Launching online courses became a widespread way to go into a business because it’s not so difficult to create but still profitable enough. However, it doesn’t mean that making a course from scratch is easy for everyone: this work still makes a person spend a lot of time and effort. The eLearning niche grows rapidly worldwide, and experts state that its value will rise to 300 billion USD after five years.
If you think about becoming a course creator, your head is probably full of various questions, and you want someone to explain to you the strategies of selling and promoting your product, the principles you must use when designing a course, the ways to identify the topic that’ll be interesting for people. We'll become your guide in this new world.
Be sure that this article will answer these and many other questions that may seem unclear to you. Moreover, we’ll answer the key question: how to create an effective and profitable online course from the ground up?
🖌 Early-stage: preparation for the launch
Step 1. Goal setting
Teachers must set goals and create a step-by-step action plan firstly. It’s a kind of investment in the future because it helps the teacher achieve maximum results among the students. Goals are general guidelines, what the teacher has to give students and what they should know by the end of a course.
Step 2. What about your priorities?
Normally people create courses to teach people and gain profit. It would be best if you sort out your priorities the same way. When people set a profit as their primary goal, online school starts to lose its value. Focus on education. If money is everything you want - choose another niche to launch a business.
Identification of objectives should help you define if the topic is understood by users or not. Moreover, you can’t write a plan for the lesson without mentioning the objectives of learning. When students can list their studying goals, they can easily handle all their difficulties during the course.
Step 3. Select a course theme
You won’t spend a lot of time completing this step if you know what you want to achieve. Let's imagine that you have a high-class knowledge of a certain sphere. It's pretty obvious that you will share your knowledge in this course.
However, we understand that not all course creators can boast of having an academic degree or something like that but still want to popularise education. If you recognized a part of yourself here, have a look at these questions and answer them to understand what theme to choose:
If people ask you for assistance, with what problems do they turn to you?
Can you remember a situation when you easily found an answer to a question that seemed too complicated for all people?
Step 4. Go deep into the chosen topic
Even if you’re an expert in the chosen topic, it isn't worth being indifferent to the process of searching for the information. A search for information and the action plan based on it are the most significant steps to achieving your goal: an effective online training course.
Put yourself in the shoes of your client: would you buy a course without knowing how many lessons are there, what topics you’ll learn, and so on. Structured and verified data are what people can pay for.
Step 5. How to find the students?
An online course makes no sense without listeners or students. It's not so easy to get through to the people; that’s why it’s crucial to know as much about your target clients as possible to create a portrait of your TA. Carry out a small study, hold opinion polls on a convenient platform, and find the common problem of these people.
If your product solves this problem, then it's fine.
Step 6. Who will hold lessons?
Speaker is more than just a teacher who presents the material. In eLearning, the speaker is at the same time the face of the whole project. Making an online course popular among people is easy: be attentive to who you hire in your team.
Lecturers should be respected and qualified because it impacts the quality of information perception, students' motivation, and desire to continue studying.
📚 What materials you'd better use?
Step 7. Educational content preparation
Do you have a powerful imagination? Use it. Both teachers and course creators want to encompass as much information as possible, but the number of study hours doesn't let them do it. Well, what about a little brainstorming session? This approach will help you decide what content to use in lectures.
Don't forget to upgrade your qualification and refresh your knowledge on the chosen topic. It applies to professional teachers as well. You do not always have the time to attend courses, so check forums and blogs to learn something new and see what people like to read.
Step 8. It's time to handle the course's structure
At this stage, most course creators gain an insight into how to create an online school, a course, and what information to use. The current goal is to systematize the ideas that came to your head during brainstorming, separate them into groups, and finally put them in order.
Here are some recommendations on the course content.
This approach presupposes giving students easy forms of assessment (tests and exercises) that can make students feel confident in themselves. Add such assignments to maintain a high level of enthusiasm and curiosity within them.
We recommend you allocate all tasks equally among all topics and add more exercises to the topic that seem to be more difficult. You’ll quickly notice the rise in the academic performance of all your students.
This is a broad term, but it means a certain strategy of building the learning process that helps students move towards their goals progressively in an educational context. In other words, the teacher gradually adds new information to the learned one and helps students accumulate information without stress.
You’d better increase the complexity of tasks progressively. And simultaneously with learning new material, your students should do assignments to strengthen their knowledge of previous themes.
Active learning is the use of practical tasks across the curriculum. If you think that selecting ten videos and texts and giving them to students is active learning, you’re wrong. Create interactive materials, find good tests to check the knowledge they gained before, etc. It’s what active learning means.
