Be an Online Instructor: Fast Track to Home Business Success
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Be an Online Instructor: Fast Track to Home Business Success

Udemy is a great teaching platform if you know what you're doing. Avoid mistakes & make money faster with my help!
0.0 (0 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
299 students enrolled
Created by Tom DeWitt
Last updated 3/2015
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Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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  • 39 mins on-demand video
  • 5 Articles
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Create a promotion video to get attention
  • Optimize a landing page to attract student enrollment
  • Plan a course and set a schedule
  • Equip yourself to produce an effective course
  • Assemble a course quickly
  • Check and improve course quality
View Curriculum
  • Students will need to pick their own course topic
  • Students will need to establish their own production schedule
  • Students will need to provide their own production equipment

This is a powerful introductory course on how to be an online instructor. When you complete this course you'll be ready to start a home business to sell your courses to an online audience of millions of students.

If you’re new to online teaching then I strongly encourage you to take this course now. I’m confident that you’ll save many hours of your valuable time by learning what I know. I'll teach you to work quickly and efficiently, which is a handsome return on the time you spend taking this course. And as folks often say, time is money.

It’s a special kind of course that utilizes much of the skill set associated with traditional classroom instruction, but also another skill set that you need to know about now. More importantly you need to spring into action and acquire that skill set, not just hear about it. This is a hands on, modular course that will teach you those skills, not just tell you about them.

I created this course in just three days, or more precisely 72 hours of actual work. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work on your own course then enroll now! I don’t know when you’re reading this but I can tell you that this course will initially be free. It may not stay that way, so if you’re one of the lucky ones who gets it for free then congratulations!

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone who may be interested in becoming an online instructor
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about quickly producing an online course
  • Anyone who wants to understand what skills are needed for online instruction
  • Anyone who wants to produce the best possible online course in the least time
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Curriculum For This Course
Introduction to Publishing a Course in Three Days!
5 Lectures 08:03

- Welcome

Let’s take a few minutes to walk through the course outline so you can get oriented. Then we’ll move on to an introduction on how to take this class. Once we finish this introduction we’re going to cover the meat of the course in three sections. First Planning to Complete a Course in Three Days. Then Producing a Course in Less Than Three Days. Finally, Polishing Your Course the Quick and Easy Way.

Let’s drill down on each of these sections. Creating an online course is a project. Any good project effort begins with planning. This is exactly how I started this course. Now it will be your turn to pick a course topic, and set a schedule to complete your course in 3 days, that is to say 72 hours of actual work. Once you have a topic and a schedule you’ll need create a course outline that you think you can complete in the 72 hour project window. Let’s review. Once we finish this introduction we’re going to cover the meat of the course in three sections. That begins with Planning to Complete a Course in Three Days.

The next section addresses how to produce a course in less than three days, or 72 hours of actual work. If our entire project window is 72 hours of work, we will need to do the production work in less than 72 hours to leave time for the planning effort that came first and the work we need to do to polish the product and get it published. To recap, the production section covers the actual course creation. It’s the second part of our project plan.

The final major project effort is to polish your course the quick and easy way. I’ll tell you what that means when the time comes. Let me give you a hint, we’ll use the Course Quality Checklist and the review process provided by our gracious Udemy sponsors. So then, in conclusion, you’ll start with the planning effort, move along to the course production and finish by polishing your course so it’s ready for publication.

There’s a final Bonus section of the course which has not yet been produced. I will invite you to come back often to see what’s been added to the bonus section over time.

Preview 03:03

There are two ways to take this course. The first is to go all the way through the course as a passive student. Complete every lecture from the first to the last so you get a comprehensive understanding about what’s involved in becoming an online instructor and publishing your first course. When you get done, take a little time to reflect and decide if online instruction is for you.

The second approach is to use this course as a hands on instructional guide. Starting with the Test Video lecture in the first section, take the lecture and then do the associated work. It follows then that you’d take the test video lecture and then actually make a test video, for instance. Then move on through the course by learning and doing at each lecture stop along the way. You still have the option to opt out at any time if you decide it’s not your cup of tea after all.

I would strongly encourage you to do both. Take the entire course without doing any hands on work. Take time out to decide if this is for you. If you say “count me in”, then go back and take the entire course again while simultaneously creating your own first course, following my step-by-step recipe.

