Light the Learning Fire
Learning lights my fire. Inspires me. Moves me forward. And keeps me constantly thinking.
Launching an online course has been on my mind for years and something I aspired to do.
Now, I’m doing it. My spirits are soaring but, at times, they waver with the big question of whether I can do this in a way that makes a difference for people. In a way that inspires learning, pushes blogs higher, and earns students new business.
It matters that I create something that matters!Making an impact, providing value, and transforming students in some way with your online course is a tall order. via @SueAnnBubacz Click To Tweet
Designing a Course for You
Designing a course that represents a journey seems like a perfect way to reflect the transformation to your blog, and ultimately, to your business— that’s the goal in mind.
But, constructing a course blueprint that’s original, unique, and seamless in mixing a fun course process with real-life progress for students, demands carefully constructed precision.
Besides the course design and content itself, a lot of inconsequentials pop up and some smack you right in the nose! This includes everything from pay gateways, to list-building then nurturing, to an LMS systems plan, to connecting technologies, to web design, to automation and engagements, to marketing and sales, and more.
A lot of moving parts, beyond my initial expectations, are essential to the course creation process.
(Logistics play a bigger part than first crossed my mind— finally, I had to resort to hand mapping to keep track of things.)
Still, more worries haunted me.
How do I create this concept, show this theory, or demonstrate this meaning, so it’s digestible, manageable, and useful for a student’s progress?
And, how do I make people want to show up and participate until course completion? How do I find the right students who will benefit the most?
Did I have more questions than answers?
Figuring everything out is a process.And, how do I make people want to show up and participate until course completion? How do I find the right students who will benefit the most? #onlinecourse Click To Tweet
Using a Theme to Add Meaning to Your Course
I don’t know about you, but in my digital life, questions are unending. One leads to another and so on. But, the one thing not to question, was me. At least not in this case, because I know I’m bringing the goods! So it’s just about how to deliver an amazing product to drop the goods on you, dear bloggers and small business owners!
Having a course theme, not merely a topic, was integral to the concept from day one.
Creativity and business go hand-in-hand, so adopting a theme offers tone and distinction, hinting of creative flair.
More importantly, a hot course theme ignites interest and incites recognition. Let’s stir some excitement maybe! Marketing and promotions can never start too soon. Go big or go home if you want a successful launch. (Still, success means a great many things on your BETA course offer.)
But, there’s more to a theme than a theme and molding a course theme into a look and feel gets tricky for the not-fully-bloomed producer! In my heart of hearts, I know I need the Walt Disney Studios to produce what I imagine and conjure up in my mind for a unique course production. But at this point, I’m producing away as best as possible right now with future improvements already in the making, and with the help of our BETA contributors. Each step is a step forward for a digital product with ongoing future promise.
When you think of your online course as a product, you start to focus on truly helping students to create something of lasting value.
Done well, this value may reach both happy students and enhance your business, too.When you think of your online course as a product, you start to focus on truly helping students to create something of lasting value. #onlinecourse Click To Tweet
Working the Learning Parts of an Online Course
There are other ways people offer and present online courses, like using Facebook as your central course hub, or placing them on course selling sites, like udemy. There are plenty of Learning Management Systems (LMS) out there ranging from WordPress plugins to full-blown platforms like Kajabi or others.
As with any “borrowed” landscape on the internet, loss of control, regular fees or charges, and a chance of losing your work entirely are real reasons to do your due diligence to find a choice that’s right for you.
I’m thrilled with my selection of LifterLMS and continue to learn more about its functionality and features. But, perhaps the best thing Lifter does is allow full control of course creation, pay gateway functions, student management, and much more.
Lifter integrates with your WordPress.org site, giving you complete control within an easy-to-use framework.
I’m experimenting with Beaver Builder, a page builder, to allow me to customize the look and feel for a BizShops learning site. This may be adding a can of worms to the operation but I’m definitely anal enough to not want the shared “stock” look of using the LifterLMS raw.
If you’re thinking about learning more about an LMS for your business, take this FREE course to see what Lifter’s all about. Or try it out for yourself with the FREE version until you’re ready to go bigger.
I’ve spent a lot of time on the FREE version myself to start to learn the software a little before taking the next step. Plus Chris Badgett and crew over at Lifter are super cool. And helpful.
No matter which way you decide to go, the way you deliver your course has an impact on its success.
Lifter gives me ownership, flexibility, options, and confidence for course success.When you think of your online course as a product, you start to focus on truly helping students to create something of lasting value. via @SueAnnBubacz Click To Tweet
Content to Connect
I feel like the content making up the lessons in a section or module needs to be “sticky content.” What I mean is a couple of things in thinking about course content this way.
First, “sticky content” happens on purpose. Not only is it about providing content students can put into action, but it’s even better if it becomes memorable somehow.
Dr. Kelly Edmunds taught me a couple of critical things about creating lessons that stick. Giving each lesson a unique purpose is helpful. And, it’s as easy as stating something like, “In this lesson, you’ll learn xxx,” or “After completing this lesson, you’ll know how to xxxx.” for example.
The other important insight she stresses is NOT to overwhelm students, but instead, to break things into simple usable steps and concepts.
Mixing how you deliver course information allows flexibility for student-learners with potentially different learning styles. It also helps to alleviate monotony and instead keeps content fresh and interesting.
But, it means a lot of production work needs doing. I’m still figuring out processes and creating action stacks to streamline production work of different types. I have a long way to go in video production too. But embracing the challenges and having fun wallowing in creative processes can only lead to improvements in video formats and other content creation challenges.
It’s probably me and my limited talents, but I need scripts or at least detailed outlines, probably practice, rehearsals, and a dry run to get my thoughts and words to work in unison. Because of this, LIVE presentation scares me to pieces and yet, I gave it the royal try once already.
You can bet I plan to improve on each LIVE session and I do love the element of interaction the LIVE sessions provide.Mixing how you deliver course information allows flexibility for student-learners with potentially different learning styles. #onlinecourse Click To Tweet
Content That Delivers Learning –
Making an impact, providing value, and transforming students in some way with your online course is a tall order.
But, if you break down the ingredients and carefully consider the design as a way to add value, to deliver a state of change, and to inspire progress in your students, then you’re on the right track for learning.
Creating an online course allows you a distinct opportunity to share a collection of focused ideas on a specific topic to help other people.
What’s not to feel excited about? Are you ready to light the learning fire for your blog? We’d love to know more in the comments below!