In this article, I will show you “How to create an online course for free”.
Learn how to build online lessons that draw students in like a magnet from today’s lesson! Online course development does not necessitate a substantial outlay of cash, despite popular opinion. Online courses can be created for free if you know what you’re doing.
While money can be utilized to expedite some processes in the design of an online course, it is by no means the deciding factor. The ten actions outlined in this post are the most important ones to remember when creating courses. Taking out your credit card isn’t one of those procedures, as you’ll discover soon enough.
If this is your first time creating an online course, make sure you follow this guide carefully. Don’t skip any of the actions listed here, even if they appear insignificant or insignificant at first glance. There’s a reason why all ten of these processes are stated here.
Here’s how to create an online course for free in 10 steps:
- Choose Your Course Topic
- Identify the Target Audience
- Gather and Structure Your Knowledge
- Create an Online Course Outline
- Choose Your Online Course Software or Platform
- Create the Course Content
- Make Sure Your Content is Engaging
- Create a Community for Your Online Course
- Gather Feedback for Your Online Course
- Adapt, Improve and Update
Step 1: Choose Your Course Topic
You must plan for any major undertaking. The first step in creating an online course should be deciding on a core emphasis topic. Unless you’re quite certain you know what you’re doing, making it up as you go along is a good way to wind up flat on your face.
After all, you can’t spend your entire course meandering over a broad spectrum of a single subject. Both you and your students would be wasting their time.
Make your statement as specific as possible. In your first course, don’t try to cover too much ground. When it comes to building online courses, a typical early mistake is that you should create one course for each topic.
From the perspective of a student, that is a poor concept. Within a single course, students are overwhelmed by large amounts of scattered knowledge. And, from a business perspective, that’s an even worse idea.
Focusing on short courses instead of a single massive program allows you to sell more and improve on early editions. Make sure to allow enough area for the future when creating your first course.
Step 2: Identify The Target Audience
After you’ve decided on a topic for your online course, you’ll need to figure out who your target audience is. The target audience for your course is the group of people to whom you are writing it.
Be specific once more. The target audience is too broad and non-actionable to be defined as “anyone interested in my course subject.”
During target audience research, social media may be a wealth of information. Other platforms exist and can be utilized to achieve the same result, but nothing works as well as social media for creating connections.
Make a post and track how many people respond. Adjust according to your field (British Tanks After World War 2 will have a different audience than How To Get More Instagram Followers), and what constitutes a healthy reaction.
Step 3: Gather and Structure Your Knowledge
You can begin working on the course itself once you’ve determined what you’re teaching, that you have people to educate, and that you can teach them anything worthwhile. That implies you’ll need to gather your information.
You’ll need to know enough about the subject so a newbie can learn a lot from you, plus a little bit more. There will always be pupils who are quicker to pick things up than others, or who require a little more information to fully comprehend the lesson.
To assist them, you’ll need to have a sufficient number of puzzle pieces on available.
It is not enough to have knowledge alone. You must also know how to convey it in a way that makes sense to a learner and that he or she can comprehend. For most people, simply dumping facts doesn’t work; otherwise, we wouldn’t need schools or teachers.
Step 4: Create an Online Course Outline
So, you’ve structured your knowledge — that’s excellent! Now it’s time to consider how you’ll impart that knowledge to your students. According to Teachable, outlining is identical to structure, however this time we’ll start filling in the blanks. You’ve decided what you’ll teach, but now it’s time to figure out how you’ll teach it.
“What will my students have learned after they finish this course?” ask yourself. What will students be able to demonstrate once they’ve completed your course? What skills will they be able to use now?
This ties up with the previous two; once you’ve decided on a topic and determined your target audience, you’ll need to figure out what kind of value they’ll get out of your course.
This is advantageous to both you and your students. It will assist you in organising your materials since you should be asking yourself at every step, “Will this serve the goal I desire?”
Is it pertinent to what they should be learning? This is crucial when creating an online course since it provides direction and a clear endpoint.
Step 5: Choose Your Online Course Software or Platform
What are your plans for storing your belongings? Do you have your own website? Or perhaps on a pre-existing platform such as Udemy? Each option has advantages and disadvantages, and deciding on a platform is an important component of how to create an online course.
You have complete control over your site, brand, and price when you have your own portal. Of course, there are the problems of marketing, getting the word out, attracting students, dealing with payments, and a slew of other issues to contend with.
A pre-existing platform comes with its own set of issues. A marketplace will gladly place your course next to one of its competitors, and its pricing options will be far more limited.
Your options are constrained by the platform’s capabilities. Even Udemy has a unique problem: with so many popular online courses in its database and so many students already using it, it’s very likely that you’ll get lost in the sea of options and never be seen again.
Step 6: Create the Course Content
Congratulations! After you’ve completed the structure, you’re ready to begin creating your online course! This section delves into the specifics of the course’s development.
