7 minute read on online course creation in 2018
The Current State of the Online Course Industry
Online course education takes three main forms. The first is the for-credit courses where the students enroll in the courses offered by higher learning institutions for credit. The second method of online education is comprised of certification training and professional training. This kind of online education normally targets professionals or students preparing for certification exams or seeking training. Some common courses in this area include nursing, accounting, and training in foreign languages. The third type of online course is the most common. It is the personal or business development course.
The Shift Towards Online Education
In past years if you wanted to obtain a qualification or learn something new, you were expected to sign up for courses offered by learning institutions, pay the required fees, and attend the classes at a specified physical location. The online tools available today enable anyone to create content for anyone in the world. This democratization of education has led to many experts across the globe being able to make money by selling online courses and memberships.
In 2017 the global eLearning market was worth just under $170 billion. It is projected that by 2019 it will grow to be about $260 billion. The growth in the market is attributed to the increasing number of students opting to take courses online.
In the recent research of 25,000 young people done by Global Shapers Survey, about 80 percent of the respondents had taken online courses in the past. Therefore, it is evident that online education is the future of learning.
Conventional educational practices where the teacher talks at the students, has them memorize information, and regurgitate that information onto a test are no longer as effective in the modern economy. An increasingly popular culture of unschooling and lifelong education, where emphasis is focused on reliable results rather than a grade, has led to a spike in opportunity for online education entrepreneurs.
A results-driven teaching model involves leading the students to true learning by applying the knowledge they obtain to real-world problems. The focus is put on why and how you solve problems rather than what the solution to the problem actually is. The results students achieve form this type of learning prepares them much better for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
A results-driven teacher works to individualize learnings so that all the students learn to their fullest potential. It is efficient and effective to both the teachers and students when educators are results-driven and focus on the students’ success and their ability to build a rewarding and productive career.
Why Course Creators Fail
There is not just one single reason online courses tend to fail, but here are three common obstacles that hold online course creators back from finding success with their course:
Searching for Technology Tools: Many course creators dive right into the technology tools available for delivering their online course before they assemble any content. If you build your course outline and content first and then search out the best tools to deliver your content, you will have a clearer vision for what you are looking for, and you will find it much faster.
The Five Hats Problem: Chris Badgett CEO of LifterLMS, talks a lot about the five hats problem that faces online course creators. There are five main roles in a successful course: 1) the technologist, 2) community builder, 3) teacher, 4) expert, and 5) entrepreneur. It is rare to find someone who can perform all of these jobs well, so many successful course creators outsource one or more of these jobs. Education entrepreneurs who undervalue the importance of the five major roles in online courses tend to find less success with their projects.
Resource Course: Most people who sign up for an online course are looking to improve their lives by accomplishing a result, building a habit, or learning a process. The resource course delivers an archive of information without necessarily presenting a way to apply it. These courses tend to lack narrative, and they struggle to engage students. They are the course equivalent of a dictionary.
Marketing For Online Courses
Great marketing for online courses comes back to the results-driven teaching style and a niche audience. Niches are important and often times overlooked. When you target a specific group of people, it is much easier to market to them and validate your ideas.
If your students can walk away from your course with one piece of information or a process that will change the way they operate in their day-to-day lives, your students will likely find the course worth it. One golden nugget of wisdom in an online course is usually worth the price of admission.
Offering products priced at different points in a sales funnel will allow you to gradually upsell students who are looking for more in-depth engagement. For example, if you have free YouTube videos and you upsell to a $20 book that then upsells to a $200 course that then upsells to a $1,000 mastermind that then upsells to private coaching at $5,000, you will be able to engage students at all different price points. And as customers engage with your content, they will likely want to go further. It is very hard to start with a free product and jump to a $5,000 sale. That is why a well-designed sales funnel serves as the foundation for your business.
LifterLMS and WPCourseGuide
Creating and selling courses online has never been easier. LifterLMS is a WordPress plugin that allows you to build online courses and memberships on your site. At WPCourseGuide, our whole Done For You service is built around the LifterLMS plugin, the Astra Theme, and the Elementor page builder. Those are powerful software pieces for sleek and effective online course creation in 2018.
If you need to create, sell, and protect engaging online courses, we offer our Done For You set up service here on WPCourseGuide.com. Be sure to also check out LifterLMS.com to learn more about the plugin that is transforming online education with WordPress. They have an abundance of amazing, free content on Podcast.LifterLMS.com and Blog.LifterLMS.com.