A few final notes. A project schedule of 72 hours is random. I decided for myself that I was only willing to spend about the equivalent of two full time work weeks, that is no more than 80 hours, on a first course. The finished product is this course, of course! I started by taking the Udemy course on how to make a course. Then I decided to make my own course on the same subject. I didn’t think the Udemy course was an adequate step-by-step guide. I also wanted a guide that was more generic than the Udemy guide.

How to Take This Course

I would encourage you to make a test video as your first hands on exercise after you have completed this course from start to finish. You should do that after you’ve had time to reflect on whether online teaching is the way you want to go. If you make that commitment then review these lectures again:

  • Introduction to Production
  • The Equipment to Produce a course in Three Days
  • Fast Shooting and Editing

I’d also encourage you to make your test video a “rough draft” of your Promo Video, which is the subject of the next lecture. So attend the “Promo Video & Course Image” lecture right before you proceed to make your test video.

The Test Video

Welcome back. This lecture is on the subject of making a promotional video and other means to enhance your course image. Let’s get started.

Udemy allows you to provide a promotional video to attract student attendance in your class. In order to do this you’re going to be a video producer, whether you like it or not. The whole idea is to punch out a strong message in less than two minutes. The video should draw the student in, get them interested in your course, tell them what benefits they’ll get from the course, and motivate them to sign up.

Otherwise, Udemy will use your first lecture as your promotional video. This isn’t necessarily a bad alternative, particularly if you’re a dynamic speaker. You might find someone to do the video production for you, but that’s outside the scope of the course.

In my opinion it’s a good idea to include some video lecture footage of the course instructor in the promo video and the first lecture. Your course will have a better image if you put a face to the instructors name so the student can better relate to you.

So this would be a good time to pause and consider whether you’re up to the challenge of becoming a video producer. If not, you should tailor your first lecture to also serve as a promo video, or in the alternative find someone to do the video production work for you.

Promotion Video

Udemy reports an audience of more than 5 million students with a course inventory of more than 22,000 courses. The good news is there are more than 5 million potential students for your course. The bad news is you’re competing for their attention. They can’t take your course until they arrive on your landing page and decide you’ve got what they want, at a price they’re willing to pay.

This isn’t a course on marketing. But, in the process of creating your course you will produce a marketing brochure. That’s what your landing page does, it markets your course.

You can see that the student will have a “dashboard” of information to first get their interest, and then allow them to make a decision to take the course or not. There’s no telling how long they’ll spend on your landing page, but you certainly want to make the best possible first impression. That promo video we talked about is up there in the top left corner for them to watch, after they have a chance to read about you and your course.

Course Landing Page
Planning to Complete a Course in Three Days
4 Lectures 11:32

Welcome back to the course section on planning. The effort to publish an online course is a project. At the outset we need to understand what all is involved in completing the project and how long it will take to get it done. If we have a good plan then we should be able to complete the course and get it published on schedule.

It should be obvious that the planning begins with picking a topic. So that’s also where our project begins. What’s involved in completing the project will very much depend on the topic. If you’re creating a course on dance instruction it will be very different from this course on how to be an online instructor. There will also most probably be some correlation between the price of the course and the effort it will take to produce it. That’s why I suggest that you pick the topic and the price at the same time. We’ll have another look at this in the next lecture.

Once you’ve selected your topic and established a price for your course, you can move along to breaking down the work. You’ll probably be best off to do this in a “top down” approach. I’ve already given you the highest level work breakdown in this course curriculum. The three top level areas in the work breakdown are (1) planning your course (2) producing your course and (3) polishing your course.

So then, you’ll need to break down each of the top levels into smaller tasks so you can better organize to get the work done. You can see that I’ve broken down this section of the course into four lectures. That’s my plan for section 2. I’ll also need a schedule to produce section 2 and polish it before final publication. And so on for the other sections of the course.

Regardless of your course topic and price, you will need to break down the work and set a schedule for getting all the work done. Your project is finished when we submit the course to Udemy for publication. Or you might include work in your plan to review feedback from Udemy and further polish the course. It’s up to you because you’re the project planner in charge.

