(c) Markus Winkler

In one of my other roles, I create online video training material. In some cases, the only feedback I receive is payment for the completion of the job. In the case of my course on Udemy, I receive reviews from students too.

I watch the stream of feedback to see how well it might affect future sales, but I’ve learned a lot about receiving star ratings and how basically to ignore them.

Sometimes I get specific comments on the students’ experience with the course, and this means there are some things I’ve decided to do differently with future courses. On the whole though, the exact star rating has become something that a lot of performers never imagined a star rating to be.

It’s a random number.

I made the course a couple of years ago and released it. I’ve never updated it. Every student sees the exact same course. It’s not like a live show where each performance has its own nuance, and you could argue that a review saw it on a particularly good or bad day. Every student is reviewing the exact same material.

And the results are too wide ranging to spot any meaningful pattern.

Even some of the questions of fact asked by the platform to shape the review get different answers.

Proof, if you ever needed it, that though there’s merit in considering feedback, a review is just someone’s arbitrary opinion.