Online courses have become an essential part of our society, as the days when you could just ‘promise’ your prospects that you are worth investing in are gone – now you must prove it. And there is no better way of demonstrating your expertise than by creating an online course. By teaching your topic, you are able to show everyone, without a shadow of doubt, that you know what you’re talking about, you’re good at what you do, and that you are an expert in your field.
“Courses help prove that you know what you're talking about, you’re good at what you do, and that you are an expert in your field.”
Therefore, creating and selling online courses can be quite profitable with many professionals achieving 6- and 7-figure incomes
When creating an online course, a number of criteria must be met to ensure that students receive the benefits they signed up and paid for.
Below is a list of important aspects your online course must have:
Your role as the instructor is very important in the online learning process because it’s in your hands to encourage, inspire and ensure that your students don’t feel like they have embarked on the learning trip alone. This is why the best value your students can ever get from your online course, comes from a community.
“Great online courses combat this risk by encouraging online interaction between students”
Although learning is somewhat of an individual activity, it is still a social process. Students of online courses love the ability to communicate with other people who are on the same journey with them and share ideas. For example, a class may have an off-topic discussion board, where students can feel free to chat about anything that interests them.
“It’s important to create groups in your course, blog or social media and initiate discussions for your students to take part of”
By building a community around your course, what you’re doing is helping your students become self-sufficient and rely on the group more than they rely on you.
Learning outcomes clearly explain, with measurable verbs, what the learner will be able to do, know and feel by the end of your course. These goals are the heart of a course and need to be made clear at the planning stage. They are broad, general statements of what we want our students to learn and provide direction, focus, and cohesion for our work with learners.
“ If your students don’t know how your course is going to help them, they are unlikely to purchase or enroll in it.”
Don’t underestimate the importance of learning outcomes. Having clear learning outcomes also ensures that only the right students are joining your course – which means higher completion and satisfaction rates and lower refund requests. By not have outcomes for students to follow, you risk your reputation and your bottom line – let alone make the course creation process a frustrating one.
By far, the most important aspect of any online course, is to keep your students satisfied with the course material. An online course that is easy to navigate, is well-organized and contains high-quality material is an important part of the learning process.
“When a course's content is of high quality, you find yourself engaged and curious, and as a result, you learn much more naturally.”
Low-quality content feels like a chore to create and for your students to consume. Often leading to higher refunds, complaints, and even ruining your credibility. High-quality content is much more engaging, however what's important is this: does it lend itself to natural learning? Would an expert in the field recommend it to anyone curious about the subject, regardless of the online class?
Delivering Your Content
Having an engaging experience for your students through different visuals, slides, and quizzes, an instructor is able to track the progress of students and assess the effectiveness of the curriculum. Will you have videos, reading content, activities, audio content? What type of visuals will you have? Will you have community learning areas?
“Different ways to make your course more engaging for your students can be: Videos (recordings, screencasts, webinars, etc.), eBooks or PDF files, Presentations or Slides, Quizzes, Blog Posts, Audio files (talks, podcasts, interviews, etc.)”
You need to be aware of the different principles of adult learning, learning preferences and all of the different ways that you can deliver your training to really make sure that your training is as engaging as possible. while at the same time students have the ability to track their own progress and improve on their skills accordingly. To ensure your online learning initiative succeeds, build it to be distinctive and engaging.
By providing exceptional quality content and a very engaging learning experience, your course will thrive. Creating a successful online course isn’t impossible and it doesn’t have to be hard. You simply need to understand that it’s a big undertaking, but with its income potential, it’s not something you want to take lightly. Remember it’s about the students, so teach yourself how to teach, let your students teach each other, and make sure you cover your topic entirely in an effective manner.
Which ingredients are currently working for you? How has focusing on that helped your course content and engagement? Leave a comment down below!