Simple Research Study – Udemy Courses

Number of Reviews vs Potential Revenue

Introduction

Background

Udemy is a massive online open course (MOOC) web application. Within Udemy, a student can learn nearly anything. You may wonder, why would anyone take one of these courses? If you use Google’s Trends app, you can enter in different search terms and compare the world-wide volume of searches for that search term.

For example, I put in the terms, who, what, when, where, why and how. Below is a picture of the results:

Who What When Where Why and How Google Trends Comparison

In addition, I furthered the comparison and added the terms, how to, what are, who is, why are, when do. Below is a picture of the results:

How To What Are Who Is Why Are When do Google Trends Comparison

According to the trends on Google, obviously the worlds wants to know how to do things and this is exactly what Udemy does. It teaches people how to do things.

Hypothesis

The number of reviews for a given course will increase the amount of income an instructor will make.

Methodology

I scraped the Udemy website and pulled many published courses for the topics of Graphic Design, Business Finance, Web Development and Musical Instruments.

Data Set

Date Crawled: 7/6/2017

Course Category Total Courses Pulled Link to Raw Data
Graphic Design 603 Raw Data
Business Finance 1,199 Raw Data
Web Development 1,200 Raw Data
Musical Instruments 681 Raw Data

 

Results

Requiring Payment

The graph below displays the total courses offered by category. Each bar is separated further by courses that require payment and courses that do not require payment. Additionally:

  • The percentage of web development courses requiring payment is 89%
  • The percentage of musical instrument courses requiring payment is 93%
  • The percentage of business finance courses requiring payment is 92%
  • The percentage of graphic design courses requiring payment is 94%

Total Courses Requiring Payment by Category

How Long Does it Take to Complete a Course?

Udemy has a calculation for the estimated time it will take to complete the content of a given course. It was surprising to see that it:

  • Takes nearly 8 times longer to complete a business finance course than a musical instrument course.
  • It takes nearly 4 times longer to complete a business finance course than a web development course.
  • It takes nearly 6 times longer to complete a business finance course than a graphic design course.

Average Hours to Complete a Course

Does the Course Developer Make More Money with a Longer Course?

All the courses have a price associated with the course. The price could range from $0 – $100+. Udemy exposes the number of subscribers, or students that have paid and taken the course. Potential revenue is the price for the course multiplied by the number of students who have taken the course. This does not include discounts on the course or price changes, but rather, the potential revenue that could be earned on the course. In addition, potential revenue excludes the Udemy fees and taxes. The graph below shows each category’s potential revenue and hours to complete course correlation.

As we can see from the graph, there is a correlation between a longer course and the potential revenue a music instructor and a web developer instructor could make on Udemy.

Correlation between time to completion and potential revenue

Do the Number of Reviews Matter with Potential Revenue?

Following the same potential revenue model as defined above, the graph below is a correlation of number of reviews on the course and the potential revenue. The fact the course has more reviews, good or bad, has a positive correlation of all four categories. In addition, if a course has more reviews in the web development and musical instruments categories, they will has a greater chance of earning more money off of the course.

Number of Reviews vs Potential Revenue

When Were the Courses Published?

When a course is published, Udemy tracks the time stamp of that date. It would be interesting to see in which months most courses are published. From the graph below, most courses are published between March and June.

Total Courses Published by Month

Shifting to year, below is the trends of when the courses were published by year. Each line represents a category. Keep in mind that 2017 is only half way complete.

Total Courses Published by Year

Experience Levels

Within Udemy, the instructor can define what type of experience is required prior to taking the course. The experience levels could be one of the following, “Expert,” “Beginner,” “Intermediate,” or “All” levels. Below is a distribution by category the experience levels. From this graph, all four categories are targeted towards the “beginner” experience level group.

Courses by Experience Level by Category

Conclusion

The number of reviews for a given course will increase the amount of income an instructor will make is proven true. In addition, the following findings were discovered:

  • The percentage of web development courses requiring payment is 89%
  • The percentage of musical instrument courses requiring payment is 93%
  • The percentage of business finance courses requiring payment is 92%
  • The percentage of graphic design courses requiring payment is 94%
  • It takes nearly 8 times longer to complete a business finance course than a musical instrument course.
  • It takes nearly 4 times longer to complete a business finance course than a web development course.
  • It takes nearly 6 times longer to complete a business finance course than a graphic design course.
  • There is a correlation between a longer course and the potential revenue a music instructor and a web developer instructor could make on Udemy.
  • If a course has more reviews in the web development and musical instruments categories, they will has a greater chance of earning more money off of the course.
  • All four categories are targeted towards the “beginner” experience level

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