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Weekly Roundup – December 9, 2015

The Weekly Roundup is a list of all instructor-relevant updates, announcements, and general news that has taken place in the last week. Check the Community News section of the Teach Hub on Wednesdays to read through the roundup!

Weekly Roundup

News & Updates


Review Sweep

Students at Udemy tell us that course reviews are crucial in helping them make decisions about courses, while our instructors appreciate the valuable feedback that comes from authentic reviews. This means it’s incredibly important that the reviews in the marketplace are fair and honest representations of course quality.

Since we launched our Trust & Safety policies in September, we’ve heard from our instructors that one of the issues in the marketplace is the existence of “fake” reviews. While we do have automated systems that catch inauthentic reviews, these systems need to be improved as new patterns of behavior emerge.

Based on reviews that students and instructors have flagged, we’ve removed over 2,000 inauthentic reviews over the past 2 months. Our improved system has also flagged 8,000 additional inauthentic reviews that we will be removing over the course of this week.

For more information on the other steps we’re taking, please see the announcement in our Udemy Policies course. If you have any questions, the head of our Trust & Safety team will be hosting an Ask Me Anything in the Udemy Studio tomorrow (Thursday, December 10) at 10:00am PST. Submit your questions ahead of time by filling out this form!


Student Stories

Student stories fuel our mission and make us even more driven to meet the ambitious goal of 100 million students worldwide! To make sure we as a company and you as an instructor stay connected with students, we’ve been regularly posting new student stories to our blog.

Alexa Bennett is a great example. An Art History major, Alexa moved to New York City directly after college with big dreams of making it in the art gallery scene. But to pay the bills, she ended up taking a job as receptionist at a venture capital firm. When Alexa realized that the firm didn’t have any sort of formal marketing program, she made it her mission to change that. With the help of a number of Udemy courses, Alexa acquired the hard skills she needed (those not taught in traditional colleges and universities) to found and lead Insight Venture Partners brand new marketing, public relations, and events department. Truly impressive for a self-taught art history major with no previous experience!


In the Community


We were delighted to have Udemy “Hall of Fame” instructor Rob Percival visit our office last month. We took the opportunity to ask Rob, while we had him face-to-face, whether he would pass on any advice to the instructor community.

Rob noted that although you may be an expert in your topic area, that doesn’t always translate into how well you can teach or explain the topic to others. And teaching online adds a number of other challenges to the equation. Rob emphasized that for those aspiring Udemy instructors without previous teaching experience, scripting can greatly increase the quality of your video lectures.

With that in mind, check out this short clip from Rob on the importance of scripting!