Our mini courses are created by community members who are Top-Rated and above. They are successful professionals in their industry on Upwork and are passionate about teaching others about a topic. If that sounds like you, then you are in the right place! Please review the following information before submitting a mini course.
Mini Course Guidelines
In order to have your mini course considered for publishing to Upwork Academy, please follow the general guidelines below when completing your submission.
Make it engaging
- Incorporate your personality
- Express your enthusiasm about the topic
- Pose thought-provoking questions or make recommendations for different activities or actions viewers can try
It’s best to focus on one single topic. Also, keep your audience in mind. When putting together your talking points, focus on what the viewers need to know and exclude what they don’t.
Keep it short
Our mini courses range from 3 to 5 minutes long. We can make small adjustments as needed, but we won’t be able to edit your video submission extensively. We recommend preparing your talking points ahead of time.
Cover a relevant topic
The intention behind mini courses is for experts like yourself to teach other Upwork professionals about industry or skill-specific topics. The viewer should be learning about something that may help them improve their current work or encourage them to explore a new field of work. A few examples might include:
- A helpful time management process
- Principles for getting started in user experience design
- A guide for how to put together a great training video
- Ways you can use generative AI to improve workflows
Make sure it's compliant
In order to keep everyone safe and personal information private, please refrain from sharing any specific names, profiles, or client work. If you are sharing examples in your mini course, make sure they are truly examples and not work that you were paid for. Additionally, if you must share an example of the Upwork product experience for some reason, please be sure to do so from a "logged out" view so that there is no private information shared. Lastly, do not share any job postings or messages from the Upwork Platform.
Please use a device with a built-in microphone (a computer, iPad, or phone) when recording your micro-course submission. For best results, consider using a headset or headphones that are compatible with your device and have a mic/mouthpiece.
Your Atmosphere for Recording
You don’t want to make it all the way through your recording and play it back only to realize that your audio captured your neighbor’s car alarm or your housemate's entire smoothie-making process.
- Make sure to let those around you know that you will be recording. (Yes, that even means having a one-on-one with your fur baby to beg for their cooperation during this recording process.)
- Try to find a quiet place, with doors and windows closed and other electronics off.
Common audio-mishap offenders are:
- Phones and other electronics
- Open windows
- Babies in general
Recording Best Practices
Please keep in mind that Upwork is a global company and our users are located in several different countries. It is best to speak slowly and avoid complex, run-on statements.
Please use a device with a built-in camera/webcam (a computer, iPad, or phone) when filming your micro-course submission.
Choose a quiet space
- Shoot your story somewhere indoors, preferably without other conversations in the vicinity or background noise.
- Let anyone who you share a household or office with know that you are recording.
- Before you start recording, close any programs on your computer and phone that might send you noisy notifications or annoying pop-ups.
- Set yourself up to be in a well-lit area with the light source somewhere behind the recording device.
- Turn on your camera and adjust your placement to ensure you have sufficient light.
- Adjust your position if you need to find an arrangement that shines light on your face, rather than backlighting you.
- Clean the lens on your camera before recording the video.
- If you’re using a phone, stabilize it by propping it up or using a phone tripod.
- Film in landscape (horizontally) and position your camera at about eye level.
Other Visual Guidelines
How to take a screenshot on a Mac
- To capture the entire screen, press the Command (⌘) + Shift + 3 keys at the same time. You will hear a camera shutter sound, and the screenshot will be saved to your desktop.
- To capture a portion of the screen, press the Command (⌘) + Shift + 4 keys at the same time. This will change your cursor into a crosshair pointer. Click and drag to select the portion of the screen you want to capture. Release the mouse button to take the screenshot. Again, you will hear a camera shutter sound, and the screenshot will be saved to your desktop.
- To take a screenshot of a specific window or menu, press the Command (⌘) + Shift + 4 keys at the same time, then press the space bar. This will change your cursor into a camera icon. Move the camera icon over the window or menu you want to capture, and click on it. The screenshot will be saved to your desktop.
- If you want to take a screenshot and copy it to the clipboard instead of saving it to your desktop, add the Control key to any of the above key combinations. For example, to capture the entire screen and copy it to the clipboard, press Command (⌘) + Control + Shift + 3.
How to take a screenshot on PC
- To capture the entire screen, press the PrtScn (Print Screen) key on your keyboard. This will capture the screenshot and save it to your clipboard.
- To capture a specific window, click on the window you want to capture to make it active, and then press Alt + PrtScn. This will capture only the active window and save it to your clipboard.
- To capture a specific area of the screen, press the Windows key + Shift + S. This will open the Snipping Tool or Snip & Sketch application (depending on your version of Windows). Use your mouse to select the area you want to capture, and the screenshot will be saved to your clipboard.
- If you're using Windows 10, you can also use the Game Bar to take screenshots of games and apps. Press the Windows key + G to open the Game Bar, and then click the camera icon to take a screenshot.
- Finally, if you're using a Microsoft Surface device, you can use the physical buttons on the device to take a screenshot. Press the Power button + Volume Up button at the same time to capture a screenshot.
Tips for screenshots and screen recordings
- Close all browser tabs
- Hide your bookmarks
- Don’t show anything that has sensitive personal information (Full name, account info, etc.)
Headshot best practices
- Choose a neutral or simple background - A plain or neutral background can help keep the focus on the subject's face, rather than distracting elements in the background.
- Dress professionally - Choose clothing that is appropriate for your industry or the purpose of the headshot. Avoid busy patterns or clothing that is too casual.
- Use good lighting - Use natural light or well-placed artificial light to create a flattering, even illumination on the subject's face.
- Position yourself correctly - Position yourself so that your face is centered in the frame and you are facing the camera. Be mindful of your posture and avoid awkward or uncomfortable poses.
- Choose a good angle - Experiment with different angles to find the most flattering view of your face. In general, a slightly angled view can be more dynamic than a straight-on shot.
Image quality requirements
- Image size and resolution - at least 600-800 pixels wide
- Image format - JPEG or PNG
- File name - The file name should be descriptive and include relevant keywords
Mini Course Production Process
Step 1: Review the community contributor agreement
In order for your mini course to be reviewed and considered by the Upwork Academy team, you must first read and acknowledge the community contributor agreement.
Step 2: Submit 3 videos
When submitting your mini course, you will go through a series of prompts on a platform called Biteable where you will be able to film and record your responses and demonstrate your expertise on your chosen topic.
- Video 1 - Intro to mini course
- Video 2 - Main content
- Video 3 - Summary of mini course
Your video recordings on Biteable will be used to create the mini course. Check out this quick tutorial video for more guidance on how to submit your videos.
After submitting videos for each of the Biteable prompts, the Upwork Academy team will review your submission. If your micro-course is chosen for production, it will typically be published to Upwork Academy within 3-4 weeks. Your Upwork profile image and a snippet from your Upwork profile bio will be used to create an "about the author" section on the mini course page. Once the mini course is live in Upwork Academy, you will receive an email notification. Feel free to promote the mini course on your preferred platforms.