You are teaching Python to students for a decade. You have the subject expertise and now you are thinking of creating an online course. But, do you know where to start?
Creating an online course for the first time can be confusing. Unyscape has extensive experience in helping instructors like you to create a course and sell them online via your own eLearning platform.
Combining the success stories of our instructor clients and using the tactics and tricks of instructional designers, we have curated this how-to article to help you learn “how you can easily create the best-selling online course (from scratch)!”
Let’s Get Started!
Fundamental Steps to Create a Quality Online Course
Instead of creating a perfect course, think of creating a great one. Consider your experience as a teacher or even as a student and outline what your audience must expect from your course. In this section, I have outlined some fundamental steps that will help you land on the right foot.
Step 1: Pick The Right Course Topic
One of the most crucial steps if creating a course is to pick the right topic.
Your course topic must be something that you are passionate about. I know, you might have been thinking that you already know this. But, most of the first timers get confused whether they should choose a trending topic that sells more or the topic they have expertise in.
Always choose the topic you love. If you are good at PHP, but Java is in trend, go for PHP. Not Java.
Additionally, you don’t need to choose a subject of university level. Playing guitar, writing creative articles, painting, teaching Angular, the topics are endless.
If you know about a subject, have experience in it and you are good at the topic, then that topic might work for you.
Step 2. Ensure Your Course Idea has High Market Demand
The next step is to market research your topic. You should always create a course around the topic you have expertise in, but you should also research the market demand for the topic.
You spend days of hard work to create the course, but what if nobody wants the course. Before getting started with the course outlining, you need to answer three main questions:
- Are people asking questions about it?
- Are people talking about it?
- Is there a gap in what the competition is offering?
If all the questions have an answer ‘yes’, you can create a high selling course.
Step 3. Select and Gather your Course Content
Now that you have decided the topic and you know the topic has demand in the market, then it’s time to start with the course content.
This is the stage where confusion begins. Most of the content creators stuck at this stage mainly because of the significant amount of information we have in our mind, in the notepads, on the computer, or in the books.
However, remember that it’s not about what you should include in your course but it should be about what you leave out.
Do some competition research and see if you can find any gap in the content they are delivering. You can use the gap to enhance the quality of your course and make it better than your competition.
Include the part which answers the potential questions of your audience.
Step 4. Define Learning Outcomes
Another crucial stage of creating a course is to define the learning outcomes. Nobody is going to pay for the product that doesn’t understand how it will benefit them.
Learning Outcomes define what the learner will be able to do, know and learn by the end of your course.
You should make sure that your course defines Learning Outcomes clearly, such as:
What new they will learn?
What Skills they will demonstrate?
Having clear learning outcomes will entice the right group of students to your course.
Step 5. Outline Your Course
The key to building a great course is to commence with a clear course outline.
If you are creating a course for the first time, start small.
Thinking of covering everything you know and creating a lengthy course might be a mistake.
It’s a waste of time and you might end up publishing a not so good course.
Break your course down into individual lessons.
Start with something small. Include up to 5 short videos (somewhere between 5 to 20 minutes) and offer some worksheets (if possible).
Each lesson should bring the student one step closer to the end goal of your course.
Step 6. Create Your Course Content
You have decided the topic.
You have researched the information.
You have analyzed your competitor’s course as well.
Now, I think you are ready to create your course content.
Before getting started, determine the most engaging and effective delivery methods for each lesson.
Video-based courses are popular these days, however, depending on the topic, you can even blend or choose between videos, reading content, activities (such as a quiz), and audio content to deliver your course.
You need to be aware of adult learning and you can also take a poll of your potential audience to identify the right method.
For example, if you are preparing a course for chiropractors, it’s a good idea to offer a blended course. First, you can offer some video-based lectures and some reading content to ensure that students of all level understand the subject. Then you can offer some synchronous or live learning to offer some practical lessons.
At the end of the, you need to ensure that you have a balance of visual as well as practical methodologies to ensure everyone is engaged and achieve the goal of the course.
But, what is the best way to record videos for your course?
Now that you know that video is the most effective method of delivery, you need to find out how to record the perfect video for your course.
I have already mentioned that you need to keep your videos short.
First, divide lessons.
Prepare the content for your first video.
You can opt for a ‘talking head’ video. In this, you are in the shot on camera.
You can also use ‘green screen’ talking head videos. Later, you can replace the green screen with a relevant image video or even powerpoint slides.
Another method for video creation is screencasting. In this, you can record your computer screen.
You can also include a webcam type video of yourself.
Now that the video has been recorded, you can easily learn to edit videos, even if it’s your first time.
You can use tools such as Camtasia to edit your videos.
When preparing reading content, make sure to keep it crisp and simple. You should consider your audience when writing the course and ensure that regardless of geographic locations your students can understand the document easily.
Step 7. Setting up your Online School
Course Lessons? Check!
Now that you are all set, it’s time to get your course published online.
Nowadays, there are multiple options to sell your course. But the best option is to set up your own website and publish your content there. Three popular options to sell your course online are:
- online course marketplaces
- learning management systems
Online course marketplaces
You can choose a platform like Udemy, register and publish your course online. You don’t need to do much. These platforms advertise the course (mostly as a recommendation) to relevant students.
However, like every coin has two sides, these platforms have some cons as well. First, you can’t control everything about your course. You have to comply with their rules and regulations. Second, you end up paying a massive cut of your sales to those marketplaces.
Learning Management Systems
You can use learning management systems available in the market to build your own online platform and publish your courses. However, you need to identify the right LMS as per your need. Different systems offer different functionalities. Some of the top learning management systems are Docebo, LearnUpon, iSpring Learn LMS, eFront, etc.
Unyscape can help you set up your own eLearning Platform from scratch.
Self-Hosting (Building Your Own Website)
As mentioned earlier, building your own website using WordPress or other systems can help you customize the platform as per your business need. We have recently helped one of our clients to launch his WordPress-based eLearning Portal for synchronous and asynchronous learning. We have used Learndash Plugin to customize the site as per client’s need.
Unyscape has significant experience in designing and building a seamless eLearning platform (from scratch) for businesses and individuals. If you have subject expertise, we can help you build an eLearning business around it. Contact our team for more information.