What Makes Good Content For An Online Course

What makes good content for an online course? In this post we will go over the types of content you can and should include in an online course. We will also talk about what makes good or bad content ideas, and what is too much or too little when creating an online course.

You have this great idea, and you want to turn it into an online course. Most people go directly to video. They think that they need to use video and they need to be on camera.

This means they need lights, they need to fix their appearance, and they need a studio setup. But that’s not necessarily the case.

Video content is great, and some platforms require that you use video content like Udemy. But one thing here is you need to consider your audience.

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Written Content

If you’re a writer, and most of your content is done in writing, you should consider a written course. One way you could do this would be to drip it out over an email sequence. Your clients and customers are already used to reading your content. So why not continue that trend?

You definitely still want to create a video for marketing purposes and an intro video for your sales page. If the majority of the people that are following you are reading your blog post are reading your books and are reading your content, then go ahead and stick with a written course.

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Audio Content

On the other hand, if you’re doing podcast, the majority of your audience is listening to your content. One of the draws of podcasts is that you can listen while you’re doing other things. You’re not stuck sitting at a computer. You can get up and move around.

When it comes to creating your online course, consider making an audio course. One of the things that I recommend with an audio course, is that you go ahead and also supply some PDFs. Your customers may be listening and learning, but it’s always nice to go back and have that piece of paper that they could print up with checklist, tips, and other things that you taught them along the way.

Screen Share Video

Some top-selling courses have to do with tech and software, learning JavaScript, Python, and other coding languages. If you’re teaching this type of course, you’re going to want to go with a screen share video.

This allows your students to follow along and watch what you’re doing. They can pause the video and test it out themselves. I do a lot of these kinds of software tutorials on my YouTube channel.

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Testing Measures

It’s also a good idea when you have a course that has a lot of technical things that you have to remember to assign either assignments or quizzes. This reinforces the lesson they just learned. It also helps you assess their understanding of the lessons you are teaching.

Anytime you have several students that are failing the quizzes or not doing the assignment right, you need to go back and reassess your teaching materials. Assignments and quizzes also helped bring the student back into focus.

By sprinkling assignments and quizzes throughout your course, that’s going to help redirect the student’s attention back into the course. Make sure to not make the quizzes too long. After all, you’re just checking to see what they learned on the last module.

You’re making sure that they understand the major points. You don’t want to put in a really long quiz with a lot of questions. The only time you would do this is if you’re trying to teach a technical skill for certification.

Interactive Assignments

Adding assignments to your courses, something you can do to add a bit of fun. Assignments could be something as easy as posting to social media, posting a comment about the topic they just learned, or taking a picture of something they just accomplished.

If you teach somebody how to build a business page on Facebook, you can have them drop a link to their business page in the comments. This also builds a sense of community with the other students. If you’re teaching a painting class, and one of the assignments is a drawing or painting, you can have your students take a picture of that and post it on Instagram or Facebook and use the hashtag that goes with your course.

Encourage other students to go and look for that course hashtag to see what the other students are doing. This again fosters community and allows you to take a look at what your students are doing.

Workbooks and Worksheets

If you’re doing more of a workshop style course, you might want to create workbooks. A good example of this is if you’re teaching somebody how to create a brand, they’re going to have a lot of different steps that go into creating their brand. By including a workbook that they can work through, this can help them stay focused during the class.

The workbook is something that they can print up ahead of time and have ready when they are watching your videos or listening to your audio. They can work through the assignments along the way.

Micro Learning

One thing I think is very important in making good content for an online course, is to consider the time commitment. Are you selling your course to busy professionals that are in a time crunch? If so, you may want to go with micro learning.

Micro learning is where you break a course up into small little chunks. You probably have a lot of knowledge about your topic, but, you don’t want to put that all out there once. It might be better to take that and break it up into smaller lessons. This gives your students easy wins and makes them feel that they can go on to the next lesson.

You can do this by selling mini courses. You can also do this with a bigger course by just putting in smaller lessons. Keep your videos to only three to five minutes and then give them an assignment or quiz as the next step. When you piece it out like that, it gives the student a chance to do a little piece and then another little piece when they have time.

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Video Content

If you plan on using video in your course, there are a lot of options there. You can make the video more visually appealing by adding in B roll, adding in graphics and slides and putting slides on the screen. Video is great if you want to talk to your students and have your face on camera. But sitting and looking at someone’s face for 20 minutes straight while they talk can become a bit monotonous.

When it comes to making good videos, you also need to make sure that your number one top priority is the sound. If you’ve ever been on YouTube, and you clicked on a video that you were interested in, but the was so bad that you clicked away, then you know what I’m talking about. Having high quality sound is the number one thing.

High quality video, lower thirds, and all that fancy stuff is great. But if they can’t hear what you’re saying, if it’s not coming across clear, then you might as well not have a video. So consider your audio first, buy a quality microphone. Learn how to edit the sound, and use the tools that are at your disposal. There are many free tools that you can get online to help you improve the quality of your audio.

The Value

The most important thing in making good content in an online course to consider is the value. Did you deliver on the promise you made on your sales page? If you didn’t, you might want to explore why.

Did you give your students everything that they needed to reach that goal? Did you follow up with your students to make sure that they understood the course. A good course has a particular objective, and you want to get your students to that objective in as few steps as possible.

Make sure and consider every step carefully. There are things that you do on automatic pilot that need to be put into this course so that your student can achieve the exact same result.

Testing your course out in advance to make sure it’s understandable and working correctly is always a great idea. Consider doing a beta launch for current clients with the caveat of asking them for feedback. This will help you improve your course before you open the cart.

If you need some help with your online course, consider joining my online course creator community. I jump in there every day and help online course creators like you launch their online courses.

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