A Udemy course may have more than one instructor who plays a role in creating and managing the course. This article is intended to guide instructors considering this option toward positive use cases (e.g., co-developing a course can be a great way to add expertise and a fresh perspective) while avoiding problematic use cases (e.g., using the co-instructor feature purely as a way to game Udemy's generous 97% revenue share on instructor promotion sales).
We frequently see three main reasons why instructors buddy-up on Udemy:
- They’re looking for support with course creation, development and production
- They’re looking for help teaching or managing the course (e.g., responding to discussions etc.)
- They’re looking to exploit Udemy marketing tools to share each other's student base
In short, we’re big fans of #1 and #2, and Udemy’s policy is intended only to address cases where the only motivation is #3.
Udemy Policy on Co-Instructors
We’re always on the hunt for new ways to leverage our instructors’ innovation by providing instructors with creative freedom - whether it is to find new ways of creating great content or tapping into each other’s expertise to grow their business. As with all tools and features, the purpose is to use them to benefit both students and other fellow instructors. However at times, these same tools are abused in order to to circumvent marketplace policies on Course Announcements and other tools we provide.
Here are a Few Quick Rules of Thumb to Steer you in the Right Direction:
- DO be co-instructors if each individual is bringing in unique expertise in the form of course creation, development, production, teaching or managing the course.
- DO make co-instructors visible on the course if they’re the ones actually appearing in the course videos and/or engaging with students. At least one of the visible instructors on the course, should be the person students are learning from and interacting with.
- DON’T be co-instructors with the primary goal of exploiting Udemy’s marketing tools or sharing each other’s student base.
- For example, if an instructor wants to pair up with you after you’ve published your course just to market to one another’s students, this is against Udemy policies. Remember, if you’re actually interested in marketing each other’s courses, you can do so by becoming an Affiliate.
- If on the other hand, you want to co-develop or co-manage a course together right from the beginning, that’s exactly why we enable courses to have multiple instructors, and is totally fine.
Remember, abuse of co-instructor relationships impacts everyone. When instructors try to augment their marketing capabilities in this way, we’ve seen a negative impact on students - for every 10 students who enroll into their courses, ~20 students unsubscribe from their Course Announcements. Instructors also see unsubscribe rates on their emails that are 5X the marketplace average. This hurts all instructors in the marketplace, because these students unsubscribe not just from one instructor’s announcements, but from all Udemy emails.
When we see cases where an instructor is clearly going against the spirit of Udemy policies in an attempt to game the system or if we see a severe negative impact on the student experience (high unsubscribe rates or refund rates due to co-instructor behavior) it will be considered a violation of our policies.
Everyone makes mistakes, so most first violations will result in a warning. Subsequent violations may result in loss of access to product features (e.g., Course Announcements), account suspension, or in rare cases, account termination.
Remember, if you are planning to add a co-instructor to your course, we recommend that it be someone whom you know and trust. Please take extra care and consideration if you are splitting revenue with or giving editing rights to a co-instructor. Keep in mind that Udemy’s contractual relationship is strictly between Udemy and each of the instructors. Any co-instructor business agreements related to a course remains exclusively between the co-instructors.