Online courses are a great way of creating additional online content and also to make some additional cash. If you have an existing client of fan base, many of them may prefer to get more perspective or information on your expertise.
Although online courses have been around for a while, for example expert Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs, they have become more and more prevalent with advances in technology.
So, if you are considering developing an online course of your blog or university, we have a couple of tips and tricks that will help make the process easier and faster, and although your first course will undoubtedly reveal glitches and issues, you can avoid some of the most common mistakes by following these.
#1: Do some research
This is probably going to be the most important factor impacting the success of your course. We all have knowledge we want to relay, but that does not mean that anyone wants to actually acquire that knowledge. Design a survey or simply reach out to your customers, clients, friends, contacts and followers to find out exactly what they would actually like a course on. If you offer a well-designed course on something they want, it is sure to be a success.
Large companies can reach out to their employees to find out where a need lies, and address that through offering a course.
#2: Aim to answer one specific question
This is one of the most common mistakes first time course designers make. They are over zealous and try to squeeze in too much information in too short a time, rendering the course stressful and confusing to clients. Although it is natural to be excited and want to share your passion, a well designed course offers clients information in bite size chinks, so that it can be processed.
The best way to do this is to aim to answer one specific question at a time. Your research will help you define this question, which will also help you narrow down the best title for your course. Take your core question, and tease it apart to get your course modules.
What your question is, will also be influenced by the experience level of your clients. If you are offering a course to beginners, then more detail will be added for basic concepts and terms. This, off course, can be skipped with a more experienced crowd.
#3: Plan, plan and plan
Now is the time to pull out those spider diagrams and set out the course concepts and modules or chapters, along with the timeline. This part is vital to ensure that your curse is not overloaded, too complex or too basic. Make sure to fill each section with enough information to keep people intrigued and busy, without losing them in complexity.
This section will also help you prepare the course content in an accessible form – such as a power point show, video clips or written work. You will also have to decide how you are going to offer the course – will it be live sessions with a group of students or will the course be pre-prepared and be downloadable for student to complete at their own time?
#4: Make it interesting
Even though you may find pages and pages of written content on macro evolution very intriguing, not all of your students will. Maybe try to add a joke here and there, or an interesting video clip, or guest a speaker to keep your students engaged and happy. If possible, offer practical examples and activities that students can try on their own, to gain experience and better understanding.
#5: Make sure to get some feedback
Finally, the only way you will improve your online course is by getting some very valuable feedback from your students. You can make this in the form of surveys or a small questionnaire, or even something as simple as comments left in the comments section of your blog.
Use this information to make adjustments to your course, so your next set of clients will have a better experience. I would also just like to add, even if your first course is not a huge success, do not give up hope. Try, try and try again – success is only achieved by those that never give up!
Some (final) thoughts
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