You’re all set to start creating your online course, but the road ahead seems like an endless road of hurdles to jump over. Let’s be honest for a moment – creating online courses isn’t a breeze. After all, would you want to pay for a course that took 10 minutes to create?
Don’t let that deter you from building a course, though. The process does get easier, but first, you have to learn how to avoid the top course creation obstacles.
Being prepared helps you avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes. The result is better courses that your students will love.
Choosing The Right Name
It’s not uncommon to get stuck on choosing a name right out of the gate. You might agonize over the choice for weeks before even starting to create the course content. Skip the stress and don’t try to get overly creative. If possible, look at similar courses online and notice how they all have one thing in common – the keyword or phrase that describes the course is in the title.
To get started, sit down and think about your audience, topic and the result they can expect from your course. Try combining some of these elements to help come up with a name. You’ll need the name to start marketing your course early, so don’t overthink it. You can always change it down the road.
Deciding The Right Amount Of Content
This is one of the biggest course creation obstacles. You don’t want the course to be short on content, but you don’t want a course that’s so long that nobody wants to take it. A good rule to remember is to only deliver what’s needed to fully explain a topic. Do what feels right, test with students and then edit as needed.
While there isn’t a set length for a full course, you should at least break courses up into segments. One study found that students do best with 20 minutes or less segments. You could also look at TED Talks, which have to be 18 minutes to avoid becoming boring or adding fluff to a topic.
Making Courses Engaging
Without having an actual teacher or other classmates in the room, it’s more difficult to engage students. It’s one of the most common course creation obstacles, but it’s easy to overcome. First of all, mix up your content with text, videos, quizzes and images. Add in some humor if possible. It’s also a good idea to keep your course segments short enough to work on during a 30-minute lunch break.
Go a step further and add forums and/or live chats to your courses. This adds a more standard classroom element to make online courses more engaging.
Getting Overwhelmed By The Technical Side
It’s far too easy to get caught up in the right camera settings, choosing the right font, figuring out how the web editor works and so on and so on. You could waste days just on trying to become an expert on the technical side of things.
If you’re hosting your course on your own site, but know nothing about web design, consider taking a course yourself or hiring someone to get everything set up for you. You can also use e-learning platforms where it’s easier to upload and start selling your courses.
Figuring Out Where To Start
There’s so much to do, so where do you start! For best results, try the following approach:
- Choose a name
- Create a basic course outline
- Create outlines for each segment
- Choose your platform
- Test the idea with potential students
- Develop one segment at a time
- Determine pricing
- Start marketing before the course is halfway finished
Obviously, you don’t have to do it this way, but it gives you a good idea on what you need to think about.
Focusing Too Much On The Present Or Future
It’s common for course creators to get so caught up on the present (creating the course content) or the future (how much money they might make) that they forget about parts of the process. For instance, focusing too much on the content may make you forget about marketing. Focusing on the money part could make you rush the course creation process. Focus on the present and future equally for better online courses.
Procrastinating On Parts Of The Course
Is there anyone who doesn’t procrastinate at least some of the time? Roughly 26% of the population admits to being chronic procrastinators. As you might have guessed, this is easily one of the top course creation obstacles you’ll face. Maybe you love designing the course, but not creating the actual content. Perhaps you enjoy creating text, but not video. Whatever it is, you’ll likely find yourself procrastinating on something.
Avoid this by setting a strict schedule. You should also have someone to help hold you accountable. Remember, the sooner you get all the parts done, the sooner your course reaches students and you start earning from your knowledge.