Preview 02:28

This is the second lecture on planning. It’s an important lecture because you probably aren’t going to do anything more important than pick your topic and set the price for your course. I hasten to add that Udemy will allow you publish your course and give it away for free.

Whether you’re brand new to online instruction or you’re a seasoned instructor, you must be here for a reason. Why are you here? What is your goal? I can tell you that my goal was to publish my first Udemy course and see how I liked it. Initially I thought about a much more ambitious course that would require a lot more time and effort. I considered that for a bit, and decided it was too much for the first go around.

I thought about doing my first course over a three day weekend. I concluded that was too much pressure. After that I decided to spread it out over the better part of a month due to other commitments and obligations. I think it would be quite possible to complete a course in three calendar days if I really put my mind to it. I didn’t want to work that hard. I reconsidered and decided I’d be willing to commit to 3 days, or 72 hours of actual work.

Notice that my goal was to be an online instructor so it was a natural to pick the instruction topic of “Be an Online Instructor”. My goal was to publish my first Udemy course to see how I liked it, but I also had several specific objectives. First, I wanted to plan a course and set a schedule to see if the reality squared with my expectations. If I didn’t meet the time and schedule objectives I might need to reconsider being an online instructor. So it followed that my sub-title should be “How I made this Course in 3 Days!”

I had several other objectives. I wanted to see if the Udemy platform performed well. If I had trouble using it then I might need to move along to some other alternative. I wanted to gain experience in doing the production work. I wanted to utilize several software tools that I had on hand to see if they were the best ones for the job. In fact, it was an objective to do the entire project with little or no out of pocket expense.

Those were my short term objectives. Longer term, I have several objectives that are beyond the scope of this course. I want to promote the course. I want to get students enrolled in the course and get their valuable feedback. I want to experiment and improve the course.

I did not have a goal or short term objective to make money as an online instructor. That would be a long term objective if I liked it. So it followed that I should give the course away for free, at least in the short term.

Now let’s turn our attention to the perspective of the student. Who are they? What is their goal, and what are their objectives. What do they need to know before they take your course and what will you teach them? What will they gain as a result of taking your course? Will they make more money? Will they get a better job? Will they do something better or faster?

In the case of this course, the student is anyone who wants to be an online instructor. Their goals and objectives are probably very similar to my goals and objectives in making this course, which we just discussed. They are going to be in a position to work at home and make money without a substantial up front investment when they complete my course. They will work faster and better by learning what I already know. They will get hands on experience by publishing their first course just as I have.

OK, now go ahead and get to work on your topic, goals and objectives, and course price. When you’re done go back to your landing page to update the content with all the valuable information you have about your course.

Pick Your Topic & Price Your Course

Welcome back to the planning section. In this lecture we’ll talk about breaking down the work to publish your course in 72 hours. This isn’t a course in project management per se, but we’re certainly using project management concepts and principals along the way here.

We’re going to use my course curriculum as our case study. Here you can see the five sections of my course for the work breakdown. Think of each section as a bucket that contains work items that need to be done.

Here you see my initial estimate of the time it will take to complete each section. As I’m speaking to you right now, I’m in the middle of an 8 hour work day to complete the planning section. Previously I put in 14 hours of work to complete the introduction section. And I still have the other three sections to get done down the line.

The work on the introduction section was broken down into four tasks as shown here. In the course of making the test video, I worked through some of the issues and obstacles that we’ll discuss later on in the production section of the course. The image file is the the same thing as what some people call a “thumb nail” I actually make a couple of image files and might do one or two more when I polish the course later on.

You’ll recall that the test video was a first shot at the promo video. When I polish the course I will also take another look at the promotion video to see if I want to do another take on it. The landing page has a number of inputs including the promo video, the image file, the course curriculum, and the information we gathered in thinking about and planning for the course topic and price.

As a side note, I completed the test video as one of the first work items and submitted it to Udemy for their review and comment on my production quality. They concluded that the quality of my production work was adequate to meet their standards.

Here’s the work breakdown and time estimate for the planning section. I started the day with an estimate of 8 hours to complete this section. It now looks like I’ll get it done ahead of schedule in about 6 hours.

Break Down the Work

The last part of the planning process is to set a schedule to complete all the tasks in your work breakdown. When you lay down your schedule you’ll need to pay attention to the proper order of doing the work.

