The Direct Messaging tool is meant to be used in the following ways:
- Enrolled students asking questions about the course requirements or content as an alternative to the discussion board (sometimes students prefer discussing this 1:1)
- Potential students asking you to clarify requirements for the course before signing up
- Instructors connecting with enrolled students to get feedback on the course and respond to student reviews
To stay successful on Udemy as an instructor, we recommend that you respond promptly and politely to any questions you may receive. The tool is meant to communicate and get feedback from students, not to market to them. When you want to send marketing messages, please use promotional announcements instead.
Here are some helpful tips on how to use Direct Messaging well:
- Try to respond within 5 days to avoid student dissatisfaction.
- Keep a friendly but professional tone - You’re the instructor, so students look to you for answers! Make sure that you present yourself as knowledgeable and approachable, and never send rude or careless replies. When you don’t understand their question, you can always politely ask the student to clarify.
- Please do not use this tool for mass messaging your students or marketing anything to your students. If you’d like to send a marketing message to your larger course list, you can use promotional announcements to do so.
Read on to learn more about
- Answering questions from students effectively
- Responding to student reviews
- Common student issues
Answering questions from students effectively
Most of the messages you receive will be questions from students. While discussion posts are encouraged, not everyone feels comfortable using them. If a student chooses to message you 1:1, here are some ways to make sure your response is effective:
- Respond promptly: Your responses (or lack thereof) can affect student motivation greatly! Try to respond in a timely manner to keep up student engagement.
- Remember the niceties: Thank the student for writing to you and be polite and understanding in your response. It goes a long way in keeping students happy.
- Give a detailed response and include links to free, external resources if necessary: If you’re teaching a technical course, there may be resources like GitHub or Stack Overflow that can help explain your points.
- Please don't use Direct Messaging for mass-messaging students about promotions; the use of coupons, external links, marketing messages or references to the same are prohibited. We understand that students can reach out with questions or requests, and it is important for instructors to be responsive. When students reach out with specific questions, you can feel free to answer them and direct them to appropriate resources. However, this is where we will take context into account.
- For example, if an instructor is encouraging students within the course to send them Direct Messages asking for coupons, then it is considered a violation of our policies when an instructor provides the coupon code through Direct Messaging.
- On the other hand, if a student reaches out with a question about additional material, it is not a violation if the instructor sends a link to their website where there is more information.
Responding to student reviews
Sometimes, you may consider reaching out to students to thank them for their reviews. Or maybe you just want to know why they left that low rating! You can reach out to the student via Direct Messaging if you feel comfortable doing so - please just remember to be kind and professional!
- DON’T reach out in an attempt to change the review or be confrontational, but DO ask the student for more specific feedback so that you can improve your course.
- If you have made changes since the student left their review, you can reach out and let the student know so that they might reconsider the rating they left.
- Respect that the student’s review is their personal opinion, and they may stand by it as they choose.
Here are a couple of templates that you might consider using:
I noticed that you left a 1-star review on my course, “Name Of My Course”. I’m very sorry to hear that it did not meet your expectations. If you have any more specific feedback to offer, or if you would like to discuss what was unsatisfactory, please write back and let me know.. I’m always looking to improve my content, and your feedback helps!
I wanted to reach out to you about the 2-star review on my course, “Name Of My Course”. You mentioned that Lecture 3 wasn’t explained clearly. I took your feedback to heart and recreated the lecture to be more thorough. I was wondering if you could please take the time to rewatch it and possibly re-review the course? Please let me know!
Common student issues
You should always follow these small steps to guide students in the right direction:
- If a student wants a refund or has a technical difficulty with the course, please ask them to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you become entangled in a less-than-friendly debate, please cease contact with the other user and contact email@example.com to sort it out!
- If you find students constantly asking for coupons or attempting to solicit other goods or services, please flag the message or forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org to review. These types of messages rarely come from legitimate students, so you should be cautious about complying with any requests.