The Udemy Policies course is a short 30 minute course where you can learn about the rules of the marketplace. You'll learn how you can be successful while following these rules. In this course, we'll cover
- The ground rules of the marketplace.
- The instructor tools we provide and what they're meant for.
- Tips and tricks for using these tools well.
- The rules that govern each of these tools.
- The escalation policy at Udemy when these rules are broken.
Why are there rules in the first place?
Udemy is committed to ensuring that students have a safe and engaging learning environment, and instructors are set up for success. Our rules exist to ensure we protect student’s learning experience and enable positive, healthy interactions between instructors and students.
How will I be notified of a strike?
You'll receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org about the strike, the reason why you received it, and the consequences. We'll be thoughtful and fair about how we determine if there's a policy violation as well as how we apply consequences. We encourage you to provide context and ask questions. We’re here to help, you'll have the opportunity to speak with someone on our team.
You'll also see that your feature has been disabled when you attempt to use it, and see a notification that says your access to the feature has been temporarily suspended on some or all of your courses due to a policy violation.
What happens if my co-instructor has a strike?
If your co-instructor has a strike, then all the courses that your co-instructor teaches will be affected. Only the courses you share with the co-instructor will be affected.
What if my co-instructor has a strike and I remove him/her as an instructor from my course?
If you remove your co-instructor who has a strike, and you don’t have a strike, then your course will revert back to having all your features enabled.
How long are the strikes valid?
We'll re-evaluate the strikes on your account on a six-month rolling basis.
How are you monitoring and catching bad behavior?
We hear from our students and instructors who write to email@example.com or flag abuse on the site in various places. We also proactively monitor on-site behavior and reach out to students and instructors when we identify policy violations.
Does every instructor get Strike 0 to 4 or does it depend on the nature of the violation?
In most cases, instructors will see a linear escalation where they'll get a warning, and then three strikes. If there are more than three strikes we'll ban access to Udemy and un-list the courses from the marketplace. However, we reserve the right to escalate the consequences if the violations are severe.
Our students and instructors are typically good, responsible members of the community. We understand that everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes, you just don’t know what is okay and not okay. That’s why, the first time there is a violation, you will only receive a warning. We will provide resources to help you understand our policies, and learn how to work successfully on Udemy. We’re also happy to speak with you directly to help you better understand what is okay and not okay.
But we do expect you to be proactive about understanding and following Udemy policies. If we see another violation of any of our policies, there will be more severe consequences in the form of “strikes.” Each strike is recorded in our system, and instructors who repeatedly violate policies will eventually be removed from the Udemy platform.
Strike 0 → Warning
Strike 1 → Suspension of announcement and direct messaging privileges for a month
Strike 2 → Courses blocked from active promotions for a month + suspension of announcement and direct messaging privileges for a month
Strike 3 → Courses blocked from new enrollments for a month + suspension of announcement and direct messaging privileges for a month
Strike 4 → Instructor banned from access to Udemy and courses unlisted from the Udemy platform
These strikes apply at a course level. So if another instructor on the course has a violation, all instructors associated with the course will see the features disabled for that course.
Please note that we reserve the right to escalate strikes based on the severity of the violation. We will re-evaluate the strikes on an account on a six month rolling basis.
Every day, thousands of minutes of life-changing content are consumed on Udemy. This is made possible by instructors who are passionate about teaching and students who are dedicated to learning. Udemy is founded on core values centered around this exchange of knowledge. We are committed to empowering highly knowledgeable everyday experts to provide an amazing learning experience for a global community of students.
It is up to all of us here at Udemy to live these values: instructors, students, and the Udemy team. When we live these values, we continue to create a thriving, sustainable marketplace where anyone can learn anything online — and have a great time doing it.
Who Forms our Community?
Students – Our students come to Udemy to have an engaging learning experience where they have access to a huge variety of topics from experts who practice these skills on a daily basis.
Instructors – Our instructors are an inspiring bunch who love to teach. They come to Udemy because of the opportunity to impact millions of students across the world, and for access to the tools, platform, and coaching that enables them to create high-quality courses.
What are the Ground-Rules?
1) Don’t spam
Students come to Udemy to have a safe and engaging learning experience and instructors teach for the love of sharing knowledge. Instructors: Once you’re on the Udemy platform, don’t try to sell other products or spam each other with requests and offers.
2) Don’t game the system
- For instructors: Don’t direct Udemy students away from the Udemy platform, push the envelope on what is and is not allowed, or search for loopholes in policies. We want our community of students to grow, as does every other instructor. When you game the system, the whole community loses out on having a common pool of engaged students who want to learn.
- For students: Don’t harass instructors, ask for free coupons, or offer reviews in exchange for things. The community relies on a healthy interaction between students and instructors, as well as honest student feedback to understand which courses are right for them.
3) Keep it professional
Our instructors actively collaborate and communicate with each other, and students and instructors have healthy and vibrant discussions through the course-taking experience. We ask that, in connection with those relationships, you are respectful, honest, and considerate with students, instructors, and Udemy staff. Be a positive member of the Udemy community. Never ask for personal information, or post unoriginal content as your own.
4) If you see something, say something
If anything you see or experience ever seems like a violation, or you are unsure about a policy, just let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone on our team will review every report, answer your questions, and determine whether there has been a violation of our policies.
We’re here to help you understand our policies and be successful on Udemy.
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.