step is to export as a movie and add to my Screenflow project. Clean, crisp and adds a slightly different look to a session.” – Victoria Rose
PowerPoint
  • Uses: Presentation tool 
  • Tip: “You can make a PowerPoint slideshow using any combination of text slides and screen shots, draw little red circles around important things on the slides, and then use ‘Record Slideshow’ to record narration. This automatically sets the each slide’s duratoin to the length of your narration. You can then go back and fix any slide by ‘Record Slideshow’ ‘starting with current slide’ then press the Esc key when you are done, and it will replace the narration on that slide only.” – Brad Jensen
FaceRig
  • Uses: Create 3D talking characters for your videos.
Photoshop Web Editor
  • Uses: Create images for course material, promotional material, or announcements.
  • Tip: Here’s a quick video from Kristen Palana about how she uses the tool.
Free Photos & Images
  • FlatIcon: A huge database of almost 100,000 flat icons of various types. Can be downloaded in various sizes and file types (PNG, JPG, SVG, etc.), and you can choose the color you want to download it in by choosing pre-determined colors or giving a HEX code.
  • Flickr Creative Commons: You can find pictures here with a creative commons licensing, meaning that you can use the pictures you find (some with attribution, some without) without worrying about copyright infringement. To find pictures search on Flickr, then click the ‘Any license’ drop down, and select the Creative Commons options you want. I always go with ‘Commercial use allowed’ to be safe.
  • This Studio PDF from instructor Nic Oliver is a compilation of over 40 sites that provide public domain and copyright free images. 
  • Presenter Media: An option for clipart (animated and static) as well as PowerPoint templates. Great for building slides for your videos! 

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Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets
  • Uses: The Google Drive Suite offers a free online alternative to Microsoft Office.
  • Tip: The best thing about Google Drive is that is all saves online as you’re typing it, so no more losing files or worrying about an application crashing. You can also edit documents in real-time, and collaborate with other people.
MindMup
  • Uses: Create visual mind maps with ease with a no-fuss interface.
  • Tip: You can save to Google Drive for seamless saving and editing anywhere.
MeisterTask
  • Uses: This is a task management and productivity app which allows you to create projects full of your various “to-dos”.
  • Tip: Within a single to-do, you can add checklists, attachments, and more. You can also invite other users of MeisterTask to join your project to work on the tasks simultaneously and you can communicate via comments. Free for iOS and Apple Watch, too!
Scrivener
  • Uses: Outline and script a course.
  • Tip: It’s for both Macs and PCs! You don’t have to commit right away, you can download a free trial. 
XMind
  • Uses: Free mindmapping software to brainstorm and outline your course. 
Trello
  • Uses: Course brainstorming, planning and outlining.
  • Tip: There’s a ton of flexibility to make pain-free changes to your outline at any time. You can also share your “board” with collaborators!

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Headline Analyzer
  • Uses: Analyze key words in your course title, sub-title, blog post, or any other headline!
Linkedin Contacts
  • Uses: Create an email list from your Linkedin network.
  • Tip: Download your Linkedin connections, thereby creating an instant e-mail list. “Just be careful about how many e-mails you send, as you want to avoid any complaints being filed against you for spamming.” – Nic Oliver

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Closed Captions
  • Uses: Allow those with hearing impairment as well as students speaking different languages to learn from your courses. When you add captions to your Udemy courses you can also increase the chances of being found by students. 
  • Tip: This video from instructor Scott Duffy demonstrates how to cheaply (free!) and easily add closed captions to your Udemy courses. It also shows how Udemy students use the Udemy search to filter for courses that have closed captions. 
  • Bonus Tip: In this video, Scott shows how to use Rev.com to do the transcription of a few videos. 
Small PDF
  • Uses: Change file size of PDF or even file type.
  • Tip: This website offers free PDF tools to reduce the size of PDFs significantly. You can choose to do this so PDFs load faster in your course and don’t keep students waiting. You can also upload and merge several PDFs together, or select the pages from the files you uploaded you want to keep. They also offer the option to convert a number of different files types to PDF and vice versa.  

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