To take the most out of the active learning approach, the teacher needs to allow students to turn knowledge into action. We’ve mentioned that you need to use interactive elements, for example, quizzes, games, crossword puzzles, etc. Also, teachers must maintain communication between group members, encourage discussions. Create a group chat in messenger to let listeners discuss lessons and perhaps even make allowances.
Step 9. How can you prevent the decrease in student engagement?
Teachers who use the old-fashioned teaching methods and ways of presenting information often see that students aren’t active. They just get bored. If you want your course to differ from hundreds of others, you must understand that the diversity of content is a way to achieve this goal. No student likes reading long texts and writing notes. Quizzes, games, listening comprehension, and many other activities can make students fall in love with your training.
Step 10. Add the chosen content
Your task is to integrate all materials used in this course and arrange them according to the plan. Although you’ve checked this material at the very beginning of your work, it’s better to do it again and correct all mistakes. The time you’ll spend on this stage depends on the amount of educational material you’ve prepared.
When you finish it, create the necessary interactive elements, certificates and check everything once again.
Step 11. How to make people more interested in your product?
If you want to make more people sign up for your course, make it entertaining. Add some interactive elements we’ve mentioned above and use your own ideas.
⚙️ Technical aspects of course creation
Step 12. What online platform to use?
Now the obvious question arises: how to organize the learning process and where to hold lessons? You’ll need to use a special platform for online courses. Well-known eLearning platforms that are all over the Internet seem to be the easiest solution. You’ve probably heard and even visited such sites as Udemy, Coursera, Khan Academy, Skillshare, edX, etc. But they don’t let you manage everything you can, including prices and the learning process.
Moreover, one of the key conditions of using these platforms is sharing a part of your income with them. You hardly want to give your money to someone and struggle with the competitors at the same time.
OJOWO is a completely new platform that uses another approach to cooperation with course creators. Use OJOWO if you want to create courses, hold lessons and promote your products simultaneously. Grow your eLearning business with OJOWO.
Step 13. Upload a course to the platform
OJOWO lets you not only create a course from the ground up but also download the course you’ve created before. The platform’s interface is user-friendly, so you can get access to any element or instrument you need in just a few minutes. You don’t need to have any technical skills to use it — it’s the main advantage of OJOWO.
Don’t worry about the inconsistencies in format; our platform adapts all courses to the screen size and orientation. No matter what devices your students use: smartphones, PC, laptops, tablet PC. All will work well. Course creators often complain about the difficulties with payments and record-keeping. OJOWO will help you forget about these problems as well.
If you have your own platform and your subscribers know about it, place your course there.
Step 14. Develop your own eLearning platform
Stop thinking that only developers can create websites. There are so many free and paid website builders that don’t require you to be a web developer and have any technical skills at all. Social media accounts also can become a platform for your online course, but it’s better to separate your blog from education.
Do you want to know one effective way to promote all your products? Record all your webinars and masterclasses and sell them.
Step 15. QA Testing
You may think that you’ve done everything well and it’s time to launch the studies. No, you forgot about one important aspect — testing. You can be sure your course is effective until you check it. Some course creators prefer hiring experts who examine educational materials, correct mistakes, and make judgments regarding the effectiveness of the course.
Studying happens in the social environment, so motivate learners to maintain dialogue and form groups. First of all, they may become good friends, and it’s good in itself. However, communication between learners lets them help and support each other, search for the answers together and study the information with zeal.
As you see, creating your own online course isn’t as difficult as you thought earlier. You must be sure of your qualification, know how to keep listeners interested, and the main requirement is to desire to make a difference. If you’re sure you meet all these criteria — begin designing your course.
If you’re a course creator, you must know that this job is not only well-paid but very useful. Not all people have money to obtain a college or university degree, so you make education available and affordable to a higher number of people. Be proud of yourself and do your job well.
- Where to begin?
We’ve already mentioned that you’d better rely on your creativity and imagination. If you really want to be useful to people, your brain will generate cool ideas without help.
- How difficult is it to make a course?
In other words, you have to gather educational material, generalize it and place them on the chosen eLearning platform. Your TA will find and buy this course. As soon as you gather a group of students, you may announce the start of your studies. That’s all.
- Tips to popularize your training
Do you want to see what a successful and effective course should be? Here are the criteria:
It presents new information and teaches new knowledge/skills;
It offers a solution for a widespread problem;
It assists in accomplishing people’s goals.
- How to set a reasonable price?
Some course creators believe that high prices make people think this course is valuable. No, it doesn’t work this way. This rule works in the opposite direction; when you set a too low price, people think that the information isn’t valuable enough. The sum should be higher than the average. Compare the prices of your competitors, consider your TA and find a happy medium.