Here you can see that I spread out the work on the introduction section over 4 work days. I had an idea that the test video might take longer than 2 hours if my initial assumptions about the production process were flawed. I was particularly concerned about the audio quality with the equipment I had on hand. I had to get the test video done and submit it to Udemy before I started on the promo video. In project management we call that a gating item. It’s actually possible that the test video would reveal that your own production methods are not up to Udemy standards.

If you are following my advice, you will complete this entire course before you start doing any of the hands on work. That means you’ll have all my advice and input on how to do production work before you make your own test video. I would strongly encourage you, as does Udemy, to make your test video your first hands on exercise. If things don’t go well you may need to step back and assess what is wrong and how to correct it. There could be some additional cost involved, possibly substantial cost. This might be a time to make a “Go-No Go” decision on moving forward.

Once you get through the test video “gate” you can move on to making the image file and promo video. There’s good news here. Udemy will make the image file for you if you don’t have the skills or desire to do it yourself.

I would also encourage you to complete the landing page after you do all of the work in the planning section. At that point you should know your topic, and have a much better idea about your goals and objectives, and your students goals and objectives. You’ll have a chance to come back and make revisions later when you polish your course.

Ok then, that’s it for our planning effort. Take a break and get ready to work on producing your course.

Set Your Schedule
Producing a Course in Less Than Three Days
4 Lectures 14:35

Welcome to the course production section. When we finish this introduction lecture we’ll talk about equipment. I’ll tell you everything about the hardware and software that I used to produce this course. I won’t talk about the myriad of other hardware and software that you might use. If I did that, I’d need to dedicate an entire course to that lecture subject alone! In the third lecture I’ll show you my workflow for fast production and editing. Workflow and a repeatable process are the key to working quickly and efficiently. In the last lecture, I’ll show you how I assemble all the pieces parts into a final course lecture. Udemy makes the final course assembly very easy, as we’ll also see in the last lecture.

I want to stress that multi-media course production is what some folks might call a “black art”, part craft and part art form . After all we’re talking about movie making here which is a career path for some. You’ll need to determine what works best for you, your style of presentation, and your topic. One way to get started is to take other courses and see how other instructors work. In fact, I’d strongly encourage you to do that.

The courses that Udemy produces that I’ve attending use almost exclusively video produced in a studio with professional quality lighting and staging. However, I’ve also attended an effective course by one of Udemy’s top performing instructors that uses no talking head video at all. He has an extemporaneous lecture style that is almost like listening to a morning radio talk show.

Many instructors use screen recordings with an audio narrative. You’ve seen that I use presentation slides with other media sprinkling in along the way. If you’re going to teach yoga then you’ll have your own production methods to work out for that topic.

Udemy does allow you to include lectures that are in other forms such as text, PDF files, and other formats. This is rather trivial, so I won’t say more about it in this course.

OK, with that said, let’s get started.

Preview 02:27

This is the video production equipment lecture. Let me say again that I will discuss all of the equipment, both hardware and software, that I use to make the video lectures for this course. But this isn’t a survey of other possible solutions.

Udemy stresses the use of video content. However, video does not just mean a full face lecture in front of a video camera. Many Udemy courses are software instruction. I expect that most of those instructors use computer screen recording with audio narrative. It all just depends on your topic and style of presentation. When you finish this section it will be time to produce your demo video at the earliest opportunity. Meanwhile start thinking about the style of video production that is right for you.

So here’s the list of hardware that I use. My iMac 27 is the course production tool where it all comes together. I use it to assemble the course videos and to make audio recordings with an Audio-Technica USB microphone. My iMac is almost four years old. I did upgrade from the original 4 GB memory to 12 GB. I’d consider this to be a mandatory upgrade for movie production performance. I’d also consider a high quality microphone to be a mandatory upgrade.

I use a start-of-the-art Nikon D5300 DSLR camera for both still shot photography and talking head style videos. I set it up on a tripod to record video. I can flip the display around toward the front in order to compose the video in front of a backdrop. I do not have an external mic for the DSLR so I need a very quiet setting. I don’t have studio lighting so I also need good natural light. I wanted to complete this course without any financial investment so I minimized the use of talking head video. If I make a second course then I might make the extra investment before I begin that project. It might also be possible to use a smart phone to do the same things I do with the DSLR.

