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Grow your Academy | 5 min read

Online courses have a high drop rate, so why still create them?

Online learning is popular. So why do so many learners drop out? Enrollments in online courses continue to rise across demographics, with more learners signing up each year, be it as part of their higher education program, for professional training, or for even personal betterment. Yet despite the popularity, a high drop rate in online courses is common amongst learners. From an educator's perspective, it's not just enough to launch a course, it is equally important that students complete the course. A learner who signs up only to drop out later isn’t getting their money’s worth, and worse hasn’t learned anything from what you had to share. And it's not entirely necessary that your online course is to blame for it. However, a high drop out rate can lead to a poor student experience which is not great for your online course and reviews thereof.

From an educator's perspective, it's not just enough to launch a course, it is equally important that students complete the course. A learner who signs up only to drop out later isn’t getting their money’s worth, and worse hasn’t learned anything from what you had to share. And it's not entirely necessary that your online course is to blame for it. However, a high drop out rate can lead to a poor student experience which is not great for your online course and reviews thereof.

However, as an online course publisher. what you need to understand is that even in schools or colleges, there are students that do well and score exceptionally well, then there are students who score mediocre and poorly as well. So when the instruction is the same across the audience, why does the performance vary. No one factor can be the sole reason for the difference in performance. However, the quality of instruction and student’s level of involvement and seriousness to learn the subject matter are more important elements that decide their success. The same applies to online courses today.

Online Course Idea Inspiration: Unique Online Courses That No One Thought Would Make Money, But Are

The apprehension about the high dropout rates in online courses and any related negative press is because of one simple fact. Currently, the education industry sees online courses as a separate method of instruction altogether. On the other hand, online learning is a mere extension of offline education. Think of it this way. A decade or less ago, online banking was considered to be a tedious task that needed an obscene amount of technology, access, finances and time to build. However, today, net banking is a given. One can’t even imagine banking without net banking. Online education today is the same. HBX and MITx are online academies built by Harvard business school and MIT respectively for their students offering a variety of online courses. This is proof that online courses are truly of value, you just need to find the right student willing to learn.

What will happen to the traditional education model?

Noted Harvard Business School Professor, Clayton Christensen, known for his disruptive innovation theories, has predicted that half of the American colleges will be bankrupt in about 10 to 15 years time. And he is not alone in believing this. The U.S. Department of Education and Moody’s Investors Service project that in the coming years, closure rates of small colleges and universities will triple and mergers will double. The thousand-year-old industry is ready to be disrupted like never before. With the advent of low-cost fast internet, and mobile devices literally everyone in the world is a learner and anybody who decides to teach or share knowledge can launch their online course and get access to millions of learners across the world.

Building an online course

While traditionally, online courses have been seen as labor-intensive online courses complete with animations, course content, hosting solutions, learning management software, instructional design and much more. But that’s not what the audience wants. In the age of YouTube and Facebook, people expect video content. As per the We Are Social 2019 report, on average we consume almost 2.5 hours of video content daily. So to create your online course content, all you need is a laptop, a decent camera phone, mic, nice well-lit background and you are good to go.

Here’s a quick link on how to do this on a low budget: Shoot and Serve: Ways To Turn Your short Videos Into meaningfully long Online Courses

Got a bigger budget? Here’s How to Make Engaging Videos for Online Courses

Successfully launching and sell online courses

Online-courses-have-a-high-drop-rate-so-why-still-create-them-Knorish

It is true that it takes time to successfully sell online courses. However, when done right, this can become a steady secondary income. All successful online course publishers have had the same story. It starts slow, then as the outreach increases, slowly and steadily combined with positive reviews, paid campaigns and inbound content marketing push the online course to a larger audience globally.

Important Note: Building the course content & its content pipeline that would be used for inbound marketing is a one-time exercise. Once the entire pipeline is built, you can repurpose the same material for marketing your online course time and again.

The same technique applies to every online academy and online course. With a consistent & strong inbound content marketing, you can build a formidable online academy selling that sells top-notch online courses.

Quick Tips on how to sell your online course quickly:

  • Promote your course on your blog
  • Start a YouTube channel
  • Post content on your dedicated FB, LinkedIn, and Instagram Pages
  • Share posts via your personal channels as well
  • Share a Promotional Video
  • Share Live Videos on Social Media
  • Build an Email List by sharing free content in exchange for their email IDs
  • Publish Student Testimonials
  • Offer Discounts for your course
  • Promote your course with Ads
  • Guest blogging

Need more inspiration. Here’s a quick read on how to sell your online course faster: How to promote your online course and sell fast?

Anyone can launch a course. All you need is knowledge, expertise and a zeal to put in the bare minimum effort needed to launch the course. By combining all the tools you would need in one place, Knorish has made it that simple for you.

Finally, last thought that we would like to leave you with, is this. According to a recent Statista report, the global online course industry will be worth $46 Billion by 2025. Opportunities exist currently for any kind of online course and with the power of the internet, you can find interested learners from across the world. All you need is to take the first step!

So what are you waiting for? What would be your online course about?

Photo of Brian Halligan

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