Easy Steps To Creating An Effective Online Training Course
In the previous article, we talked about the different learning styles and how to build them into your training products.
In this post, we are now going to dive into some specifics of how you can go about creating effective online training courses that work.
But in order to do that, first, you must understand what it is that differentiates the awesome courses from the mediocre ones so that you know how to put yours together properly and alleviate confusion.
What Does it Take To Make a Training Course Truly Effective?
In order to answer that question fully, we are going to discuss the following topics in this article:
The 4 extremely important aspects of an effective course
The steps to take before creating your course training videos
Whether or not you should use modules
Whether you should give out all the content at once or drip it to your students
Making your job easier as the instructor and ensuring that the course is done quickly
Using a learning management system to put your courses together
The best hosting for training videos
Tips for making your videos more engaging for your audience
As you can see, we'll be packing a whole lot of information into this article, so get ready to take some notes!
The 4 Extremely Important Aspects Of Training Courses
1. Your course should have a clear starting and ending point
If you have a lot of helpful information in your course that isn't laid out clearly for your students, they still won't be able to get any value from it because they won't have any idea which direction to go once they log in, so it's important to ensure that your course has a clear start and a clear end to it.
Create an 'on-ramp' for those who are new to your course to show them exactly the steps they need to take as soon as they arrive there.
This is helpful even for people who aren't totally new to your product.
You have the option of creating a separate starting point for those people so that they can choose upon coming to the page whether they want the beginner, intermediate or expert starting point.
At the same time, you have to consider the endpoint since the transformation that they are looking for has to have an end. The goal here is to get your customers to acknowledge that they have reached the end.
Your students must realize that they have achieved what they set out to do with the course.
From a marketing point of view, this is an ideal time to ask them for testimonials and referrals. But first, you have to ensure that they recognize that they have accomplished what they set out to do when they enrolled for your course.
2. There Should Be a Clear and Distinct Progression Through The Training Course
Between the start and the end point, your course should have a clear middle.
You need to have an easy to follow step-by-step sequence for the students to follow. It's important for your training course to have a definable order of progression because it provides the students with a semblance of order.
You see this in many courses where there are numbered modules throughout the entire course, but sometimes people may skip ahead to sections of the course that appear more interesting than the ones they are supposed to go through first, which leads to confusion, and ultimately failure.
If you want to avoid that, you may have to give your students the course content over a period of time as opposed to making the whole course available to them all at once.
Some of your customers may protest, but you can always explain the reason why you're doing it that way. It's important to their success and it will help them get to the result that they are trying to achieve.
3. Include The Various Learning Styles
We talked a lot about the different learning styles in the previous article, and it's important that you cover them all in your course.
For instance, include videos to cater to those visual learners, provide transcripts to cover those who learn better through the written word, and create a group or forum for your students to cater for those social learners, and so on.
Something else that you can do to cover all the major learning styles is to create exercises as part of your course content. This not only helps you to include the main learning styles to cover every one of your students, but it also works to assist them in making the course knowledge theirs.
Sometimes students hear the knowledge that you're imparting, but they don't really internalize it until they actually do things and get a specific result.
4. Create Systems Inside The Training Course
A lot of people find it much easier to do things by reasoning or by using checklists.
They are very systematic in their thinking, and having a clear system in your course will assist them in achieving their transformation quickly.
Provide checklists that they can download and use to check off the things they do as they are progressing through the course.
If you want to create a truly complete experience, you should consider having a social aspect inside your training course. There are a lot of private Facebook groups and forums that are being set up for such purposes, and it's a good idea to do the same for your course.
The Course Creation Process in 3 Steps
Step #1 - First, Outline The Entire Course
Outline your full course down to the details before recording or writing anything. Separate the planning phase from the actual execution. Once you have your course laid out in its entirety then you can start it's actual creation.
As you go about creating the course outline, you must constantly be thinking of ways to build in those learning styles that we talked about. This is particularly important and will have a direct impact on the level of success of your training course.