These are my software tools. I’ve used the Apple Safari browser to assemble the final course on the Udemy web site. More on that later. I also have the Chrome browser just in case but have not used it in the production of this course. I’ve had no technical problems with the Udemy interface which is a big success story. One of my objectives was to get through the entire process to be sure the Udemy production platform worked as advertised. Two thumbs up on that one.

I use iMovie for video production, Quicktime for audio production, and TextEdit for authoring video scripts. These tools are free with the OS X operating system running on my iMac. I use the Mac version of PowerPoint to create presentations and then export the slides as JPEG photographs. Pixelmator is a graphics editing software tool that I have used sparingly. I think you could get along without it if you allow Udemy to create your image thumbnail for you. They might do a better job anyway, and they don’t charge for the service. The bottom line is this: you don’t need to be a heavy hitter on the software tools front to make a course like this one. And you don’t necessarily need to spend a bundle on additional tools.

As a side note, QuickTime can also be used for talking head and screen recording if you’re interested in those styles of presentation. That’s it, those are all of my tools both hardware and software. So let’s move along now to the workflow process and see how it all works.

The Equipment to Produce a Course

This is the lecture where I show you how to put all the pieces together to produce a course lecture. I’m going to show you my workflow process which is repeatable for each lecture in the course. It’s beyond the scope of this class to actually teach you how to use the software tools that I use. Instead I’ll show you some highlights from iMovie application, and how that is used in conjunction with the other applications.

The starting point to initialize your production is to initialize iMovie to hold all your course lecture content. Open iMovie, then go to the file drop down and create a new Library with the name of your course. Then create a new Event for each section of the course. Then when you get ready to start work on a new lecture, create a new movie with the name of that lecture.

When you create the movie you will associate it with the event for the section. Here you can see that I’m creating the movie for this lecture and associating it with the event for this section. The event will eventually hold all of the content for the lectures in the section. When you create the movie you can also select a theme. In this course I’ve been using the Newscast theme.

I’m working from a lecture script that I’ve written in TextEdit. When I finish the script I copy and paste it into the lecture description on the Udemy course production web site, as shown in the screen shot here. Here’s another screen shot showing a lecture script as I’m writing it in TextEdit. Now notice that a QuickTime audio recording is in progress in the small black window above the lecture script. In this way I can revise the script and record small audio clips on the fly. If I make a mistake or want to revise the script I can just record a new clip to replace the old one.

The third step in my workflow is to produce all of the content for a lecture using the various software tools I described in the previous lecture. Most of my videos include PowerPoint slides that I create at the same time I write the first draft of the script. PowerPoint allows the presentation to be saved as pictures. Then I just drag and drop the pictures into the iMovie event.

Similarly, talking head video segments, screen recordings, photos, and screen shot graphics can all be dragged into the iMovie event to create a library of segments that will go into making the final lecture video. By the way, if you’re using a Mac you can use the command-shift-4 shortcut at any time to very quickly grab a screen shot.

As an example, I used command-shift-4 to grab this image from the iMovie application window. There are three lecture movies at the top. and the course section event at the bottom. I’ve dragged and dropped the lecture slides, screen shots, and audio clips into the event.

It really helps to have all of the content in one place like this. My backup software is constantly backing up the iMovie libraries so I never need to worry about things getting lost or misplaced, knock on wood! In fact I had a power outage, and everything came back as it was prior to the outage.

In step 5, the lecture video is composed on the iMovie time line. The content is dragged into the timeline. Then the audio segments are dragged in below the content and the content is scaled to fit the audio clips.

Here’s a drill down on my standard lecture introduction. In addition to the imported content, I can use the audio effects and title bar captions that are provided as a part of the iMovie theme.

The final step is to export the final movie and upload it to Udemy (iMovie calls it “sharing” the final movie but that’s a semantic distinction). Here’s a screen shot of the export window. I use the highest resolution and quality settings because Udemy is pretty particular about that.

So there you have it, a repeatable workflow in six steps. There’s actually a little bit of that black art here, as it can take some getting used to the process. I tend to refine the script, for instance, as I add screen shots to further clarify the presentation slides. I also then insert the captions at the bottom of the screen to reinforce the points I’m making in the audio presentation.

