Thursday, 27 March 2014

Teaching an online course - top tips - Part 3

In the third and final part of my top tips for teaching an online course we look at what to do once your course is live and running. If you missed Parts 1 and Parts 2 just click on the links. (It's a good idea to start at the beginning!)
We've covered what your course might be about, how to structure the course, how to deliver the course and how to price it. But what do you do once the course is up - how do you deal with criticism, how can you improve your course for the future and how do you get people to stay interested or stay in touch? let's take a look... you'll be pleased to know this is a little shorter than the previous 2 posts!

Your course will be open to receiving feedback whether publicly or maybe someone will pop you a mail. I've received some lovely reviews of my course but then on one dark rainy day I got a thumbs down! I have to say, I was a bit gutted. I previously had a 100% positive response record (thumbs up!). The thumbs down person didn't leave a comment and their profile was private so I couldn't contact them to ask them why. I really genuinely wanted to know what they didn't like - so I in turn could learn from it and either make it right or carry the thought onto another course. I don't mind receiving constructive criticism, as a designer you face it quite regularly... but you have to be able to take it on the chin. So be prepared for the good and bad. You can't please everyone all of the time. Ask your students for feedback, if they all come back saying one particular thing you know that's something you need to improve on.

Despite my disappointment receiving a thumbs down, I know my course wasn't perfect and there's a lot I'd do differently now. I'd probably make it shorter and more focused, I'd try to record the videos better quality. Even if you get the best reviews in the world always strive to think of ways to make the course or the way you teach better or more engaging.

So your course has been running, you've got students and all is going well... but don't be complacent. How can you keep your course fresh and keep getting people to sign up to it? Can you offer competitions and giveaways? Could you include a new video or an update? And how can you stay in touch with your students to notify them of any new courses or updates? maybe it's a newsletter or facebook page. Keep in touch with your students best you can... build on those relationships. 3 years ago I thought having online friends was a bit strange but since taking part in some courses I've made many online friends who have the same interests as me, can answer questions I have about the industry and can share in frustrations with clients and general work. Build your online network!
Skillshare is good as you can keep in touch with your students, set new challenges with prizes or direct them over to a facebook page. We now have over 200 students in The Art of Typography facebook page which is a great way to stay in touch and stay engaged.
What other ways can you reach new students? Use your testimonials as a marketing tool and use social media - twitter, instagram etc. Have your students written a blog post about the course? don't be shy... share it!

Other useful links: for tutorial inspiration!

Phew... there we go - your 10 top tips! Are you ready to get pen to paper and start brainstorming your online course. Please add any comments or questions below. And do let me know if you run a course. If you decide to use Skillshare as your platform you could be very kind and use my referral link, be sure to let me know your course so I can sign up to your course! And if anyone is interested in taking my course The Art of Typography, you can grab 30% off with this link and use the code BLOGPOST. Or maybe you'd like to try out the Skillshare membership option where you can access loads of courses and see how other people do it.

I'm currently thinking of a new course, I've got the bug! To keep up to date with any updates please like my facebook page.

Thank you for reading and getting all the way to the end..!

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