HOW TO BUILD 

AN ONLINE COURSE


Set yourself free by becoming an online educator.


Imagine A World with...

  • Secure income as an educator
  • The ability to work from anywhere (provided there is internet)
  • An untapped, lucrative and growing E-Learning industry
  • The potential to earn passive income as an expert in your field

Do you share knowledge with other people for a living? 


Are you looking for new creative ways to share this knowledge?


The world of education is changing and the Coronavirus is yet another catalyst that is speeding up a process which has already begun. 


The demand for online learning has increased dramatically over the last few months and that particular curve is only going to get steeper.


The current reality is that you may not be able to attend class for a while on account of too many people in the classroom.


And even when the current world crisis calms down, the inevitable economic after-effects will result in learners looking to more affordable options. 


Online learning also maximises time, freeing you up to live a more productive and balanced life. By cutting the daily commute you save time and money, while playing a role in helping the planet heal.


Whatever way you look at it, online courses and lessons are here to stay.

Let’s look at what we are going to cover in this article:


For starters, we are going to Prepare Your Course Material for optimal online learning.


Secondly, we'll look at Filming Your Course using basic gear like a smartphone and free editing software.


Thirdly, attention is focused on choosing the correct Online learning Platform for you.


And, lastly, we'll cover the all-important question – how to Get your Course Sold.

Shall we get started?

Before we do... you may have questions about things that aren't touched on in this article, e.g. copy protection of your intellectual knowledge, or accreditation by training authorities. Be assured that we will cover these subjects and many others in graphic detail in How to Build your Online Course Webinars. For now, let's kick off your introduction and get your basic course up and running up, so you can get selling as fast as possible. All the info you'll need is right here.

STEP 1: Prepping your Content

This is by far the hardest thing to do if you have never taught something before.


However, most likely you – the reader – are a teacher, lecturer or coach and therefore no doubt familiar with the idea of breaking a big idea down into smaller consumable lessons. 


Try teaching someone calculus in one hour. Not going to work!


You have to break the information up into small pieces and drip-feed them to your students until the big picture becomes clear. 


With online learning the idea is to break up the learning content even further than one would for classroom teaching.


You may need to decide to break a very large topic into various courses.


As with calculus, you can't teach a psychiatry degree in a single online course.

(Well, you can, but you not going to get it right and earn money by next week!)


So, with this in mind, each course you create will be made up of a set of modules, chapters and lessons.

TASK: Mind Map your First Course

Grab a paper and pen and draw a mind map of your field of expertise.

Click to enlarge

Put the ULTIMATE GOAL for your learners at the top of the page and mind map your way down.


Write out every aspect of your current teachings.


At which level can you create a stand-alone course?


Your first course does not have to be a multi-year PhD.


You can represent a  Year Level, the Subject Level, a Module Level, or even just the Chapter Level in a single online course.

It all depends on the quantity and complexity of your content.


This will be different for every topic and educator out there.


And that is great!


You get to teach the way you want to teach.

Once you have figured out what your first course is going to be about, you will need to repeat this Mind-Map process again.


You need to figure out your exact lessons. 


And it's not that easy.


Start, again, by placing the goal for your students at the top.


Example A: I want to teach my students Calculus – Chapter 1.


And only Chapter 1!     


Chapter 2, 3 and 4 are separate courses for now.


OR


Example B: I want to teach my students everything about Calculus.

The difference between these two examples will determine the next step.


You need to be sure of what your goal is for your learners.


We're going to move on and assume you are now sure.


You sure?


Ok, let's go.


Next, break down the modules, chapters and lessons you are going to incorporate in this course to accurately fit your goal.

 

IMPORTANT: Instead of dividing your lessons into 40 min to 1 hour lectures, rather slice them into bite-sized lessons. 


If you can, aim for 5-10 minute segments, or even shorter.


The great thing about online learning is that the learner can go over a particular part again and again without the rest of the classroom having to be delayed by individual student's progress.


For many people online learning can be more effective than traditional teaching.


STEP 2: Filming your Course

I’m sure many of you have not filmed anything like this before.


Right?


Don’t panic.


We are going to go over this slowly and in detail.

 

If you took good care to prepare your course in Step 1 then this part will be easy, fun and over before you know it.

There are two things you are
going to need to film:

Talking Head Segments 

&

Screen Recordings with Voice-Over

You can do this with your smartphone

but you will need a tripod of some kind. 

(Balancing your phone on a tin placed on a chair works too)

The Talking Head Video

This is the most common type of video for an online course.


Place the camera so you can see yourself in the middle of the frame (not too close up and not too far away), like this: 


Next hit 'record' and talk freely about your lesson.


This is your classroom. Not a film set.


Just be yourself. Teach as you always do.


JUST A TIPSometimes it's great to announce what the lesson is about at the start of the video. You can also provide a hint as to what the next video is about at the end of the recording. This gives your course great fluidity and will keep your learners tuned in. Think of it as a TV series loaded with cliffhangers. Imagine you could do that in a normal classroom! 

Try to film big chunks of content in one go. (Don't worry about a few "erms".)


We will look at linking together separate video clips to make one lesson later.


When done, Review your video clip.


Like it? Keep it.


Don’t like it? Delete it and do it again.


