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How to Prepare Your First Online Course - Step 1/3

Ready to turn your knowledge into a thriving online course? Let's make it happen!

Step 1 From idea to launch, we've got the recipe for success! Prepare and structure your material

We presume that you are some sort of an expert within your field, whether that would be a University professor specialized in a scientific study, a lifestyle creator/influencer with a unique craft/knowledge or a big education business with hired teachers guiding and correcting assignments through Coursio - it all comes down to making a course for your end user. It is therefore essential to have a clear picture of your target group. So prepare a pen and paper and start writing down your answer to these simple questions...

Questions for educators/course creators to answer:

  • Who is my target? What do they already know and what do they want to know more of?

  • Why would these courses interest my target group? What would the results be?

  • What should the course cover to give them their result? What should it be named?

  • How should I structure the course material? By subjects? By time?

  • What kind of interaction do you want with the participants to create activity and engagement? What suits your course(s)?

How long should an Online Course be?

Focus on giving them the result they want in the quickest way possible.

As you are an expert in your field, you might easily get caught up and write way too much for a basic introductory course. This will show when your target thinks this is way too long and might not want to finish it anymore. Save more advance sections for a part 2 instead, if your learner wants to go deeper they can buy the part 2 later, and if they really love the subject they would want to buy a whole package with all the courses from the start! Yes this is possible to do in Coursio, you can make a bundle where the price is a bit lower compared to if you would buy all of them individually. For this package, it could include Basic course #1, intermediate course #2 and advance course #3!

If you can, plan to make all of these in advance and make a proper launching and marketing plan.

Typically, basic introductory courses span 20-35 pages, organized into 5-6 sections, often termed chapters, episodes, or modules for clarity. If you would speed-take an introductory course one could finish it after around 2-5h, we recommend aiming for a half day to a whole day course, depending on the subject. However encourage your target group to take it slow, read the course in the speed that suits them best and repeat as much as they want. Give them a good access time to the course.

For instance, an Exercise program might structure its content across a 6-week timeline (6 chapters+) with an access time of three months, while a Baking course could categorize the material based on techniques and step-by-step recipes and give their customer a whole year to attend the course.

Courses can be designed from existing materials such as a book, a Powerpoint Presentation or from your own notes. If you for example have a book, take a look at the table of contents - this could easily become a great structure for a course on the subject.

Examples of Course structures - Menus

Check out the left menus and click the arrow to slide and see more course examples.

The key lies in clarity:

can learners easily discern the current lesson and navigate back to review sections? If the answer is yes, you've successfully crafted a well-structured course!

You have now completed step 1! Congrats! 🎉

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