Online education is rapidly becoming an ideal way to create additional passive revenue for just about any online business. The technology has evolved to the point where even a non-technical entrepreneur can create a course that looks amazing and functions perfectly.
Many of today’s online course successes are measured by student enrollment, engagement, and collaboration in co-creating deeper understandings of the materials presented.
In order to successfully achieve these standards, the most important thing you can do is understand what it takes to construct and implement a course that provides real value to learners.
If you are ready to dive into the deep end of e-learning course creation, here are some invaluable tips for developing a curriculum that students will love.
#1: Select a Reliable and Innovative Platform
Before you begin assembling your course, you need to choose which platform it will be hosted through. Since some services offer a variety of features and others are more minimalistic, this will help to inform what materials you can include in your program.
If you’re looking for intuitive technology with all the bells and whistles, Kajabi is an ideal choice. This impressive platform contains just about everything you could possibly need for constructing, hosting, marketing, and selling educational materials.
Kajabi provides instructors with their own dedicated website and landing pages, outfitted with customizable themes and branding elements; this is where you can sell all of your products.
To learn more about Kajabi, watch the short video below.
In addition to simple course construction and various selling components, Kajabi presents users with a myriad of features for upselling, marketing, and creating membership programs, along with powerful analytics data to better understand your students and course performance.
Whatever platform you choose, make sure it supports all the features you are seeking before you begin the course creation.
#2: Present Only the Most Relevant Materials
Any student that opts to take your course is there for a meaningful and targeted educational experience. If you know your audience’s pain points, you know exactly what they’re seeking to understand. This means that sharing every detail of your subject-matter knowledge is likely not appropriate and would instead feel overwhelming.
In order to keep students engaged and motivated, all of the information in the course must be extremely relevant and presented in digestible ways.
Your course content needs to be divided into two categories: “Required” and “Optional.”
Anything that is only “optional” should not be included in your curriculum. The reason is that if a course is too dense, too comprehensive, or otherwise bloated, learners will be discouraged and could even give up before they really experienced the value of your offering.
Removing all of the optional information will make the course more manageable for students, which will ultimately lead to higher success rates, and less refund requests.
Additionally, if all of the less-pertinent data is still quite useful, this could be broken out into a second, more advanced course for those who complete the first.
#3: Keep Visual Appeal Top-of-Mind
Courses that implement a variety of visual stimuli are going to have a much easier time engaging students as it will be far more interactive than text alone.
This can be accomplished in a variety of ways; create infographics for your class, video content, implement image slides; whatever your creativity feels will help integrate the teachings.
These sorts of content formats will help to grab each student’s attention and effectively help them connect with the experience you have crafted.
In addition to mindfully including visuals to help engage students, graphs, charts, and diagrams are particularly useful, outside of just spicing up content offerings. These visual aids increase comprehension rates and therefore also boost student successes.
When creating such materials, it is advisable to leverage color theory to evoke certain responses and even use unique images; a 2013 Harvard University study found that people more easily remember unique content.
#4: Foster Group Interaction and Collaboration
Another way to create an engaging and enjoyable learning experience for students is to encourage classroom communication. Even if your lesson is asynchronous, group discussions, online forums, dedicated chat rooms, social media groups, and other communication modalities will help students to solve problems collectively and lead to higher retention rates.
Additionally, creating collaborative environments for students to leverage adds a much-needed human element to the online learning climate, and allows them to learn from fellow students who may have insights that others did not pick up on.
#5: Create Quizzes and Assessments
While no one really enjoys taking tests, they do serve a vital purpose in educational environments; in fact, they serve more than one.
By including quizzes, tests, and assessments at the end of each learning module you are giving students the opportunity to demonstrate to themselves that they have acquired useful knowledge that will serve them moving forward.
Moreover, these materials will help instructors to gauge the effectiveness of their course and make any necessary adjustments for future classes.
To prevent these assessments from feeling forced and soul-numbing, include interactive elements that will help students relate to and engage more easily with the issues presented.
This could mean offering real-life problems for students to solve, creating video quizzes, including gamified questions, and other creative solutions to combatting test doldrums.
#6: Present Students with Rewards
Since the human brain largely operates on a reward system, awards, honors, and other forms of accolades are a crucial component to online learning courses.
Rewards help to properly motivate learners to continue their efforts and apply their new-found abilities to real-life situations.
Rewards can be as simple as certificates of completion, digital badges, free goodies, discounts on future courses, and any number of other perks.
These sorts of bonuses will trigger the brain’s reward mechanisms, such as dopamine, and make the student feel accomplished and anxious to learn more.
Online courses are an honorable and effective way to create revenue and pass along your expertise to others. In order for your course to be a smashing success, it needs to be more than just educational, it also has to be engaging, memorable, easy to use, and truly rewarding.
If you manage to achieve all of these touchstones, you’ve scored a major boon for creating more passive income, all by improving the lives of others.