Create online courses
A high-quality online course is an opportunity to constantly earn money in the field of online business. The main component of the success of an online course is its usefulness and relevance. In order to make a good online project in the field of education, everything is important: materials for it, a platform for preparing, editing and posting educational materials, choosing relevant topics, professionally structuring information, interesting presentations and high-quality audio and video materials. Let's talk about everything in detail and in order.
What is an online course?
An online course is an educational project using IT technologies for distance learning. Its real value lies in its intensity and accessibility.
The main principle of building education in an online course is the use and combination of different educational formats: online lectures, independent work of students, the work of a lecturer with diagrams, presentations and diagrams both in recording and live online, communication between students yourself in chats, in instant messengers and by e-mail, joint practical online work of students and the lecturer, feedback from the lecturer, use of various online games, tests and simulators on the course.
Preparatory step in creating online courses
In order for your course to be noticed and wanted to be bought, you need to do some serious preparatory work:
- study the consumer market in your online niche;
- to study, possibly test, similar products from competitors;
- learn how to submit promotional materials for similar courses;
- analyze the activities of competitors;
- study your target audience in detail to see if they have a request for your online educational services;
- select a relevant topic for online courses;
- choose a catchy and catchy title for the online course;
- find interesting material on the selected topic;
- determine the final goal of the online course by answering the question: "What is the desired result for my student?";
- choose levels of access to your educational materials;
- think about the cost of different options for an online course;
- consider if there will be a free demo;
- decide on the learning format (synchronous with time reference or asynchronous, author's course or not);
- think about ways to announce your course and decide on advertising channels.
Always remember that for a popular and well-selling online course, one original idea is not enough. Your expertise, the ability to present information in an interesting way, in which you are very well versed - this is the very engine that can greatly accelerate sales of your product to very high rates. Expertise, relevance and your enthusiasm.
Curriculum development stage
Answers to the most important questions in course development. It is necessary to structure an online course based on the goals and objectives of training. What skills do you want to teach your students? Do you have the necessary competence or should you attract additional experts and other lecturers? Be sure to think over the full concept of your future information product, make sure that the information offered on the course is relevant and necessary. Think over the training plan and structure all the training material, be sure to pay attention to the following points:
- Which online course platform will you use?
- How will your students access the lessons?
- What will be the duration of training, lectures, online tests?
- How many modules and lessons will you have in the course, which lessons will be key?
- Will a training certificate be issued?
- What format will the online lessons take?
- How will you check your homework?
- How will high performance on the course be encouraged?
- How will the material covered be consolidated?
Thinking through a holistic concept for an online course. After you have answered all the important questions in detail, start making your first "rough" drafts of an online course. Write a script. Distribute the lessons, what is important to start with, how intensively online learning will advance, what topics you need to focus on, which blocks will be key and important, how auxiliary and additional material will be presented. Information should be presented simply and consistently, and it is better to build all training on the principle “from simple to complex”. The lessons themselves should not be long in time, an acceptable option for an online lesson is 20-30 minutes. Also, the lessons should not be monotonous, lectures can be diluted with presentations and interesting schemes, any online game or test to check the learned material can be added to the presentation videos. Completing a complex and lengthy practical task can be combined with discussion and exchange of ideas or impressions between students in a chat.
Dividing an online course into thematic blocks. Let's now highlight an important rule that concerns the structure of your online learning material. Since you have a specific goal for an online course, you can break it down into several detailed tasks. What tasks will need to be completed in order to gradually, step by step, approach the goal - to achieve a learning result, that is, mastering a skill or mastering some important information? If you need to complete 5–6 tasks to achieve your goal, then you can distribute them something like this: 2–3 tasks per module of the course.
To finally structure your material, move from the general to the specific: first decide how many modules there will be in the course, and what general topics your information product will need to be divided into. Modules are voluminous thematic blocks that make up your online course. Depending on the specific tasks set, break the modules into lessons, lessons into parts. In this way, you detail and logically distribute all your educational content. Then proceed to the most interesting and creative part - filling your course with materials.
Visual course stage
In order for your online course to be perceived positively, it is very important to consider the design of all materials published on the course: video content, texts, presentations, downloads and more. Using all the known rules of color and text design, be sure to work out the visual component of your online product. Literally everything will be important: the number of fonts, text color, alignment, underlining, free space on the page, the compositional combination of elements, the design style of each lesson, and even the background on which the lecturer will conduct his online lessons. The design should attract, and at the same time not distract from the educational part. It's an art, and our experts know how to help you through this step of creating an online course. In addition to design, our experts will help you learn and set up the platform for online courses, give advice on how to use its blocks effectively.
Using an online course platform
The choice of a specialized platform for creating an online course is a good option both from a technical point of view and from the point of view of the convenience and comfort of the student and teacher. In a platform such as OnlineExpo, for example, you will find many useful technical features. Platform for creating online courses:
- protects the course organizer's copyrights;
- allows you to edit lessons and add new ones during the course, highlight and highlight new lessons, lectures and other educational materials in the menu;
- enables sequential study of the material;
- generate attendance reports;
- allows you to include any statistics you need;
- allows you to configure automatic checking of homework and tests;
- provides the creation of interactive simulators and online tests.
