5 mistakes you may be making when creating an online course

Home Course planning tips 5 mistakes you may be making when creating an online course

Most people will buy an online course because they need to solve a problem or learn a new skill.

Taking an online course is a journey. It’s your job as the course creator, to make that journey fun and engaging.

Too often I see the same online course mistakes again and again, and it’s these very mistakes that could be pushing away your students and keeping them from completing your course. Take a look to see if you’re making some of these common online course mistakes…

Mistake #1 Knowledge overload

You may enjoy endlessly talking about your topic but your customers won’t appreciate a course swamped with unnecessary content and fluff. Give them only the necessary information or knowledge that they need to solve their problem in the shortest way possible.

Mistake #2 Course length

When people create a course about a topic they love, they become passionate. I get it! Personally I would suggest sticking to a maximum of 8 weeks for a short online course, any longer than this and you risk losing or boring your students.

Consider the questions below. Uncovering the answers can help you determine the ideal length of your online course. 

  • How much time do you students want to spend on your course?
  • How much time can your ideal student spare?
  • Do you know what other commitments they have?
  • How quickly do they need to solve their problem or frustration?

Mistake #3 Insufficient course multimedia

This is one of the biggest online course mistakes I see.

Think about the way your course content is presented to your students. In other words, what multimedia will you create for your course? Will you include video, slides, infographics, online text or workbooks?

As a rule of thumb, you want to offer at least 3 different forms of course media so that you’re catering to visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners. If you’re starting out, think about including presentation slides with narration or screen recordings along with audio downloads and a few actionable worksheets or books. All of these can be created inexpensively and for free using your basic pc software.

Mistake #4 Lack of engagement

Due to the passive nature of online learning, try to include a few fun activities, quizzes or exercises along the way. The best courses encourage action. Make your student do/create/design something.

And don’t be afraid to communicate with your students during the course. I know it’s all about automation but seriously most students need a bit of cajoling and encouragement from you, to keep progressing.

Mistake #5 Inconsistent design

How often have you come across a website with poor design and visual elements? I bet you don’t browse poorly designed sites for very long. The same theory applies to online courses. If it looks boring, chances are your student will think the content is boring too.

By creating a consistent style and design, you can make your course visually appealing and attractive. As visual beings, we read and engage more when we’re attracted to something…sad but true!

Have you made any of the above mistakes? I know I did when I first started out!


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