How do you deliver online course content? This is a question I get from course creators that are just starting their journey into online course creation. It is also a very important question to consider before creating an online course. I’m going to tell you about some popular methods for online course delivery, as well as some you may not have thought of before.
Knowing how you want to deliver your course, will help you plan better. You will know what to look for when choosing your online course software and other tools, and you will be able to create a realistic timeline for when you’re able to launch your online course. It is easier to plan out your marketing strategy when you know what delivery method you’re going to be using.
Most Popular Online Course Delivery Method
By far, the most popular method for delivering online courses is video. I did a poll recently where I asked online course creators what delivery method they would be using to create their online courses. 57% voted for using video to deliver their online course. There are pros and cons to using video as your primary delivery method. The pros far outweigh the cons, but you should be aware of both.
The pros of using video is that it’s easier to build trust with video. When people see your face and hear your voice. They feel like they know you. Any YouTube influencer can attest to this fact. People that recognize them in public, come right up to them and start talking to them as if they were old friends. These same people would not go up to a complete stranger with the same familiarity.
When you’re looking at the camera and talking as if to a friend, you will build that relationship with your students much quicker than if you are using text for your online course. Videos are best when you’re teaching people how to do something and showing your student will give them better results.
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Different Types Of Training Videos
How to videos are a great way to teach. This could be a screen share video if you’re doing a software tutorial, like the ones I make for my YouTube channel. This can be pointing the camera at a project and showing someone how to build something. Can you imagine learning how to paint without video? I don’t think an audio course would suffice for this type of online course.
A video is also great for helping you make a point. A great example of this is using graphics or slides in your video to make a point. While the learner is listening to what you are saying, adding a simple slide with the main point on it can help the student retain that information better.
Now, you don’t want to overdo your slides by putting way too much on it, just the primary point that you want to stick. The great thing about using slides in your videos is that you can include the slide deck as an added asset that they can download inside your online course.
The Cons Of Using Video To Teach
Let’s talk about some of the cons of using video. The biggest con has got to be the time it takes to produce a video. If you’re not already familiar with video production, this could take a lot longer than you think. On average, I spend 10 hours a week creating my weekly YouTube videos.
When it comes to video production, there is…
- Script writing
- Preparing slides
- Setting up for the shoot
- The actual shooting of the video
- Editing the video
- Reviewing all the material
- Don’t forget the upload time to put it all up online.
If you’re familiar with doing this, that is great, but it will still eat up a lot of time. You can hire a video editor to cut some of that time off, but that can be pricey. You need to give yourself plenty of extra time for tech issues and other things that will come up when creating a video course.
Using Live Video To Teach
Another way to use video to teach and still build trust is to do live video training. This is a great way to cut a lot of the time off of the pre-recorded video production. When you’re teaching live, you don’t have to worry about post-production and editing. You just need to know how to get your students the replay if they could not attend live. Another pro of teaching live is that you will get instant feedback and even questions to help you improve your training.
Some cons of doing live video is that not everyone will be able to make the time slot you choose. Some people will sign up anyway and be happy to watch the replay. I have done that myself. Others who would have taken your course will opt out because they cannot make it to the live training event. This is something you need to consider when scheduling your live training.
What times are the majority of your students available? That will be the time you want to pick for your live training. But what if that time is during your nightly dinner with your kids, or in the middle of the night when you’re half asleep? Finding that balance to deliver quality life training, and still reaching most of your students can be hard.
Let’s not forget the tech issues here as well. While giving yourself extra time to fix tech issues with a pre-recorded video is workable, tech issues with a live event can be mild or even devastating. Most of your students will expect some tech issues in live training. It happens to all of us.
But what if your internet goes down, or your power goes out, right before you’re supposed to go live? It’s very important to have a contingency plan just in case something like this happens. Have a way to reach out to those students right away and expect to have to give some of them refunds. Not everyone will be okay with you just changing the training to another day.
Blended Content Delivery
Let’s talk about another popular option for delivering online course content, the blended course. A blended course is where you use several types of content delivery to give your students a more rounded experience. This may or may not include video. It will probably include some text-based lessons. It might even include audio, slides, and worksheets.
Other things you can include in blended content delivery are…
- Q&A Sessions
- And even homework assignments
The sky is the limit as to what you put into your online course. All of these different content delivery methods have a place in online courses. Deciding which one to use in your online course depends on your students and your topic.
Audio is a natural fit for an online course on meditation. Having homework that you share with the class for feedback is a natural fit for a course on building a social media profile. Q&A sessions are a great fit for a class on building your first website.
Deliver Your Content With Coaching
Coaching can be a valuable delivery method in an online course. Now you may be thinking, “I don’t have time to do 1-on-1 calls with everyone that buys my online course.” Maybe that is an upsell instead. Only people buying the premium version of your online course will get a coaching call.
What about group coaching? Those can be easier to manage if you are ‘time poor’. Group coaching can be as valuable as 1-on-1 coaching. Another option for coaching is a membership community. This can be included with your course, or as a premium feature.
One of the things I love the most about the membership community I run for online course creators is being able to help several people at once. Oftentimes, many students will have the same question. By answering these questions in a community setting, everyone there gets the value. This saves me a lot of time and keeps me from answering the same question over and over.
Sometimes there are students that did not even think of the question, but still have an a-ha moment, once they see the question and answer.
You don’t know to ask a question if you could not conceive of the possibility of it in the first place.
That is where a group dynamic and a membership can really shine. It’s the input from the other students that helps the students that are not asking.
Now that you have an idea of how to deliver your online course content, you will be able to better plan your project, plan your marketing and choose what software and hardware you will need to launch your online course. If you are still struggling and looking for more help, check out my group coaching community.