Announcements can be used to reignite engagement in your course. Did you recently find an interesting article about your course’s subject matter? Or maybe you want to let students know about the new lecture you’ve added? Crafting and distributing a great Announcement could help you activate the student base and regain their interest!
Here are some things instructors do to create great Announcements that drive engagement within their course:
- Include a contest or call to action and challenge students to finish certain lectures or sections of the course.
- Inspire your students with news from the field and keep them engaged on the subject matter.
- Let students know when you’ve updated or added content. Your investment in the course will grab their attention!
- Remember, announcements are meant to activate and re-engage your students and bring them back to your course. Don't direct students to promotional material, on or off-site. That’s a violation of our policies.
Instructors who send out useful Announcements can see a significant increase in the number of students engaging with your content, (like Seth: as much as an 86% increase in students consuming his content). See below for examples of people who have done this well.
A few days after Seth launched his course, he sent out an inspiring announcement that boosted visits to his course page by 86%! Check it out:
Send this type of announcement shortly after your course launches or after any large waves of enrollments. Here’s the recipe for success:
- Craft a strong introduction:
- “Welcome to the course that will…”
- ...change your life with the power of your keyboard!
- ...give you the tools to build your confidence and start your own business!
- ...(enter your specific mission here!)
- “Welcome to the course that will…”
- Offer advice for getting started:
- Advise students to take the course with a friend or Udemy colleague, post on the discussion board, ask questions, stay involved, and keep learning.
- Let students know that you and their classmates are there to help and support each other!
- (optional) Link to free resources:
- You can provide free resources within your supplemental materials sections of your lectures, or you can let your students know about updates in the field continuously by linking to an article or blog post
- Remember, if you’re going to use external resources, don’t link to paid content, “squeeze pages,” or other non-educational material. Announcements should not be used for promotional purposes.
- Seth Godin’s “Go make a ruckus” echoed through his course. Motivate students with your own words of wisdom!
Having trouble with engagement? You may want to try a contest to incentivize course completion. Sometimes students need an extra push to get them to the end of the course! Check out how Silviu holds his contests:
Here’s how you can hold a successful contest within policy:
- Offer a prize to one lucky winner or up to five students
- Reassure students that you do not collect their personal information, and ensure that you can deliver the prize through an alternate safe channel if needed.
- Have one or more measures of participation such course completion, questions, or discussion posts. Make sure that you don't ask them to leave a review in order to win a prize. That would be considered against Udemy policies, since it would be considered an exchange of reviews for goods or services.
News From The Field
Gregory Caremans sends short but useful Announcements to let students know about the neuroscience and behavior articles that he’s found:
Above, Gregory has linked to an article in “Psychology Today,” gaining insightful comments from students. We’re sure that you keep in touch with news in your topic area, so feel free to share the knowledge with your students! Again, it must be free, accessible, and educational. Try The New York Times, WIRED, BBC, or any public website about your course’s subject matter.
Updates And Revamped Content
Adding new content (or replacing old content with something better) shows students that you’re invested in the course and their learning experience. Take a look at Tim Buchalka’s announcement. These announcements receive lots of comments and generate more discussion posts from students (Tim consistently has over 100 student posts per month). If you’re engaged with the course, the students will often return the favor!
The recipe for this one is simple: Upload new material, write the announcement, and be open to feedback and suggestions!
Don’t Do This
Some people like to learn from counterexamples, so here’s a very bad announcement that you should NOT replicate!