Academics Admission News Going to College Student Success

8 Things You Need to Know When Developing an Online Course

Online course show businessman on blurred background.

The Internet has made it easier than ever for curious minds to learn new things. It doesn’t matter what a person looks for on the internet, there is an array of options that they will be bombarded with. While diverse options make it easier for users to select the best option, service providers have to be extremely thoughtful about crafting their services.

There are thousands of websites, software, and channels that offer online courses. If you’re planning to offer the same, you have to be prepared for the intensive hard work it would take when developing an online course. The intention should be a combination of convincing the learners, providing a useful outcome, and outperforming the competitors. That being said, here’s a list of eight steps you can take to develop an incredible online course.

1. Pick a topic for your online course

When you’re developing an online course, it’s best to choose a topic that you love or are passionate about. That way, developing the course will be relatively effortless, and your experience, knowledge, and skills would help in adding value to the course. While the topic should interest you, you also need to make sure that the topic is trending. This is a crucial factor because if your online course is not about something a lot of people actively seek to learn, it will be on the internet with nobody interested in it.

2. Think about the learning outcomes first

When people follow an online course, they are more interested in what the learning outcome would be once they finish the course. When the students know the exact learning outcomes, they would be more ready to invest their time and money in the course. Come up with compelling learning outcomes so that you can attract more people. Furthermore, defining clear learning outcomes would also help you in streamlining the process of course creation.

3. Create a course outline and gather content

If you start framing your course content by gathering information and materials without having a course outline, the whole process can become scattered, which can leave you frustrated throughout the process. To work in a definite direction, create a course outline to work around to keep everything on track.

Once you have an outline of the course, you can hunt for the materials you might need to craft your course content. With so much information out there, you can specifically pick what you need based on the subtopics and the whole curriculum you decide.

4. Decide the combination of content format

Content format plays an equally important role in deciding if your audience would be interested to complete the course and stay till the end. The content format also depends on the type of audience and the nature of the content. You can decide to have written content, videos, audios, infographics, or even a combination of all with the most significant format being dominant. Having a combination adds diversity and breaks a boring pattern in how the lessons proceed.

5. Production of the required content

Whether it is written content, videos, or audio files, you will have to spend time producing your content for the sake of authenticity. If you’re adding a few YouTube links, they will fail to establish that you are an expert in your field. Thus, you have to take the initiative of producing your unique content for your online course. You can first make a list of what formats of content you need for each topic and then start working on each topic, one format at a time.

6. Get your course on an online platform

You can either use your website or another platform to put your online course. When you’re putting the online course on your website, you will have to market your course for it to be visible. But the good news is most of the things besides that are in your control. With other platforms, students would find your course among a pool of other courses. You can’t control your visibility, and the scope for monetization is also limited.

7. Create an online community for your course

Having a community is crucial so that students can have discussions about the course. Think of it this way- if a student has a doubt, there are fewer chances that he would contact you to clarify. However, being a part of the online course community would make it easy for so many students to understand the concepts better. Furthermore, creating study communities also helps in receiving feedback as to how your course is received by people.

8. Keep updating

If you’ve developed your first online course content, you can’t expect yourself to be completely perfect at it. As time passes and as you’re introduced to new ways, you would want to make changes to your course to make it more student-friendly and relevant. This is why updating the course is an all-time task. You need to make an effort to update your content now and then.
This not only means adding more content or subtracting what’s not needed based on current trends but also based on the feedback you get from the students. Doing so would help you ensure your online course doesn’t expire after a while.

When you follow the above-mentioned tips, it makes it easier for you to develop the course and make sure it sells. Having expertise in the field, knowing your audience, and being ready to adapt are the three basic ingredients that would go into developing a successful online course.

For more great college content, check out the other blogs on College Basics.