Create Your Own Online Course 2

Before you start you need to be quite sure you know what you are getting into.  Creating a course can generate a very good income; there are a number of things that must come together to make it a success.

  1. Decide What Your Course is About : Once you decide to create an online course, you need to answer  “what am I going to teach?”

Deciding what to teach is tricky because it needs to be something you’re knowledgeable about, but it should have the potential to attract a fairly large number of students.

Before you can pinpoint a course topic, you need to finalise your niche or broader subject and then boil it down to specific topics (see last week’s article – Create Your Own Online Course – 1 – Modlettes)

2. Validate Demand For Your Course : The easiest way to do this is to analyse the search volumes for related keywords.

Suppose you want to create a course about vegan cooking.  Your action should be to look at search volume for key words like vegan cooking, vegan cookbook, etc.

Next, analyse the results and you will notice the key word has a high search volume.  With several related keywords showing high search volumes you will realise there is an interest in learning the topic.

You shouldn’t just rely on market data to validate your idea.

You can start by analysing the discussions on popular Facebook groups or online communities.

3. Plan Your Online Course Creation : Now you’re getting to the grunt work.  Every part of course creation needs to be carefully planned.

Pretend you’re managing a project.  A lot of things are involved, which you need to breakdown into milestones and tasks.

It is essential to create and store all your material before you start your Modlette.  This means you can actually assemble the Modlette in less than an hour.  The great advantage of pre-recording is that you can edit your videos and audio clips to remove the mistakes and make sure you have a great piece of material before you upload it on to the Modlette.

Create a Detailed Course Outline

The outline defines the structure of your course.

When creating an outline, you should always start with the students’ objectives in mind.  Then think of the various milestones students need to take to achieve these results.  These can become Modlettes and your course may have any number of these.

Finally, you should keep some important design principles in mind while creating your outline:

  • Keep content short:  People generally have short attention spans with a multitude of distractions these days.  Break your content into digestible chunks
  • Incorporate small wins:  Students should earn progress throughout the course.  This will motivate them to complete the course.  Modlettes’ learning quizzes are ideal for this.
  • Test student knowledge:  Once a Modlette is completed finish with a testing quiz.  This can be used to test knowledge or by using a scenario will test whether they can apply their new knowledge.
  • Provide Feedback:  Give specific and constructive feedback on the student’s progress.

To deliver your online course you can accumulate your ideas on sticky notes, or whiteboard before putting a firm outline in a tool like Google Sheets.  I prefer to put my ideas into a mindmap from which I work to a story board.

Next week you can read about creating your course content.

Definition of uncomplicated . . . Modlettes

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