A little side note about modules:
A large number of courses that you see online are put into module format, and while this is a great way of providing a sense of order for your students, the problem with this is that most are impatient to get to the end and they jump over some of the modules or just determine their own way through the course instead of following the path that is laid out for them.
Going out of sequence in this way is a recipe for failure for the majority of them, as it leads to confusion and overwhelms them, and so they end up not getting the result they enrolled in the course for.
It's for this reason that you should do your best to exercise some control over the rate at which you release the information so that they go in the right order.
Step #2 - Create The Entire Course According to Your Outline
Your course outline is (hopefully) very clear.
Whether it's bullet points or modules, you have a clear order to it, and this is the exact order that you should follow in recording it. Why? Because you will be following the exact same progression that your students are going to go through.
By going through it as they will, you can provide even more order.
Record the entire course as quickly as you can while following that outline.
This part shouldn't take long since you've already made all of the decisions as to the type of content that you will be creating.
You already know exactly what is going to be inside the whole course, and it's just a matter of putting those ideas into the different formats at this point.
Step #3 - Use Tools For Building Your Online Training Course
One of the main ways of delivering online training courses is through the use of membership sites.
If you are building on top of a WordPress platform, then you can use such tools as WP CourseWare. This is a very useful and handy system that allows you to create content inside WordPress and turn it into course format.
This includes everything from your course modules, training units, and so on. It's all organized appropriately, and there is a clear tracking of the course progress so that students can easily move from one thing to the next.
Once they are done, users can check a little box at the end of each unit to mark it as complete.
This takes care of that course progression problem that we discussed earlier since the system guides the students from one part of the course to the next instead of allowing it to become a free for all.
Video Hosting Services
When it comes to choosing the best hosting for your videos, you may want to consider services like Vimeo Pro as opposed to the ever-popular YouTube.
This is because, with a Vimeo Pro account, you get extra features but if you'd rather forgo the yearly hosting fee, then you could go with the Amazon S3 service which is also great.
Of course, the free services are more of a manual process, and with Amazon's service, you're going to have to look for a player that works best for you.
Vimeo Pro takes care of that and all other logistics for you. All you have to do is create the content and you leave the technical part to them. So if you're extremely tech challenged and want an easy solution, then Vimeo could be the better option for you.
A quick word about creating videos:
As previously stated, videos are a crucial part of a great online training course, and you should do your best to ensure that the video content that you create is as engaging as possible. Don't rely on slides only as a lot of course creators do.
There isn't anything wrong with using slides, but when you view this from your customers' perspective, it can become a bit monotonous having to watch a lot of material that way.
Try and make the video content in your course into an experience in and of itself so that you hold your students' attention throughout the entire training program.
This is a great way of ensuring that they reach the end and attain the results that they signed up for. So use live action shots, and so on, to mix it up a little, and don't depend only on slides.
Gravity Forms Plugin For WordPress
This tool is one that will help you to create some great forms for your members.
Whatever you need for your online training, from quizzes to surveys and everything in between, you can create with Gravity Forms. It also integrates nicely with WordPress.
If you run a membership site and have users who are viewing the training videos, you could have those people's names and emails attached to the form automatically, which is very convenient because it means that when they type anything to you, their information is there already and they don't have to enter it all over again.
After all, it doesn't seem very professional if you have to constantly ask your students who they are, right? Your system should already know everything you need to know, and Gravity Forms takes care of that and more.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to creating amazing online training courses that get results, you must focus on how you deliver that transformation.
This is the underlying factor behind a lot of the sales and marketing stuff that we talk a lot about on this blog.
You need to ensure that your course is solid and delivers on its promises if you want people to buy it.
With that, we've come to the end of this post on how to create awesome online training courses that get results. All that is left now is for you to get started creating an information training product with your name on it, and then offer it to your audience to help them solve their problems or to achieve their goals.
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Updated: Originally published August 1st 2018