I know, I get it!
Right now you’re probably thinking, “Who needs another course?”
Or perhaps your thought goes something like this: “I’m too busy to create a course and certainly don’t have time to take a course on course creation!”
Or even, “I’ll just watch some free videos or attend some webinars. I don’t need a course to teach me what to do. Besides, how could someone else ever really understand my circumstances and business?”
Maybe you’ve tried to create a course or even started piecing together some content or modules but can’t cross the finish line.
Perhaps time is holding you back. Maybe the issue is a lack of confidence that leads to analysis paralysis. Overall, you’re just unsure about how to proceed. Maybe it’s the tech. Maybe it’s because you believe you lack expertise or “enough” expertise to formally teach others your methods. Maybe the idea of recording videos freaks you out.
The point is that there are hundreds of reasons why people are reluctant to create their own courses and even more reluctant to enroll in a course on courses.
As stated, I totally understand. Even though the online education market is expected to be worth $ 87.51 billion (USD) by the end of 2024, limiting beliefs and bad experiences still plague us.
It is due to these latter reasons that my personal and professional mission is to help coaches, consultants, and subject-matter experts let go of these crushing beliefs and to restore the credibility of online learning, one course at a time.
My vision for digital courses is that life-changing results will be the norm, not the exception, which is why I advocate for creating high-value or high-ticket courses.
It was the late summer of 2002, a time of trial and intense pressure for me. I faced a challenge: I had six weeks to create my first four-month, sophomore-level college credit online course about world literature.
At my desk, filled with books and articles about online course design, I realized the enormity of the task. My small office felt even more cramped as I started to plan.
This online course was a new venture at the University where I taught, without any existing examples to follow.
I had a lot of information and skills to organize into a practical and motivating course. The question was how to do it.
The initial days were spent understanding the scope of the task. Then, I began exploring different teaching strategies, learning theories, and various technological tools.
And one day it hit me. A statement from one of my mentors: “Focus on what’s essential. Start from the core.”
I began by writing down what I considered to be the essential foundations of literary analysis, and the impossible task started to seem more and more feasible.
With one week left (before the semester began), I had a working blueprint for my course. The following days, I tirelessly refined and streamlined the curriculum, ensuring that each module, live session, and activity had a clear purpose in the overall journey.
I went on to design and develop more online and blended courses and soon began mentoring and tutoring my colleagues on translating their expertise into the online medium.
Eventually, I discovered that I enjoyed coaching them more than I did teaching composition and literature, and thus, my digital course obsession was born! From here, I returned to graduate school and earned another Master’s degree, this time in Instructional Design and Learning Technologies.
So, what’s the moral of this story?
If I can do it, so can you. I firmly believe that everyone has a digital course in them just waiting to be unleashed. We are all experts in and highly skilled at something. I also wholeheartedly believe that you can learn how to design, develop, and deliver motivational and meaningful online programs.
But I don’t want you to experience the stress and pressure I did…no way.
And this is why I am devoted to crafting courses on courses: To help you cut through the noise, as they say, streamline the creation process, and inspire you to efficiently design and develop a course (or a series of courses) that will change your life and the lives of your learners.
Alas, however, we are still challenged by our insecurities and hesitations.
…because most online courses in the entrepreneurial space are crappy.
And why is this?
Because they are primarily designed by marketers and other professionals who lack any training in or even knowledge about how people learn best – about instructional design and learning science.
And so courses on courses are only “designed” (I use this term loosely, here) by people who have cherry-picked their audience and thus have only created courses in a vacuum, never having designed learning experiences outside of their niche or for different audiences and never having learned even the basics of “good” design or best practices.
They created a “course” (another loosely used term) or two and had some people enroll, so now they are experts in course creation.
In fact, what many so-called creators label as “courses” are really just a series of re-purposed how-to trainings (usually recordings of webinars or Facebook lives). There is no intentional or purposeful design – no curriculum – only a series of videos, and if you’re lucky, maybe a Google doc or a PDF or two.
Beyond that, you are just left to your own devices. There is no motivation or inspiration to actually implement or apply what you just paid to learn how to do. You are just expected to go out and do it because someone “told” you what to do.
And so we are left with information-only courses on courses.
Now, don’t get me wrong! Information is not bad. We all need instructions and information on what to do, but most pseudo-courses only stop here, and you end up paying hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for this information.
Many “course” creators have honest intentions: To help people like themselves by sharing their experiences. However, unfortunately, just as many, if not more, do not have such noble motivations. They see digital courses as the quickest path to cash. They don’t care about results or the fact that a true course is an experience (or set of experiences) and a journey.
Consequently, they simply ignore learners once they get them in the course. All they want to do is move you on to their next, higher-priced product or service and make more money. That’s it!
If you do learn something, great. If you don’t, oh well. It’s probably your fault anyway. “Come on,” they say, “I gave you all the information or told you what to do!”
To be clear, I’m all for making money, but I sincerely believe in making an impact and an income. When the love of money is the only basis for creating a course, we all lose.
Perhaps I’m too cynical, idealistic, or even naïve. What do you think?