Designing a new course or curating learning materials can be a hard task if you don’t have the right tools or know-how at your disposal. As a rule, many entrepreneurs and educators tend to fall short at one of seven hurdles.
On a recent episode of The Anomalous Educator podcast, I spoke with Cherie Elpel, the mastermind behind the design and development of multiple custom learning solutions and eCourses.
In our discussion, she kindly laid out seven effective steps to help guide you towards developing and implementing a successful course – here are four starter points to get you on track.
1. Clearly Identify Your Audience and The Problem You Want To Solve
Identifying exactly who your target audience is certainly takes some leg work. If you’re at a loss on how to comprise this information, effective research can be done through multiple avenues such as online searches, surveys, one-on-one interviews or even observation and focus groups.
The topic you’ll be discussing in your eCourse or learning materials must be of interest to your target audience. Once you’ve identified your market and the problem you want to address, bring together a focus group to provide valuable feedback on the areas that need improvement.
2. Define Your Objectives
It’s time to get SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. This particular step is crucial as it solidifies exactly what you want your audience to achieve as a result of taking your course.
As you write the learning objectives consider the language you are using. Avoid general statements such as “At the end of this course, learners will understand …” Instead, utilize resources such as Bloom’s Taxonomy, which provides a list of effective actionable verbs.
When generating performance objectives you should include both conditions and criteria. For example, “Your objective is to successfully resolve customer complaints,” is a fair objective, no one is arguing that, but it’s too open ended.
Cherie points out that you create an objective that’s far more subject specific, for example, your course may want “to successfully resolve customer complaints at the first point of contact on the phone, or in person, with a 95% customer satisfaction rating as measured by customer satisfaction surveys.”
3. Write a Detailed Outline For Your Online Course Criteria
When you’re beginning to outline your online eCourse, usually you will compose an introductory module. This consists of a splash page (this is a page that your user will see first before having the option to continue to the main content), a welcome or introduction page and finally the objectives and summary module.
In outlining your course, this will be the point where you can define all the topics you’ll be covering, along with any supporting information for those individual topics.
This is a crucial step to get right, particularly from a sales and marketing perspective, because your detailed outline is what will be featured on your website. It’s the main directive that expresses what you intend to deliver as an educator.
Step 4: Consider Your Technological Resources
There is an abundance of technological resources out there, so consider how your learners will be accessing your course.
The design and layout can determine which device can support your materials. Say you are aiming to have it on someone’s smartphone, you want to limit the amount of text you use and increase your visuals, such as graphics and video.
Top Tip: If you’re hosting your course on a platform like Teachable, Kajabi or Thinkific, it’s recommended that you understand your specific tech requirements such as image sizes and varying types of audio files before uploading all your materials.
Creating professional and concise eCourses and learning materials doesn’t have to cause a headache. By initiating specific steps, you can be on your way to eLearning success.
If you want to hear the complete seven step guide on how to properly design and launch an eCourse, click here.