Your first tries will likely not be great, but I PROMISE YOU, it gets easier as you go.


Keep the winning file, label it (e.g. Module 1,Lesson 1) and store it on your computer.


You will need to transfer the files from your phone asap.


These files can become big quite fast.

The Screen Recording with Voice-Over

You will at some point probably need to record actions taking place on your screen if you have slideshows, videos or other media to share.


Perhaps it’s a process for the learner to follow, step-by-step.


Perhaps it’s a slideshow you have prepared for the lesson.


Depending whether you are a Mac or PC-user you will need to get the appropriate app to record your screen.


As far as possible use Quicktime.


It's free and easy to use.

(and although native to Mac is available for Windows too)

And the Voice-Over part?


You can use the computer, but using your phone provides way better sound quality.

 

Phones are literally designed and optimised to make the person on the other end hear you clearly.


Set up a recording session on your mobile device. (All phones have this.)


Hit record on screen (video).


Hit record on phone (sound). 


Note: CLAP once you've started recording and at the end of the recording so you have a reference point from which to sync these two files later. 


(We’ll talk about that more! At least you now know what that clapper thing is used for!)

Basic Editing

Technically, you can edit these videos on your phone. There is not much to it.


I would, however, suggest you edit on your computer rather.


You only need an editing program for the following actions:

  • Clip away what is not needed.
  • Join video clips that belong together.
  • Sync voice-over and screen recordings.
  • Insert images and overlays for Talking Heads.

There are tutorials for each of these in the section below.


But first:

TASK: Download Filmora by Wondershare for PC or Mac

It is FREE - no strings attached!

These quick editing tutorials will get you up and running.

Importing and Trimming Clips

Simply drag and drop the clips you want to edit into the project.


From your library drag the clip onto the timeline.


This is where the lesson starts.


Identify the part you want to trim away.


Place the cursor at the start point and hit the cut tool.


Then select the part you don't want and hit delete on your keyboard.


Repeat the same process at the end of the clip.


This clip is ready to be inserted into an online lesson.

Adding More Clips to a Lesson

To add an extension or secondary clip to the same lesson, simply drag and drop the next clip into the timeline.


Repeat the trimming step to clean up the start and end of your lesson segment.


Repeat this as often as necessary.


It's best to get it out in one take if possible.

Import and Sync Sound Recordings

Record your voice as a second clip (which is recommended for great sound quality.)


Import the sound file as you did the video clips.


Drag it onto the timeline.


Look for a clear sync point or pattern, which you can do by clapping before you start.


Mute the sound of the camera audio.


Trim off the excess.

Add Overlay Media

You may have a screen recording, external footage or just images you would like to overlay at certain points in the lesson.


Simply drag the media into the project.


Drag the item onto the timeline above the Talking Head clip.


Place it correctly.


Then go to the edit options and adjust size.


Lastly, drag the item to its correct place.

STEP 3: Building your Course

We have used three different online course hosting platforms.

  • Udemy
  • Teachable
  • Thrive

You need to choose the one that best suits your ability and budget.


Let me break down the pros and cons of each one quickly.


Spoiler alert: We going to say go with Udemy.

Platform Name

Difficulty to set up

How to set up

Price

The Catch

The Win

Our Rating

Our Advice

UD​EMY

Easy

Step by step process.

Free

They control and own you.

Get up and going instantly.

Earn money fast.

No additional marketing required.

Start here, like we did.

Teachable

Medium

Fill in the gaps, but you need to connect it to your own website

Entry level $29 / month

Might need help setting up the website stuff. You only partially "own" your students.

You own your content. You control your pricing. No distraction by competitive courses.

Move to this when you are ready (you know your course is working). 

Thrive + Send Owl (Apprentice)

Hard

You build everything from scratch. Need a basic understanding of Wordpress.

$28/month
$19 / month Thrive + $9 /month SendOwl)

It takes a bit of time and know how to set up. Need to bring your marketing game to get ahead.

You own the Racetrack. Full Control. Most cost effective in the long run. Most Profitable. 

Move here when you have more than one course.


Long story short: If you're new to this, start with UDEMY. (Watch my Udemy Webinar)


Want to fast track the process straight to Thrive? – Join my webinars and talk to me.


Once you decided on your choice of platform, follow our-step by-step instructions and get to see it in action.


These deep dive tutorials will become available to you in our 30 min webinars.


Yes, they are free.


Sign up after this next section. (or now)


STEP 4: Set Up your Marketing and Sales

Ok, stop.


Let's slow things down a bit.


Let's not jump too far into the future because it all depends on which platform you've chosen to go with.


It literally changes everything at this point.


Things could get confusing if we try and cover all platforms at the same time.


Time to split the group up.

 

If you want to feel like this baby below, come along for the ride!

I'm not promising to make you rich.


But you could easily feel as free as this baby feels about his life.


And that incorporates financial freedom.


So, let’s go back to step one.


START: Build a course that sells.


And then together we can look at helping you sell it.


Join us in our Free Webinars as we take you through the steps (VISUALLY) of everything we've looked at here, and more.


Step-by-step.


That's a wrap.


Sign up to the webinars! 2020

Will cover bits as we go in a live feed on Youtube. You can ask me questions in realtime and reserve a seat for our Online Course (due to release soon).