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How to Design an Online Course—A Short 4 Step Guide

The last couple of years have witnessed a surge in the interest for other, more modern methods of learning and acquiring the relevant skills. One of the methods that became most popular is definitely the concept of an online course that allows you to follow the relevant material from the comfort of your home or on your way to and from work. Sounds convenient, right? That’s why many have jumped at the chance to take their skills to another level and, so far, these courses have proved extremely useful. Not only are they flexible, but they are usually more affordable than the traditional lessons we’re used to, which means you’ll easily manage to fit it in your budget.

Many experts have recognized the importance of a good online course and have thus decided to share their knowledge with audiences worldwide. It’s a great way for professionals to show off their expertise while at the same time helping other people reach their goals. However, what does a good course consist of? Well, if you’re planning on designing a course, you’ll need to have in mind several important aspects. To find out more, keep reading the text below.

Pick a topic that fits

The topic is the first step you need to decide on. It’s the most important step that will determine the rest of the online course designing process. It sets the pace for the final outcome of the course. However, the topic can’t be the first that pops into your head. For the course to be valuable, you need to talk about something that you love and that’s of interest to you. If you’re tackling a topic just because it’s popular right now, your course won’t be as successful as your attendees will most likely notice you’re not speaking enthusiastically about the topic.

Take your talents and skills into consideration and write down a few ideas before you make the final decision. Remember, your  experience sometimes matters more than the theoretical knowledge you bring to the table so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a university degree to back up your knowledge.

Outline a course plan

After you’ve finally chosen the topic that you want to talk about, you’ll have to think about how you want to structure your course and which subtopics to cover. The best approach to this task is to first gather all the content and tips & tricks you want to share and then it will be easier for you to write the plan. Think about the subtopics relevant for your main topic and think about the chapter titles and sequence. 

Most courses share a similar structure so make sure to take a look at those as well. The introduction is the first part where you get to explain what people will learn and you’ll share some basic information during this stage. After you’ve written the introduction and made the accompanying video lesson, you can move to more detailed chapters where you’ll dig a bit deeper into the topic.

Proof of course completion

Nowadays, when most of us take online courses to be able to advance in our careers or add the skill to our resumes, it’s necessary to have some form of evidence of completion if we’ve completed the course successfully. Chances are, your courses will be more in demand if you allow your attendees to obtain a certification. Imagine if you take an online medical course and you don’t earn a certificate. How can you prove that you can administer CPR unless you’ve received a CPR license?

That’s why, as a course owner and developer, you need to take in account the fact that your course will be more valuable with a valid certificate. 

Course promotion

What’s the use of a course unless no one hears about it? Once you’re satisfied with the final result, it’s time to proudly promote your course and make sure it’s seen on social networks and other relevant channels. If this is not your first course, try reaching out to previous attendees via email to let them know you’re launching a new course. Also, keep your blog or website regularly updated so that your readers can stay up-to-date 

The bottom line

Hopefully, you’re now more aware of what your next course should include. From interactive materials to official certifications, a good course should have it all.

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