You’re welcome to use my production tools and workflow process if you’d like. Or you can use it as a case study to help you with your own workflow. Either way you need a workflow process if your want to work quickly and efficiently.

Fast Production and Editing

This is the last lecture in our course production section. It’s where we’ll talk about the final course assembly before we polish the course and submit it for review. The final course assembly takes place on the Udemy website.

The Course Info section of the course authoring page contains the information we discussed in sections one and two. Here we see the fields for the Title, Subtitle, language; and the category where your course will be published on the Udemy site. You’ll recall that we discussed the Course Summary, Image (aka thumbnail), Promo Video, and Test Video in earlier sections. This information is all part of your landing page, which we also discussed earlier.

Now we’re going to be completing the Course Content section of the course authoring page. It consists of the Learning Objectives and the Curriculum. Complete the learning objectives section, and make sure that all of the learning objectives are addressed in your curriculum.

We left off in the last lecture with uploading the lecture video after it was exported from iMovie. Here we see a screen shot of a lecture video upload in progress. This one happens to be the production video. I normally upload the video right after I export it from iMovie. You can see Udemy’s tips on video content below the upload progress bar.

In this screen shot the upload has completed. Take note that I have also copied and pasted the lecture transcript into the description area for the lecture. You have the opportunity now to use the preview function to open the lecture on the Udemy website and watch the lecture exactly as your student would watch it. If all is well then go ahead and publish it. You repeat the process for each lecture in the course. In my case there were five sections and a total of nineteen lectures.

You also have the opportunity to add resources and perhaps a quiz. I’ll leave those options as exercises for you to do on your own.

When you’re all done you can move back to the top of the curriculum and preview the course as a guest, which is your landing page, and as a student. You can take the entire course, just as a student would before you submit it for publication. Take a minute to also preview the course as the instructor so you have a chance to review the extra options and information there.

So that’s it for the course production section. Take a break and come back when you’re ready to begin the course polishing section.

Assembling Your Course Quickly
Polishing Your Course the Quick and Easy Way
3 Lectures 07:38

Quality Control can be defined as "a system for verifying and maintaining a desired level of quality in a product or service by (i) careful planning, (ii) use of proper equipment, (iii) corrective action as required, and (iv) continued inspection."

Now consider our course outline. Section 2 is about careful planning. Section 3 talks about the proper equipment for course production, and the associated methods for using the equipment. This section covers corrective action through "polishing your course", and continued inspection using the Course Quality Checklist, which I'll just call the checklist.

So let's proceed now to have a look at the checklist in the next section.

Preview 00:29

The Udemy course quality checklist is a comprehensive resource for you own quality control process.

Course Quality Checklist
3 pages

This is the course section on polishing, also known more formally as quality control. In the first lecture, which is an example of a text lecture by the way, I gave you a definition of quality control. It can be defined as "a system for verifying and maintaining a desired level of quality in a product or service by (i) careful planning, (ii) use of proper equipment, (iii) corrective action as required, and (iv) continued inspection."

Now consider our course outline. Section 2 is about careful planning. Section 3 talks about the proper equipment for course production, and the associated methods for using the equipment. This section covers corrective action through "polishing your course", and continued inspection using the Course Quality Checklist, which I'll just call the checklist.

Notice that the definition talks about “a desired level of quality”. Now let’s discuss that a little further. There’s an old saying that “good enough, is good enough”. In other words, the exercise that is left to you is to determine the desired level of quality for your course. You can let Udemy do that for you if you’d like. You will need to submit your course to the Udemy team and they will decide if it’s good enough using their course quality checklist.

Let’s move on now to have a more detailed look.

The checklist is provided for your reference as lecture two of this section. It’s published to the lecture as a pdf file. I’ve parsed the checklist items into logical groupings for you here. Let’s start with your landing page, or what I’ve referred to as your course brochure. You should spend some considerable time on the title and subtitle to make sure it accurately described your course in just a few words. It should also differentiate your course from other similar courses. My course is differentiated by being an introductory course to get you started quickly, so you can be an online instructor without wasting a lot of time.

The course image, as you’ll recall is your course “thumb nail”. You should also recall that you have the option to let Udemy create it for you. When you polish your course you should review the Udemy Image Standards if you plan to create your own.

