Learning How Online Courses Work Before Teaching Them

When we started our first online course in 2010, we had NO idea what we were doing.

We did learn how to create great video content and that’s served us very well. We’ve gone on to use those skills for many, many projects…both marketing and front-end projects for our websites.

However, could you guess what the biggest benefit was which led to our entire business success, business partnerships, and friendships even happening in the first place?

By taking an online course!

If we hadn’t taken our very first course with Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income 9 years ago, my business partners and I would have no online businesses.

Course Quality

Firstly, by taking an online course before creating one, you’ll learn the skills required to exceed your competitors.

For example, you’ll be able to experience things such as I mentioned above, like learning how to create quality video content, you’ll not only learn what TO do…

But also what NOT to do! 

We learned a great deal from taking our first course online and most of that had to do with learning small things like how to place yourself within a frame or what video resolution provides good instruction results without bogging down your student’s computer.

Course Format

Second, taking an online course before you create one helps you to understand the better ways to structure your course over your competitors.

Structuring a course in logical way to facilitate effective learning retention isn’t an easy task…you have to consider not only the order in which you present topical ideas, but also the pace of the course, length of lessons, and where certain learning modalities work best.

And…exploring a few existing courses in your niche will help you discover what feels like it works and what doesn’t!

Course Idea Generation

Finally, one of the most beneficial reasons to take an online course in your niche before creating your own is…

The sheer opportunity to gain new ideas!

For example, even if the top course in your niche has the worst designed PowerPoint slides you’ve ever seen, you may glean one idea you hadn’t included in your course’s initial outline.

You may come across topical ideas for lessons which you hadn’t even thought of before!

This also enforces the idea of enrolling in multiple courses to ensure that you’re exposed to as much content as possible.

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Nate Johnson is one of the co-founders of CourseCast, and is one of the creators of the first and most widely-implemented learning management system for WordPress, WP Courseware. Since 2012, he has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, corporate training departments, and higher education institutions develop and deploy online training courses from their WordPress websites.

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