1. Tips to refine your course content
There are two main methods you can use to refine your course contents before creating your slides:
- Looking at what you wrote with a fresh eye
- Asking your beta students for feedback
Let’s look at how to apply each method.
Refine your online course by taking a step back
Before refining your course, try taking at least a few days' break. This should do wonders for your ability to evaluate your own work…
A useful trick is to re-read what you wrote by putting yourself in your student’s place. Visualize their progression while trying to identify the following pitfalls in your course:
- The "Theory, Theory, Theory, Practice" syndrome
Is your course material too focused on passive teaching methods? To avoid this pitfall you can ask yourself: “If a piece of information is not needed now, can I provide it later?”.
- What seems boring or uninteresting?
Are some parts too long or tedious to follow?
- What could be enhanced?
What concepts would benefit from being illustrated with examples, visuals, or analogies?
- Can you reorganize your course material to get actions and results sooner?
This will help your students practice and progress faster.
- Is this really relevant to my target students?
Is this useful to them considering their level of experience, and what their goals are?
You might end up deleting or completely changing things that you spend hours writing. It can be a bit frustrating, but it is part of the process, and will make your course better.
While refining your course, keep in mind that your goal is not to write something perfect, but to help your students achieve their goals. In other words, “done is better than perfect”.
Getting feedback from your beta students
With a small group of a few highly engaged beta students, you can start testing your course section.
You need to know if what you wrote down is:
So you write more things like that in the future.
So you think of ways to make it more engaging through examples, exercises, or by simplifying the content.
So you think of ways to make it easier to understand through analogies, or by avoiding writing too much jargon.
To see if you focus enough on active learning methods.
Also, you can ask them if they are left with any questions after going through the section.
In order to collect the feedback, you could present your section on a call with one or multiple beta students. Ask them for candid feedback about the points above, so you can know what is useful, boring, confusing, or not actionable.
2. Getting your section ready for recording
It’s now time for the final writing step of your section. For each video, you have to create 10 to 20 slides as it is the sweet spot for keeping your students engaged.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your slides:
- Keep it simple
By not putting too much fancy formatting on your slides. It can distract your students from the main points you are trying to make.
- Keep it short
If a video contains more than 20 slides, is it possible to split it into several big ideas? If yes, then you can separate it into several lessons.
- Go easy on the text
We recommend using bullet points to make it easier to follow. If a slide has more than 6 bullet points, is it possible to split it in two?
- Use visuals and demonstrations
Illustrating your course through visuals, or step by step demonstrations makes it easier for you to communicate ideas and concepts to your students. You can also show a demonstration in between slides to illustrate your points or show how to do something.
3. Writing the introduction of your course
Once you have finished writing, refining, and creating the slides of your first section, you will have a clear idea of your course contents. It’s time to create an introduction video.
The goal of your introduction video is to welcome your students, reinforce their buying decision and make sure they know what to expect.
1. Welcome them
- Very simple: "Welcome to [your course name], and thank you for placing your trust in me!”
2. Reinforce their buying decision
- Remind them of the purpose of the course and the expected results
- Explain why these results are important and how they can change their life
- Quickly show social proof (if relevant)
3. Get your students engaged
- Remind them that achieving these results requires effort
- Specify the time and energy commitment (e.g. "Practice for 20 minutes a day")
- Ask your students to make a concrete commitment: What do they want to accomplish by the end of the program? (Ask them to write it down; if you are using SchoolMaker, they can do this in the steps below the video)
To do so, you can encourage them to choose the time in their day / week / schedule to take your course and put it into practice
4. Preview the program
- Duration of the training and number of modules
- Share the plan of your course
- Share additional resources that will help your students during their learning journey
- Specify what material and tools they need for this course
- Explain how questions and answers will be handled in the course
- Reminder of the notion of "pre-sale" / "beta version" and the importance of their feedback if you are preselling your course
5. Encourage them to introduce themselves in the community
- It reinforces the commitment of your students
It can be done via a step in SchoolMaker: