6 Things To Consider When Making An Online Course
Making a course for your employees, students, or even the general audience can be a great way to educate people.
The main advantage to having a course for a subject is that learners can learn remotely and at their own speed. A course for any given topic can be designed and distributed in different ways.
How you decide to do these things will not only influence how much time and money it requires to put the course together but will also impact how useful that course is for the audience.
Using these tips you can put together a course that will meet the needs of everyone involved and help you get the best results possible.
1. Understand the Audience
The audience plays a big role in how you design your course. If you aren’t able to meet the needs of your audience or design a course that is easily accessible for your audience, it will negatively impact the effectiveness of the course.
You need to be able to identify your audience and understand key things such as what the demographic is, what their goals are, what barriers they are currently facing, and what kind of learning medium is best for them. Each variable can be broken down into smaller metrics to help you define the audience.
For instance, you can understand the demographic in terms of their age, location, education, training background, and future professional goals. Similarly, goals can be broken down into what they want to achieve at the end of the course, what their broader professional goals are, and what success means for them.
2. Study Competition
You might be an expert on the subject that you want to teach but through your course, you need to provide value that learners won’t find anywhere else. There will most likely be at least a few other courses in your niche that you will be competing against and if your course doesn’t have a unique selling point there will be little reason for learners to choose your material over any other in the market.
By analyzing your competition, you can get an idea of what others are offering, what they are lacking, and what you can do to make your course stand out. At the same time, you will also get an understanding of how learners feel studying those courses and whether or not the courses are providing the learners with real value.
3. Define Learning
A single subject or topic can be taught in different ways depending on what the learners’ objective is. If they just want a general run down of the topic to understand what it is all about, that will be very different from a course for someone who wants information that they can instantly apply to their work.
With a clear understanding of your audience and what their goals and objectives are, you can start to develop the course in a way that will help them achieve their goals. This will ensure that your course is giving them the learning that they want.
4. Formulate Study Plan
Creating an effective study plan is key when it comes to achieving the objectives of your course. This includes how you will deliver the knowledge. A few broad options include audio files, video lectures, and text-based documents.
You can also have a more interactive mode of learning such as group classes conducted through video or through a proper learning management system. Moreover, you need to have the right software to create the material itself. For instance, if your course requires real-time data analysis then you need a system that will give you this specific functionality.
At this time, you also need to figure out how long each section of the course should be in terms of time and how long the entire course will be. Most courses will use a mix of teaching mediums.
You either need to have separate systems for the different mediums that you use to deliver your course or you can develop one central medium, such as a dedicated website where all types of material can be brought together.
5. Have Support
Learners will have questions, some will need a bit of extra help, others might have queries about the course itself, and many other issues can come up. Here you need to decide whether or not you will provide support for the learners.
For technical courses that are designed for newbies, it is vital to have support. You need to be able to provide support at every stage of the course and especially after the course has been completed. A lack of support will hinder the student’s ability to learn the course and will eventually hinder how effective the course is for them.
One of the biggest challenges for teachers is the distribution of their courses. This is something that most teachers are not experts in, or even familiar with, so it is like learning a new skill. However, it is one of the most important parts of your course. If you cannot get your course out and distribute it effectively, you can’t expect to sell to a big audience and have the impact that you want.
There are a few broad options that you can consider. This will include course marketplaces such as Skillshare, a dedicated website that you host yourself on social media, or through direct outreach.
Each platform has its pros and cons and it really depends on what you are comfortable doing. If you want the simplest solution then a course marketplace will be the best option. If you want the most customizable option that gives you the flexibility you want, then creating your website will be the best choice.
The online courses market is currently worth over $100 billion. This reflects how much people want to buy online courses and also shows that this business has big potential in the future.
However, the courses that actually become extremely successful and have millions of learners are very few. To reach that stage, you need to provide true value and really help your learners. By understanding what they need, addressing how they learn, and creating a course that gives them the exact results they want, you can help yourself and your learners.