Turn Your Skills Into An Online Course – 2

We have been discussing how to create an online course, and in our last post, we covered the process of developing and validating your idea. Now, we are going to dive into generating content and structure for your course.

When you create your course, think of each segment of information as a lesson. Lessons can vary considerably in delivery type and content structure.

FIRST, CREATE AN OUTLINE:

Write out how to deliver your skill to your audience in an outline format. Creating an overview will help you see the natural progression of how to teach your content and break it up into sections. You should start with the result and work backward to develop each module. See the following example of an online bakery course for how this can work.

EXAMPLE – How to bake a perfect cupcake

Dry ingredients

Optimal dry ingredients to use and how they impact your cake. Includes tips and tricks for creating the best base for your cake.

Wet ingredients

List of wet ingredients and how they effect the flavor. Include what each component does in the cake and more tips on how to get the best results.

Combining your elements

Bringing your ingredients together and best practices for super results in and out of the oven.

Creating a perfect frosting

Describe the ways to make frosting and how to whip up a masterpiece.

Decorating

Decorating techniques to make your perfect cupcake beautiful.

Now your learners understand how to make the perfect cupcake!

Once you have outlined the necessary steps to teach your topic or skill effectively, then you need to ask yourself the following questions:

How long should each lesson be?

The answer is, it depends on your topic and the intensity of the course. It is essential that your consumer feels they gained value, and it is also vital to engage learners in a way that encourages them to complete the process. Even though your delivery will depend on your topic, there are best practices that can help provide guidelines to follow. According to experts, most lessons should be no more than 30 min in length. Whether your entire course is 2 hours or 10 hours in total time, it is easier for learners to engage with information divided into shorter sessions. Many online courses are moving toward micro-learning, which involves learning segments that range from 6-15 min long.

How do you deliver your content?

Consider who you are as an instructor; the best platform is most likely also the most comfortable for you. Your skillset and access to tools may limit your lesson distribution options, but that does not mean that you can’t create a fantastic learning environment! Below is a shortlist of popular types of online lesson delivery:

Video
Written
Audio
Imagery
Live sessions
Slides

When will your consumers learn?

While, as the course developer, you can create any course structure you’d like, we listed the most used structures. Using something similar to one of these types will help users feel comfortable walking through the process and will reduce confusion and customer support hours.

Step by step program – Users walk through a progression of lessons in a predetermined order.
Week by week program – Learners are given information at specific times, whether in a meeting or by content released in weekly chunks.
Reference course​ – An open course style, where learners walk through lessons in a freeform manner.

How will the course feedback loop work?

As a consumer, it is imperative to feel like you are making progress. This is where your feedback loop comes into play. There are several types of feedback that you can utilize in your course to help learners see the progress they are making.

Test/quiz
One-on-one conversation – Think an email or a phone conversation!
Group discussions
Polls
Dashboard with a progress bar – See an example basic user dashboard with a progress bar pictured below.

Once you have outlined your course, determined your number and length of your lessons, decided how to deliver your content, and planned your feedback loop(s), it is time to get busy creating your content! 

 

GET IN TOUCH

The incredible thing about the internet is that we can work anywhere! Woodchuck Arts is geo-located in Newark, Ohio, Caledonia, MI and Toledo, OH. We serve clients from Seattle, Washington, to Washington D.C.

Email Heather at heather@woodchuckarts.com or call 724-281-0559
Email Erin at erin@woodchuckarts.com or call 616-528-2747

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