How will you offer your teachings, in other words? You have a variety of options to pick from, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
There are numerous options available to you, and how you choose to proceed is totally up to you.
However, here’s a helpful hint:
You should consider employing more than one form of online course content if you want to produce a truly engaging and effective online course.
The three main categories of online course content you can develop are as follows:
- Text content
- Video & Image content
- Screencasting content
There’s always classic lectures, which consist of text. The least effort possible would simply be to deliver a series of text-only lectures, ideally leavened with a set of recommendations for further reading.
Of course, this would be terribly boring; you’ve basically just written a book, or a series of blog posts (and can do it just as effectively if you went that way).
Video & Image Content
Visual stimulation of the student is an easy technique to make online courses more engaging. This includes images and videos. The simplest way to incorporate pictures and videos into an online course is to structure it like a PowerPoint presentation:
- Include some related videos (or, better yet, make your own)
- Add appropriate graphics to accompany text blocks.
- Use a strong microphone and good articulation to talk through each “slide.”
And, of course, since you do have a computer of your own, you’ve got another option. Screencasting is still considered video, but this time it’s not video of yourself, but rather your computer screen.
You can optionally have a second camera focusing on you if you have physical material you’d like to show the students as well. In this case, you will show your computer screen to the students while leaving a small window to show the teacher.
We have found that combinations of screencasting and “teacher cams” work wonders for student engagement. Give it a try.
Step 7: Make Sure Your Content is Engaging
Remember that teaching is more than merely passing on information. Never before in human history has so much information been so readily available to anyone with such a low entrance hurdle.
With only a few keystrokes on your phone, you may access a plethora of knowledge about Nuclear Physics. It would have taken an encyclopaedia or a book dedicated to the subject fifty years ago, and it would have taken just as much effort to gain another point of view on the same topic.
Self-teaching is possible with enough effort and dedication, but not everyone has the time or desire to do so. As a teacher, your duty isn’t simply to impart knowledge to your pupils; it’s also to condense all of the raw knowledge gleaned from that vast amount of data and offer it to them in a succinct, structured manner.
Your worth comes from the fact that you know what’s good and what’s terrible, that you’ve already sorted the wheat from the chaff, and that you know what works and what doesn’t. Being a successful teacher requires a thorough comprehension of the subject.
Step 8: Create a Community For Your Online Course
Humans are sociable creatures. It’s impossible to overlook this in a learning atmosphere; even introverts want social interaction. This is where technology comes into play once more.
You should create a community for your students, whether it’s through a Facebook group, a Discord channel, an Udemy discussion group, or any other method you can think of.
What is the point of this? Quite a bit. A community that extends beyond your lectures and modules provides students with a platform, which is a significant benefit. How to develop an online class requires establishing a strong community.
Let’s imagine you have a pupil who didn’t fully comprehend the last lesson. He has a few options, but the majority of them are troublesome. For a variety of reasons, they may be apprehensive to approach you, the teacher.
Self-study has its drawbacks, since he or she may lack the motivation to re-train themselves. If you provide this wandering student a space to communicate with their peers, they may ask their peers to fill in the gaps in their knowledge, and before you know it, they’ll be back on track.
Step 9: Gather Feedback for Your Online Course
Teaching is a two-way street, and you’ll need the ability to ensure that your students are grasping your courses correctly to determine how effective you are. The ability to construct an effective online course relies heavily on good feedback.
It’s difficult to remember when you were fresh to a subject when you’re working in a field where you’re an expert. What is plain and simple to an expert may not be so to a novice. This is why you must seek advice from others.
You should have two persons look at it in order to get the best results: First, a subject matter expert who can look over your materials and offer feedback on your approach; see if you’re missing anything, if you’ve offered inaccurate information by accident, and so on.
The other person should be someone who is similar to your target audience. In reality, you could undertake a test run with a small group of people who are interested.
Finding testers for your online course by joining Facebook groups in your topic area is a great approach to get started.
You need the student’s point of view, no matter how tiny or huge this level of verification is, to ensure that you’re communicating your knowledge correctly.
Step 10: Adapt, Improve and Update
It takes a lot of time and work to create an online course, and it also requires a lot of flexibility. You’ll have to alter your approaches on a regular basis based on a variety of circumstances.
Building online courses, on the other hand, is a terrific way to get your foot in the door of teaching if you’re ready to put in the effort, to pour your skill and your heart into your work.
It’s nearly hard to do everything right the first time you design an online course. As a result, as an online course instructor, your workflow should constantly include listening to your students’ input and updating your product based on that feedback.
Even though your face is on all of the video content in the classes, don’t take bad feedback personally.
When students post course reviews, you should always endeavour to take advantage of them. Successful course instructors examine all comments and are able to adjust to the demands of their pupils.
Negative feedback is unpleasant, but it is an unavoidable aspect of enhancing your online courses.