I am a professional instructional designer and I create online courses for companies worldwide.
I want to share with you what my e-course clients have in mind when they come to me. Perhaps, this will ring true for you when seeking a course designer.
First, here are the various topic areas of my clients, who have approached me over the last 4 years.
They asked me to deeply review their existing e-course and provide suggestions for improving it; create a course blueprint so they could build their own; or had me develop an entire online course. My clients are global and from the entrepreneur world, corporate sector, public organizations and academia.
Do you see your topic area in this list?
TRADES & CRAFTS
– painting a kitchen like a pro
– teaching the word of God
– selling fashion with pizzazz
– courageous leadership
– training rescue dogs with love
Inevitably, clients came to me as they …
These folks have attempted to create their own e-course following bits and pieces of instruction found on the web but hit a wall.
The wall was their course looked clunky and was miles from being done; they still wondered what technology to use; they struggled over how much content to add to each lesson; and they worried how to truly engage their learners. More important, they feared their course sucked and would become one of those with too many ‘talking head’ videos, or tedious narrated slides with… wait for it, worksheets.
So, they put on the brakes and sought help because they knew they have a potentially good course that the market would want. They needed someone to take a deeper look at it, provide recommendations and suggestions for change, and hand them an easy-to-follow plan to make those changes.
These entrepreneurs were very excited about their course idea, which had been cooking on the back burner for some time. They were taking their time to create an online course because they wanted to learn how to do it; they didn’t have enough time, at the moment; or they were doing a bit of research to see if their market was interested.
Then the day came when they were super ready to start it! But, they hit a wall, too.
When it came down to create their course, they were perplexed over how to narrow down their ideas: they worried about what would be realistic for their students to accomplish; they became paralyzed from extracting all the info in their head onto paper; and/or they really wondered if they could teach.
They realized they needed someone to help them sketch a solid plan with details about the length of the course, items placed into each module/unit, the format of content, the technology to use, and helpful learning activities. Given a detailed plan developed by a pro, they could then get started with building it.
Right from the start, these business people knew they wanted someone to design and develop their entire course so it was highly effective and polished. No more delivery of content via only email or embedded in a webpage.
They wanted their students to have a good learning experience which meant rich activities, interesting uses of multimedia, impactful offline exercises, accountability and successful student completions.
This was going to be their signature piece and they wanted it designed well.
They knew it was a job for a professional and one who ‘got’ what they wanted to express, share and teach others at a deep level.
In January 2014, I entered the online entrepreneur world. I was bowled over by the number of virtual businesses, and it seemed everyone and their mother had or wanted an e-course. This was my audience!
Over those 5 years, I’ve designed, developed and taught others how to make a sound and dynamic online course that in turned has impacted others (i.e. their learners/customers).
As a teacher, I am excited about the explosion of learning happening globally, and how it is bringing new ideas, skills and ways to think to so many.
However, there is one element that needs truth saying:
There are strategies I’ve learned from 25+ years of teaching (18 of them online) and from my research that I apply to my work. I strive to share my knowledge and skills with others to find a way to bottle their wisdom into a great online experience.
E-courses are tough to develop and tougher to learn by, so build them well.