Getting More from Reviews

By Denton Zhou | Updated June 1, 2018 (Originally Published October 11, 2017)

Update 6/1/2018

1) We've had to put the ability to publish reviews behind a log-in wall again due to spammers. We appreciate everyone who's contributed a review anonymously and hope you'll create an account to continue submitting your reviews.

2) We've completely overhauled snippets in the latest OpenCourser update and will be tweaking it periodically for the next couple of weeks. Have suggestions? Send them to us via the "contact" button at the bottom of the page!

End update

Today, we're rolling out improvements to our reviews feature. The idea behind this update is to:

  • Surface meaningful reviews to the top
  • Get more information about a course (beyond the description and details offered by the instructor)
  • Make it easier for learners to share their experience with others

Surfacing useful reviews to the top

Since launch, we've let our users mark reviews they read as helpful or unhelpful. Those votes now impact how reviews are sorted so that helpful reviews rise to the top. Reviews that have been voted "unhelpful" many times are automatically marked for review in our system and may be removed if they're inappropriate.


We've also been testing a feature that analyzes reviews for patterns and themes, an idea inspired by what we saw on review pages for Yelp and Google Play Store's app review pages. For certain courses, you'll now find these snippets along with a few excerpts that provide context. Now you'll know when many individuals share the same sentiment about a course or an instructor.

Making it easier to share your review

Starting today, you no longer need to login or sign up to leave your review. Of course, leaving a guest review means your reviews won't be tied to your account, which means you won't have one place to track them all. However, we hope this change encourages even more reviews that learners who use OpenCourser find so useful.

When you're ready to pen up a review for that online course you recently took, simply navigate to its page (searching's the easiest way to get there) and clicking "Write a review". A box will pop up letting you pick your star rating, write your review, and submit it. It's super easy!

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