We have given you a far from complete list of what a special platform can offer your course. To find out what other blocks of the OnlineExpo platform you can use, ask us directly. Depending on your goals and objectives, we will select the optimal set of necessary options offered by the OnlineExpo platform for your online course.
Testing an online course before launch
Before you launch your online course to the general public, you will need to check all training materials, audio and video files for grammatical errors, inaccuracies and inconsistencies several times. Your expertise must be 100%, the success of sales and the loyalty of your future client depend on it. Test your online course on a small part of the target audience, the so-called focus group. Pay attention to reviews and feedback. Be sure to communicate with your listeners, ask more questions, interview them about the strengths and weaknesses of your online course. If shortcomings are identified and if there are negative reviews from the pilot group, adjust your product, correct all errors and shortcomings, and then test again. It's best to do all of these checks before the big launch. Indeed, with a large number of students, negative reviews will quickly disperse all over the Internet, and at the very beginning of the launch, the reputation of the course may be damaged. Therefore, testing and verification should not be spared time and effort. It is necessary to ensure the high quality of the proposed material. It is also important to make sure that the topic of the online course is fully disclosed.
Important points for an online course
Explain the structure of the course
New information is a lot harder to digest if you don't explain the structure of the course to your audience in the first place. Do not forget to remind how each stage of learning is interconnected with the final result, sum up under each topic, what you have learned and what topics you will cover in the course of your online course. Speak the basic concepts and specific terms from your online course, so you make sure that the students with you will be on the same wavelength.
Remember your school years: the teacher explains - everything is clear, asks - everyone is silent. Most often the first time, many do not learn new information. To consolidate the theoretical part, go to practice and analyze an example based on the material covered, give the opportunity to solve a similar problem on your own. Don't be afraid to change the context of the task so that students can find solutions themselves using theoretical knowledge at the right time. The more options are considered in practice, the more likely that theoretical knowledge will be remembered better.
Don't be afraid of examples
It's good to know the theory, but the most interesting thing is its application. Offer to think of where new knowledge might be needed and how it can help in each individual situation. The realization that new knowledge can change something in real life gives listeners a sense of satisfaction on a psychological level.
Tests and tests are an integral part of any online course: this way you can not only understand how you learned the material, but also identify difficult and incomprehensible moments in your course. Distribute questions in tests from different theoretical topics: this will help students select the necessary information on their own and build a structure for themselves. Problem solving should not follow directly from theoretical knowledge, but will make the audience think.
The goal of any course is not cramming the material covered! Try to put individual tasks in the form of cases so that you can independently solve the problem from start to finish. As practice shows, what is best remembered is what caused difficulties in the learning process. Analyze common mistakes in practical classes to reinforce the material covered.
The first stream of students in your course is a great opportunity to evaluate the quality of your content and the way you present it. By collecting feedback, you will have the opportunity to work through difficult and incomprehensible places, to pay more attention in the future.
Online course promotion
To promote your online product, you can either turn to professionals or independently promote your course with your own strengths and skills.
- Place the course information on your site.
- Proactively talk about your information product on your blog.
- Use blogs and communities to distribute your ads.
- Post posts about the usefulness of your courses on social media.
- Offer discounts and participate in various promotions.
- Connect special questionnaires to collect contact data of potential customers.
- Run surveys to attract new customers and collect data.
- Email your online course information.
- Run ads on websites using the barter exchange system.
- Collect and post positive course reviews.
- Consider and offer a flexible payment system for your courses, a money back guarantee.
- Tell and publish material about why it is so important and useful to take your course, demonstrate the usefulness of your course with specific examples.
The main criteria for quality online courses
Have you noticed that there are a lot of online courses? With such a variety, it is difficult to understand which of the proposed online courses are examples to follow, and which require significant refinement and transformation. Here is a list of our own criteria for successful online courses from the point of view of professionals who have been helping to develop and promote various online projects, including educational ones, on the Internet for more than 15 years.
In a good online course:
- a lot of useful practical material;
- tests and independent work after the theoretical part are used;
- various presentation of educational material;
- lots of real-life case studies on how the knowledge of the course can be useful;
- the presence of interesting control tasks and interesting ways of self-checking;
- established feedback from the teacher, analysis of students' mistakes and recommendations;
- interactivity of the online course;
- analysis of important mistakes on the course, search for new solutions.
Creating a high-quality online course is a serious task, but at the same time interesting and exciting. Follow all the important rules for creating online courses, all these rules are developed by professionals in their field. Use the OnlineExpo platform to be sure of the usability of your online product. Contact us for a consultation to learn how to make the most of the platform to create a great online course.
We also recommend reading our article about choosing a platform for online events.