Will you be part of the learning revolution? It’s been happening for several years and will only increase! There is a growing need for creating online courses. These could range from software tutorials, corporate training, language courses or a myriad of other topics. In this podcast, I talk about reasons of why you should be creating online courses, training materials, eLearning websites and other content to help teach and train your target audience.
For additional content and to read a related blog post, see, Why you need to be creating online courses.
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Transcript from the Podcast:
I want to talk about why should you be creating or even considering creating an online course. You might hear from the gurus, and I put that in quote, that everyone should consider or everyone should be making an online course. While I don’t necessarily think that, I have a future episode coming out called “Why You Shouldn’t Be Creating Online Courses,” but why should you consider it.
One thing is 45% of students are taking online courses and will become expectant of online learning. As you think about the future, students will become increasingly expectant of, hey, do you have an online course or can I take this online, or even how can I take this on my phone. Just the fact that that’s becoming the norm is something you should think about. Whether you own or work at a large company, whether you’re a solo entrepreneur, be thinking of how can you systematize your knowledge into a course. How can you teach something and build a course? How can you show somebody and build a course? You get the idea. That is one of the main reasons why you should consider making your own online course.
What all is involved in an online training course? There’s a lot of different ways you can go about it. We’ll be talking about this in future weeks. What are the components to making an online course? Here are some of the options of things you can do. You can make it as easy as creating a password protected website where you release monthly content and you charge for it. That could be all that you do. People are making a good living at doing just that. If you have a business with maybe employees, it makes sense you could even teach your customers how to use your product. We’ve done that before. You can demonstrate a skill that you take for granted.
This is one of the key things. We all take for granted the knowledge that we have. I think sometimes, man, everybody knows how to do amazing video production, or everyone knows how to build a website or create a learning management system or learning styles and how to teach. Not everybody does. That’s one of the reasons for this podcast. I want to encourage you, what are some of the things that you have a skill in, that you have expertise, that you have knowledge, that you have training, that you have anything, and how could you put that in an online course?
It could be as simple as how to do your email more effectively, or have to be more effective, or how to use a certain piece of software, or fix your car. I could use that one. There are a lot of different courses you could create just based on your own background, education, and expertise. Like I said, you could show how to use a piece of software. You could do a screencast of a website and walk through that. I’ve done that many times both for paid courses that I’ve released as well as just my own clients.
You can create a membership system to allow different access levels of content you give people over time. You can even drip it over time. Maybe person A comes into your site and buys your course and they can access one module per week over the course of eight weeks. Then when person B comes in in two weeks, they go through that same step. They go through the first module; it takes them a week. Then once that week is elapsed they can go onto the second module. You can drip it over time. We’ll go into that in depth here in an upcoming episode.
Another thing you could do to create online courses is create a podcast where you tell people how to do something and create a website where you teach them in detail. That sound familiar? That’s what I’m doing here. Yeah, it’s for free, but that’s one of the things you can do is have a podcast and release content. You could blog. Then once you get an audience, they might ask you are there specific things you can help them with. That is another way of building online courses, is finding a need and trying to fill people’s needs.
Because, I’ve found that nobody likes to sell. I don’t like to sell. It’s not something that most people think is fun, even honorable. But when you think about it, you shouldn’t be selling. I think you should be solving people’s needs. They will give you their money gladly. Be thinking of that, how you could create a course, what problems you can solve, what solutions you can give. That might tell you what kind of course you can make.
Another reason why you should think about creating online courses is because they’re flexible. By putting your training materials online you make it easy for students, for customer, employees, and clients to access your courses on their time. I’ve talked with a lot of companies over the years and this has kind of blown their mind. They think, oh man, we got to bring a trainer in, maybe friendly him in from across the country, or somebody internally. We’ve got to sit everybody down in our conference room. We’ve got to train them all. Then think, man, if everybody’s in the training room, who’s doing work on the floor, or who’s on the sales floor, or the production floor, or whatever.
If you put this online you can have a password protected learning center or you can put it internally in your portal. Then students can access it over time. Students can learn when they want to. Maybe they’re just available in the morning, or during work hours, or late at night. You’re not going to be wanting to teach people at midnight but they can login and access that content whenever they want.
Students can learn where they want to. This is a cool thing, and this is one of the things when I do some coaching and consulting with companies or entrepreneurs, is you can really expand your reach. Right now I’m working with a medical training company. They were based locally but they want to expand nationwide. We’re able to put their courses that are in-person courses, we’re able to put those online, creating this massive e-learning system. They can sell that online.
