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Understanding your Early Impressions Survey

Once your course is published, the real work of optimizing it for student success begins. Making sure that your course is delivering an amazing student experience is a crucial part of being a successful Udemy instructor. With Udemy’s Early Impressions Survey, you can hear directly from your students about what they love in your courses and what could be improved.

In this article we’ll go over how to use the comments to ensure that you’re providing an amazing learning experience.

Step 1: Identify Themes

It may seem obvious, but spend some time just reading over your student comments. Can you identify any themes in the “Neutral” or “Needs Attention” comments? Can you identify any themes in the “Doing Great” section? If multiple students are saying similar things, that’s an important indicator. Start there with your course updates.

Step 2: Confirmation

Do you know that your first course’s audio quality is worse than in your subsequent courses? Are you already aware that your introduction is a bit rambling? Many instructors use individual student comments to confirm what they already knew: that certain parts of their courses need updating. Even if it’s only one comment, see if it confirms something you already knew. If it does, that’s an important indicator that you need to update something.

Step 3: Common Comments

Many instructors see similar comments in their courses which can be hard to know what to do with. Read on to learn how to use these common comments to update your course for student success.

If your students say:

  • You’re asking too soon!
  • Too soon to tell
  • It’s too early to have an opinion

Updates to Consider:
Students on Udemy want to get learning, fast. Courses that have too much introductory “filler” don’t provide the same immediacy that courses that jump right into the material do. Analyze your first section. Do your first three lectures follow this ideal format?

  • Inspire. Make a stellar first impression with your introduction. Your introduction lecture should encourage your students to connect with you on a professional and personal level. Keep it short, appear on camera if possible, and make it all about the skills your students will learn. Here’s more info on how to inspire with your intro.
  • Deliver a quick win. Jump right into your content! Can you teach students a new skill that they didn’t have before starting the course? If you can, you’ve hooked them. Note that this can be a very simple concept — it’s only the second lecture, after all. Here’s how.
  • Hit the ground running. Continue with your curriculum, making sure to energize, inspire, and engage with students through different format lecture types and activities.

If your students say:

  • So boring. Not interested.
  • This instructor is not engaging me.
  • Speaks in a monotone. Not interesting!

Updates to Consider:
Learning online can be tough, so make sure that you’re bringing extra energy to keep your students engaged. Analyze your first section, paying critical attention to your:

  • Tone of Voice. If you sound boring to yourself, imagine how your students will react. Lots of energy can be stripped out by the camera, so when you’re filming make sure to bring 110% in terms of energy — keep your tone engaging and different (no monotones!), smile, and stay loose. Here’s how.
  • Video format. Students appreciate connecting with their instructors. Including a Talking Head introduction is a great way to engage your students from the get-go. Here’s how to appear on camera and connect with your students.

If your students say:

  • Can’t understand the instructor!
  • Accent is very strong
  • She’s speaking too fast

Updates to Consider:
Udemy students (and instructors!) are a global bunch. Accents, talking speed, and jargon can all make learning more difficult. To ensure your course is accessible for all audiences, consider adding:

  • Closed Captions. Here’s how.
  • Visual aids. Annotations, images spliced into videos, and slides are all great ways to highlight key points.
  • Exercises and Summary Lectures. Including summary lectures at the end of your sections and adding in interactive assignments (like quizzes and coding exercises) are great ways to make sure students are learning.

More than anything, student comments from your Early Impressions Survey are meant to be actionable. Use them to update your course, and if you need any help getting started, post in the Udemy Studio. We’re here to help you optimize your course for student success.