Before a prospective student enrolls in your course they will probably spend some time examining the course summary to see what they will specifically gain from taking your course. The student should be able to determine if the course is a good fit for them as they scroll on down through the remaining sections of the landing page. When you’ve finished your course, it will be a good time to polish every aspect of the landing page to make it appeal to your target audience.

The promo video is an opportunity for them to see you in action. Reach out with a call to action and make a good impression. In my view there’s no need to make it a great cinematic production, just an authentic message to tell the student what they will learn and how they will benefit from the course experience.

Two more elements of the landing page are your instructor bio and the course price. It’s an individual exercise to write your bio, and the price will depend on your goals & objectives, and perhaps some market research. We covered that at some length in section 2.

Here’s the part of the checklist for course content. In the planning section you should have created a course outline. You should have also included a work item to translate the outline into learning objectives. Or you could do it the other way around. Either way the curriculum and the learning objectives are a matched set that can be polished together. Lecture length and lecture descriptions are pretty obvious. I’ve found that I don’t like long lectures when I take courses on Udemy, especially if they ramble. You’ll recall that I write a script and then use it as the lecture description.

Udemy recommends that you provide resources and reinforce learning through quizzes, assignments, and practice exercises. In this course I’ve given you a number of practice exercises with one big assignment to create your own first course. You might even think of polishing your course as a quiz. Ask yourself if you’ve met your quality standard for each item on the checklist.

It’s rather obvious that you need to complete the course before you submit it to Udemy for publication.

When you plan your course in section 2 and produce your course in section 3, be sure to follow these structured teaching standards. If you’ve completed your course, go back and verify you’ve followed the standards when you polish the course.

Instructor delivery is a corner stone of course quality. If you don’t have reasonably good delivery the content won’t much matter. Nobody wants to listen to a poorly delivered lecture. In that same vain, video and audio quality are critical to a good delivery. You need to get this sorted out right up front when you create a test video, and submit it to Udemy for review at the earliest opportunity.

We talked about video lecture format and production in section 3 at length. It’s one of your most important exercises to determine what teaching style works best for you and your topic. Polish your teaching style as you work through the course production.

Finally, I took the time to review my course on mobile devices and you should too. If you follow Udemy standards from the outset you should not have a problem with mobile device presentation.

If you’re following my advice, you will take this course twice. The first time through you should become familiar with the checklist and how I’ve parsed it out. Then you can refer back to it as you produce your course, to minimize the chance of surprises later on. You’ll never have a perfect course, but you’ll need to submit it for publication at some point. Only you and Udemy will know when good enough, is good enough. Your students will cast the final vote on course quality. I hope it will be a great success story when that time comes. I wish you only the best of good fortune as an online instructor.

Polish Your Product
Bonus Section
2 Lectures 00:54

As I’m writing this I’m about to submit this course to Udemy for publication. If I’ve done a good gob of producing and polishing the course then they’ll accept it, and my course production project will be done.

But that’s not the end, it’s the beginning of the course management, promotion, and maintenance phase. I will certainly continue to polish the promotion video, and perhaps make a new one. I’ll also continue to polish the landing page as I find out what is working during the course promotion effort.

If you’ve followed my advice, you’ve taken this course twice. The first time you went through the entire course without doing any work. The second time you went ahead and produced your own first course. If that’s the case then congratulations! Now it’s time for you to manage, promote, and maintain your course as well.

Managing Your Course

When the course goes into production I’ll start to monitor student progress and feedback. I may add new lectures here with “lessons learned”. I might also add discussions to the course to engage students and help us all to learn from each other. Good look on your journey as a course instructor, and please come back often to see what’s new.

Come Back Often
About the Instructor
Tom DeWitt
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Tommy Dee Studios (

Mr. DeWitt is a part time instructor and principal at Tommy Dee Studios, which is dedicated to the art and craft of multi-media expression. He has a passion for aerial sports, aerial filming, photogrammetry, and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) aka drones.

He is semi-retired from a career spanning 30 years that includes avionics design and development work at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, nuclear control systems engineering at Babcock and Wilcox, communications systems engineering at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Federal program management, city planning, residential and public space design.

Mr. DeWitt has undergraduate degrees in engineering and architecture, and an MS in engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and formerly a licensed practicing Landscape Architect.