Learning is undergoing a dramatic change. Offline learning as we know it will soon be no longer efficient or as involved. Bludgeoning population, dwindling support systems, rising costs and logistics are making offline learning available for the masses extremely challenging. Combine this with the fact that learners have constant and instantaneous access to knowledge via mobile devices, it is becoming extremely difficult for teachers and educators to stay abreast with the latest information. We believe that we will see a radical shift in how people learn new and that within the next 5 years, there will be a tremendous push towards online courses for learning. Already it is known that by 2025, powered by various online courses and academies, the online learning industry will be worth $325 billion.
Think of it this way. Less than a decade ago, the banking industry relied heavily on paper forms, bank branches, and personnel to grow their business. With the advent of the internet, first came the ATMs, and then net banking. So much so that net banking is the new way of banking. Consumers can’t even imagine a bank that does not offer net banking. Yet, at the same time, there are still consumers who would rather wait in the queue at the bank. And that is fine. But the number of such customers is very low and will dwindle further as banks push net banking further.
Similarly, when online courses were first introduced as a viable option to in-person learning, many were skeptical. To an extent, at the time, the suspicions may have been well-founded. But not anymore. Over the years, while the quality of online learning has improved by leaps and bounds, many of the early misconceptions still exist. Here are some of the top myths and misgivings many have about online learning, and why they’re either not true, or not the complete story.
Online course myth 1: Online courses don’t sell or do well or any effective enough unlike traditional offline learning
That’s like saying no one would ever ride in app-based cabs because its too tedious and one can simply go down to the front door and find a yellow cab waiting. If only banks had thought about it in the same manner for net banking, we would be living in a very different world today. Online courses offer convenience, cost optimization, ease of learning, instant engagement, instant gratification to users, and make accessing knowledge previously considered ‘exclusive’ easy. Now anyone can launch an online course based on their knowledge, experience, and interests.
In many ways, online courses are an extension of offline courses. Instead of printing pages and sharing notes, share access to your online course where the documents are shared online and available for the duration of the course. Plus, the benefits are several. Peer to peer learning is priceless, instant access to a pool of learners from across the world, access to the latest information on-demand at the convenience of the learner and so much more.
It’s only a matter of time when online courses become mainstream. The fact that Harvard university changed the name to their online courses to Harvard Business School Online.
Online course myth 2: Only experts can launch online courses
Most people who possess a specific domain knowledge possibly believe that they are not good enough to launch an online course.
We disagree. The online course industry has come into existence for one specific reason. To democratize learning and to make it available to all those who wish to learn. As an online course publisher, what you need is the understanding that if you have a domain knowledge that you have honed with experience, you must share it with the world.
You don't need to be an expert on a subject matter. If you have the knowledge, create a course. Once the course is launched, based on the feedback received from your course participants, continue to improve your online course to ensure you are able to give the best learning experience to your students.
In fact, several examples exist where first time online course publishers have launched online courses and over time done really well by incorporating changes based on feedback from students.
Online Course Myth 3: Online courses need a big launch platform
On the contrary, most online courses start smalland gain traction over time. One key aspect of a great online course is exemplary reviews from existing students about your online course. As more students complete your online courses, if they have truly learned something of value, students almost always refer the course in their peer circle so that others may benefit from it as well.
Though it is absolutely true that a big launch would definitely help, hence one should do their best to drive sales when the course is first launched. But it’s rarely the case that an online course makes it big on its own. Unless it involves a mega-budget for marketing and is supported with some crazy marketing budget for social media and influencer marketing. In all honesty, a successful launch is really just one step in an ongoing process.
Note: Several successful online course publishers run subscription or membership sites that share valuable insights and content on a regular basis. These sites not just act as a supplementary income source, they also help in lead generation for future online course sales.
Online Course Myth 4: Others are already running courses in my domain and are much more successful. So mine won’t survive
If only Microsoft or Uber started to think like that! There’s always scope for others. While others may have more success already, that should never stop you from starting your own online course. Your knowledge is unique to you, more so if it's based on your practical experience.