We’ve talked with other training companies that are the same way. They have boring PowerPoint slides and boring training, and we’re able to help them put it online, use video, use a lot of multimedia. That way, students can learn wherever they want to. By having your training online you open the door to teaching and serving more people. You can get more students and you can make money wherever you are and wherever they are. That opens the door to selling your course not just nationwide here in the United States, but worldwide.
We’ll talk about that in a future episode and what that means. That is truly exploding. I just saw a stat the other day that said for the first time YouTube views are I think more on mobile devices than on computers. You also, if you look at the stats on worldwide usage of YouTube, I believe worldwide accounts for more video views on YouTube than just the United States. If you’re worldwide you’re probably like duh, there’s more people worldwide. Well, sometimes in the United States people think that we’re the center of the universe. I’ve traveled overseas many times. I’ve been to five continents. I’ve been to all 50 states here. You know what? We’re not the center of the universe. I’ll be the first one to admit that. The world is a great place, and if you can open up your training to the world, you can help more people and you can earn more money.
Thirdly, online learning is flexible, and students can learn how they want to. Some people have unique learning styles and they can’t just listen in the classroom. They can’t sit still or they can’t effectively learn in a controlled classroom environment. By having the training online the student can learn at their own pace. They can go back and review the material as many times as they wish so they’re not locked into the pace of what the teacher is going through.
They can even submit questions depending on how your e-learning portal is built. They can submit questions to the teacher. There are some different ways you can do even live chats or forums or different things like that. I really think that online learning is flexible because a student can learn when they want, where they want, and how they want. I think those three things are key ingredients of why this online learning space is just exploding.
I also want you to think mobile. We talked about that a little bit. 13% of students report taking class notes on their smartphone and 33% report using tablets for work, for research, for taking notes. We really need to take mobile seriously. If you’ve been into any classroom, whether it’s high school, college, etc., you’ll see that students have their laptops open, their phones, their tablets. Some are writing, sure, but this mobile thing is taking over, so don’t underestimate that. We’ll be talking in future episodes on mobile-based learning. How do you do that, what are some of the best strategies for that, and how do you optimize your website or your e-learning portal for that type of strategy.
Here are some considerations as you create your online training. If mobile is a big deal, which it should be a consideration, don’t have small text, because it’s so hard to read on a mobile device. If it’s small on your computer screen, it’s going to be tiny and maybe unreadable on a mobile device. If you have videos in your course, make sure the videos are easy to see on a small screen. If you have text on the video, make sure that’s easy to see. It’s easy to fall into the trap of just putting small fonts and really thin fonts on your videos or on your e-learning courses. If you’re designing this with a mobile-first mentality you need to be thinking through these thoughts.
Some other things with thinking mobile-first is you need to construct your courses so they’re easy to take in bite-size chunks. I’ll be talking with Kevin Gerrior in a future episode. He is a master at thinking mobile training. Some people call it m-learning, m-training, mobile training. Whatever terminology you want to assign to it, you need to be thinking as far as the learning environment, the learning experience for your student, and how that will happen online. Construct your courses so they’re easy to take in bite-size chunks.
Make sure your website, if that’s where the e-learning course is, is responsive, which means your site automatically adapts to mobile, phones, tablets, or computer screens. I keep saying we’ll be talking about this in future episode because this is one of the early episodes and we have a lot to cover. We’ll be talking about responsive websites, what they mean, why they’re important, and even how to utilize them in your online training. Lastly, with this whole mobile thought, don’t underestimate the importance and growth of the mobile and tablet market. It’s really booming. It’s really exploding, so don’t sweep that under the rug.
Another reason why you should be creating online courses is if you have experience, if you have knowledge, it’s a great way to teach the next generation. You might think, man, I’ve been doing this for decades. What if you could teach somebody in college or somebody just starting their career? Imagine the hassles you could save them, headaches you could save. They could go further and faster with the knowledge you give them. You can probably charge a premium for that.
That’s the great thing. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m not just an educator. Yes, I love education, I love technology, I love video and web and e-learning, but I’m also an entrepreneur. I like feeding my family. I like that whole aspect. I like the creativity of being an entrepreneur and how to craft an expertise and a story together in an online course. Be thinking of that. In future episodes we’ll talk about that, but be thinking what do you have that’s valuable, what experience you have, what knowledge do you have, and how could that translate into an online course.
What thoughts do you have? What questions do you have? What are you struggling with and what do you want to learn? Because I have a whole list of topics we’ll be covering, guests we’ll be bringing on the show. But what burning topics do you have? What are you struggling with and how can we progress, how can we learn, how can we grow together in this journey?
Shoot me an email at [email protected] and let me know how I can help. Let me know what problems you’re having. Even let me know what you think of the show, how we can make it better as we move forward. Thanks for listening to the Online Course Coach Podcast.