Creating an online course requires a lot more than putting relevant content pieces together and calling it a day. There are a host of considerations needed while creating a course that students will actually enroll for and more importantly, follow through to reach completion.
Informative plus engaging content can be challenging to produce, but it is no rocket science. Here are some golden nuggets of wisdom you should make a note of in order to create effective online courses. Think of this as the anatomical make-up of a superb online course.
Aim for a Highly Targeted Student Base with Specific Learning Needs
Trying to help everyone is understandable. But ending up helping nobody with scattered content and unfocused teaching is unacceptable and in vain. Be sure to figure out who you are creating the content for. In other words, know your students inside out and create content accordingly to attract maximum enrollments.
This sense of purpose is the heart and soul of your online course and gives your online course a personality that will attract conversions. People want solutions to their problems and you need to know what those problems are to be an effective online teaching entrepreneur.
Use First-Hand Experience for Creating Authentic Course Content
Do make sure you avoid falling prey to the expertise trap. For instance, you need not be a certified yoga practitioner to teach yoga on Youtube. Assuming others already know what you have to teach is a big mistake and can hold you back from performing at your fullest potential. Go ahead, teach what you know and you will surely find learners.
Creating academic content is crucial but laying down foundations based on what you have lived through makes your content all the more fun to read and learn.
If you can present your course in a story-telling format, all the better.
People remember what they can relate to, and story-telling is an excellent way to make them remember what you teach as you go from one module to the next.
It is all about having enough knowledge and experience to create a process that provides results repeatedly.
Be Crystal Clear About Your Objectives as An Online Trainer
Being laser-focused on the objectives of your course helps students comprehend clearly just how valuable their investment in your course really is.
Be ultra-focused on how your course has the potential to transform the students’ life in some way or the other. Keep the end goals in mind at every stage while creating course content and not just for writing marketing copies. This will help you stand true to your promises and eventually build a strong personal brand.
Course with well-defined objectives helps paint a clear picture in the learners’ minds.
Use easy to understand words and be as specific as possible while conveying your courses’ objectives.
Simplification Goes a Long Way
Your course will be far more digestible and easy to understand if it is divided into modules of medium length. Just like the gut, our brains easily digest information that has already been chewed a lot and presented in a lucid manner.
Instead of going on and on about what you know on the subject, try giving small assignments to the students and teach them how to do it at each step as you go.
Action inspires motivation, don’t take our word for it? Try giving a chance to Mark Manson - ‘Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, but also the cause of it.’
Breaking it down after appropriate intervals can go a long way, but make a point not to overdo this by creating an overwhelming number of sections or course modules.
Structure your course like a process with 4 to 6 actionable steps rather than aimlessly giving out knowledge chunks and then defining the exercises.
Aim for Trans-formative Course Modules
Modules are like the spinal cord of the anatomical framework of your online course. Each vertebra is a separate module with enough gap between two modules.
In the section above, we recommend creating your course as a process that has the potential to bring about trans-formative results for students. This process has several stages, the idea is to create every module fitting each stage of the journey.
Create Every Course Lesson as an Aid to Overcome Specific Challenge(s)
Every lesson should have a purpose for it. It helps the learner in moving past the roadblocks they face on the journey towards their learning goal. Your lessons should be focused on helping them move past such roadblocks through your powerful learning material. Providing solutions against roadblocks is what you want to focus on for creating each lesson.
The key here is to make your students feel like they did the right thing by investing time and effort in learning from you.
Filtering out Unnecessary Course Material is a Must
A vast course can easily become overwhelming and hard to complete, even for online students. This calls for ensuring you put out only the most relevant information and nothing else. What they need to know for completing each exercise or step you want them to take is all they need to know.
You can point links for references where you want your students to go beyond your curriculum and dig a little deeper for research. Sure, your sincere students will thank you for it. But giving out very concise knowledge instead of a bulky course is the secret recipe for online course success.
Have an objective approach and filter out the redundant. Design your course structure in a way that lets your students reach course completion without much hassle.
Provide Learning Tools for Better Output
Your lessons are only as strong as the learning tools you can provide through your online course curriculum.
Things like checklists, methods, forms to fill and templates are all considered as learning tools. Add these tools to your students’ arsenal as weapons they need to combat their learning challenges.
Pro Tip - All that your students need is a robust structure and easy-to-follow steps for learning a new skill or solving a problem.
Enhanced Delivery System And Course Formatting
Your course can be precious in terms of intelligent content but if you don’t format and make it presentable, it is not going to get as much exposure as you would want for sales and marketing.
Make your personality reflect through what you teach and how you teach. It goes a long way in establishing your reputation and a strong personal brand in the market.
Delivery and formatting are widely subjective areas. But you can surely get better as you go.
Time To Create Your Online Course!
This article focuses on the quality enhancement of your course material. If you are new to creating online courses and want a beginners’ perspective, we strongly recommend reading How to Create Content For Your First Ever Online Course.
Do leave a comment if you have insights or feedback for this blog post. We read each and every comment and try our best to respond quickly.
More power to you!
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