The sheer volume of courses available online is quite overwhelming. A simple Google search of ‘learn Italian online’ returns over 13 million results. Each one promising the same thing, but in a different way. The unassuming consumer is hit with this trove of content, and what they do next is vital to understanding how to develop your courses. Follow these few steps to ensure you are doing what you can to help your online course stand out from the rest.
Pick a great topic
When you’re picking a topic you really have to think about what people want and what you can offer. Gauge people’s interests via survey. Explore niche topics that you might be able to discuss that have little information available online. For instance if you are a medical practitioner, you might have an interest in alternative therapies. Just make sure that you’re filling a gap, or adding your personal expertise to a topic.
Competition can be a good thing
When it comes to creating an online course, you would think that having an idea that hasn’t yet been put forward would mean that yours will be quite successful. In some cases this could very well be true, especially if it’s an educational course for a new technology or concept. However, it can also mean that it hasn’t been developed because there is no market for it. And so when considering a topic for your online course, if there are other people developing similar courses, it can be a good thing in that there is obviously a demand for the topic, which means that it it is more likely to become successful and sell.
Decide on a platform that’s right for you
There are a number of ways for you to deliver and structure your course content. Some of the most popular choices are: by coursework, where you would have to develop and distribute things like handouts and worksheets. Recorded videos, where you simply record yourself explaining topics. Screen capture videos, where you record yourself using a software or a PowerPoint Presentation and add narration to it. Whichever way you should choose the method you feel most comfortable with, and that will best cater to your topic.
Design is secondary to content
With most things, looks are everything. It is what draws people to your content and often what builds interest in your product, so it is important. However, when it comes to online courses, design takes a backseat, especially in the early stages. Some of the most successful online courses started from very basic whiteboard background explainers, with really high-quality, comprehensible content. Because ultimately that’s what people want, well-structured, easy-to-follow information that’s accessible for everyone. As your course becomes more popular and you have more money to spend on web-design, then it becomes the key to take your courses to the next level, but the focus should always be on the content.
Address an issue
Customers want to participate in courses that address an issue for them. They want a course that simplifies something complex and breaks it down into easy-to-understand segments. In order to do that, make sure you have a strategic plan at tackling the broad issue. If someone wants to get healthier – your classes should be segmented to bite-size, useful bits of information like ‘what foods are good for weight loss’, ‘what foods are good for lowering cholesterol’. The more focused your courses are the more comprehensive the end result will be.
Constantly re-learn the subject
It is rare for a subject to never evolve. That is why it’s important for you as an educator to constantly be on top of new developments about the topic. Constantly re-learn your subject, and understand the way it fits into different and developing situations. If your online course is about selling videos online, make sure your information is always up to date, take advantage of new technological advancements in the online industry and use them to your advantage.
Receiving feedback about your course is incredibly valuable for your business as it allows you to develop the course and progress with it. In developing your product, it means that you are constantly improving, which can only mean good things for your course, your clients, and your business.