More and more people are choosing to take an online course to learn something new, from a foreign language to the latest news from the WordPress world. If you specialize in a subject that has no secrets for you, why not make your knowledge available to others with a package of lessons? Or create an online course of your.
- How to Structure your Online Course?
- Tips to Create an Online Course
- Organize Ideas Well
- Learn from Others
- Choose the Right Tools
- Be Brief
- Write Interesting Descriptions
- Keep Updates
- How to Make an Online Course?
- Video Course in the Room
- Video Course with Slides
- Text Only
- To Sum up
There are many ways to start teaching online. You can choose to upload the lessons on YouTube, on your social accounts, or create a dedicated site to host the courses. Or you can take advantage of one of the many portals created to connect teachers and students.
e-Learning Ecologies: Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning for the Digital Age
- University of Illinois via Coursera
- 30,901+ already enrolled!
- 19 hours of effort required
- ★★★★★ (303 Ratings)
How to Structure your Online Course?
With less and less time available to study and more and more the need not to be left behind, I have long understood that every online course can be structured in two ways:
- Superfast online courses: to be consumed in 2-3 hours.
- Super structured online courses: perhaps with 30 hours of video, which can be accessed if necessary to consult the part that interests you.
In the first case, we are dealing with concrete paths, which hit and solve a single but essential problem with a quick solution and without necessarily having to tell each topic’s life, death, and miracles. However, the second case would be a little complicated.
Tips to Create an Online Course
1. Organize Ideas Well
To offer the public an interesting course, you need to prepare well. Before recording lectures, think about the structure, the topics you want to talk about and the audience you want to reach.
If you have a basic level in mind, choose a simple language suitable for those who do not know anything about the subject. On the other hand, if you are targeting pupils who wish to specialize, you are free to use more specific terminology. Before standing in front of the camera, determine where you want to start, arrive, and all the intermediate stops.
2. Learn from Others
Look at the industry you want to work in and the behavior of the most successful teachers. Study the titles, descriptions and formats to steal the secrets of their success and read all user comments and reviews. Focus especially on negative criticism and look for mistakes to avoid. A comment like “Interesting, but speak too slowly” is more valuable than a simple “Thanks, everything is beautiful.”
Note: We highly recommend to checkout takethiscourse’s online course effectiveness score to learn what makes an online course effective as per user’s feedback.
3. Choose the Right Tools
Careless videos are fine for social networks, but you need to offer quality content for a paid course. We are not saying that you need a professional camera, but you will certainly need a tripod to stabilize the footage, adequate lighting and a good microphone.
4. Be Brief
Short videos work better than long ones. Divide the modules into clips of up to ten minutes: avoid going too far. In this way, you will attract a larger audience, reassured by content that does not require excessive time and concentration.
5. Write Interesting Descriptions
Take the time to choose the titles and work out the descriptions. Don’t be afraid to say too much. On the contrary, use the spoiler effect to attract the attention of your audience.
Consider that there are users who buy an entire course even to solve a single doubt or problem. If you clarify what you offer, you can win over even students interested in just one module.
6. Keep Updates
A subject like WordPress is constantly evolving, especially when we talk about protecting sites from cyber attacks. Structure the lessons so that you can easily modify them in the event of future updates.
You can separate the theoretical lessons (which remain valid over time) from the practical ones, such as configuring a plugin, an activity that could change at any moment. If a plugin changes the interface or is replaced by a new, more valid plugin, we just need to record a new lesson.
How to Make an Online Course?
There are several ways that I have used in the past and for one reason or another, they are all extremely effective. Let’s see them quickly together.
1. Video Course in the Room
Go in front of the camera and talk to the audience, perhaps with a digital whiteboard or flipchart. You explain your content by looking at the lens and talking to your student as if they were there in the room.
Here you need a good pair of lights, a microphone and a video camera, a reflex camera or a smartphone. All in all, things that can be found quickly or that you already have.
2. Video Course with Slides
If you are afraid to be in front of the camera or if your course requires screen viewing. Making a tutorial video is your best bet. You can use FlexClip to do the screen capture and record all audio.
Why not talk in the camera or with live slides? So you can also answer your students’ questions. Not only that, this technique then allows you to divide the recording of your webinar into videos that will compose an online course.
4. Text only
Before the advent of Youtube and streaming, let’s go back a bit in time, and I really like this thing. It will be because I like to write but read and study content that I can quickly return to as often as I want. You can create a PDF or a sequence of emails or even have a course area where the texts take the place of the videos.
I am a huge fan of podcasts and audiobooks. This way, you can easily digest a lot of content while doing other things, like driving, relaxing with your eyes closed, eating.
Making an audio course is super easy. All you need is a good microphone and a computer, or your smartphone with some app to record voice notes, and a good headset. The most important thing is quiet around you. You have to be in a quiet place to record. If you are not super used to talking off the cuff, you have to prepare the texts to read first. Not very suitable for tutorials and super practical courses.
These modalities are all effective and each one will have its own positive and negative aspects for each of us. Often the choice of the method to be adopted for creating our online courses falls on what is most “in our strings” or the technical skills we already have or the resources we can use.
To sum up
In any case, no one forbids us tov do a “mix&match” of all these ways to create our online courses, for example, by shooting a video course in the room, with some video slide lessons, an in-depth webinar, a written appendix and then recorded in audio.
The problem of content distribution and organization remains. You may need: website, mobile app, community, hosting, video hosting, blog, affiliations, course area, shopping cart, payments, CRM, email marketing. If you are interested in creating an online course, I am sure you now know where to start.
How to Learn Online
- via edX
- 171,892+ already enrolled!
- 2 Weeks (2-3 hours weekly) of effort required
- Course Type: Self Paced