Even if someone else is doing it, they can’t offer what you have! Your Domain Knowledge!
Additionally, don’t assume that if others are already doing it, your course won’t survive. Remember, it's about slowly and steadily building a following. What this means is that as you go along, you have the ability to improve your course, offer what others haven’t yet or maybe even extend the course to go beyond what is currently on offer. There are several things you can do by just keeping an eye on what your customers have to say about your course.
Online Course Myth 5: A single course won’t do! I need several to start selling online courses.
While creating multiple courses in a domain is a good idea simply because there is so much more to offer and sell, it is not necessary that all courses will sell well or do well at all. Every online course publisher starts with their first course.
Imp Note: Post the launch of your first online course, you can always create bite-sized ‘Free Courses’ that offer a glimpse of what the full extended course is like. Students who like your free course will eventually get convinced to purchase the full-length course. However, the journey starts with the first one.
Several online course creators exist that have done really well with just one online course. Always keep in mind, the 3 most important factors for running a successful online course:
- The course topic: There’s always a demand for any type of course, that’s the power of the internet. You just have to make sure your course topic is relevant and that it is appealing.
- The content: Information is everywhere and for free. YouTube and others make sure of it. So, you need to make sure that your online course offers more than just information. Your online course content should be a guide for students that helps them cut through the noise, enhance their skills and achieve learning quickly.
- The audience: don’t just try and make a sale. Think long term. Those who do buy from you, most likely will come back to buy more if you offer value. In order to achieve that, look for ways to make your content more engaging. Incorporate videos, PPTs, PDFs, and other such stuff in your content. Share downloadable content that students can use for later. The more you engage with students and build relationships, the better the success rate.
Online Course Myth 6: Learning the technology to launch online courses is tough!
Another apprehension from online course publishing enthusiasts is that understanding and using the technology to launch online courses is extremely difficult. And that an entire IT Team is required to build, launch, and sell online courses. While this might have been true in the past, with Knorish, building, launching and selling online courses can be quite an easy task. With a step by step approach, one can quickly upload their content, build a course, build a website for their course, launch the course and using digital marketing start spreading awareness about their online course and sell them. With Knorish, you get several class-leading features such as:
- Website Builder: With simple drag & drop actions, our site builder tool allows you to quickly create amazing pages for your site. KNorish also offers several pre-designed website themes that can be used to create amazing sites where-in you just have to change the site content and you can launch an entire website in a matter of few hours.
- Course Builder:Videos, PDFs, PPTs, Prezis, AR, documents, excel sheets, downloadable files, webinar videos, live event videos, there are so many options for you to choose from to ensure that you have all the content sources possible to create an engaging online course. All of which is mobile-responsive to ensure a uniform viewing experience for your students.
- Assessment Builder: To ensure your content has validity and value, assessments can be built in the course complete with objective and subjective courses. All answers can be embedded with images and videos to make the assessments more engaging. At the same time, you can choose to shuffle the questions, set passing marks, number of attempts and much more.
- Course Completion Certificate: Automatically issue course completion certificates to students. Additionally, the course completion certificates come with QR code for instant verification.
- Powerful Integrations: Automate your workflow with amazing integrations for social media, CRM, analytics, custom domain integration and much more. Integrations such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Cloudflare, Freshdesk, etc. simply your workload to quite an extent.
Bust the Myths, Make the Most Of The Opportunity Available
There isn’t really much to it. Myths have existed forever and will continue to do so in the future as well. Those who have truly taken the plunge know otherwise. Start slow, grow big eventually. Even if it doesn’t become big enough to quit your day job, you could generate a serious amount of passive income just like thousands of others. In case you are wondering which topic to look at, here’s another article that might just help.
Knorish: Finally, everything you need to Build, Launch and Sell your online courses with your brand.