More and more people are turning away from traditional learning and choosing online courses as their source of knowledge. But there are thousands of online courses out there. Can you really compete with these numbers? Quite frankly, yes you can. If you offer your students the best online learning environment, that is. Are you tired of looking for ways to improve the way you run your online course? Here are 5 tips for running a successful online course that really work:
Have a Functional Website
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by just how many websites are experiencing functionality issues. If you want to run a successful online course you should be weary of your website functionality. Especially since it’s often the first point of contact people have with you. Make sure you leave a good impression. There are various signs that hint towards the need for a complete website overhaul that you should be weary of. If you’re guilty of any of these signs, it’s definitely time for a web makeover.
Offer Worthwhile Incentives
Online students expect that your online course should provide them with the knowledge and skills that are equivalent to that which they would receive at a physical learning centre, or even greater.
If you want to increase interest in your online course you should offer some incentives. Hey, sometimes people just need that extra push. So give them what they want.
What does your online course offer that others do not? What will they gain by completing your online course, what’s in it for them? You need to answer these questions from the get-go. Think of it as refining your marketing strategy. Don’t leave potential students second-guessing. Highlight the benefits that applicants can expect. This will attract greater interest for your online course, which is always good news.
Promote a Supportive Learning Environment
There are various strategies that help promote a supportive learning environment. Here are some:
- Begin each class with a personalized introduction. Show interest in the students. Don’t just jump into the course. And no, this does not mean talking about the weather. It should add value to the course. One way to begin the course is by doing a brief summary of the previous class to address the progress made by each student. This will show your students you actually care about their progress and not just see them as a means to a profitable end.
- Make an online group where students can interact with other students and their instructors. Whether it’s on your website forum, social media, Skype, having a platform that encourages communication is always a good idea. Students can get to know each other, share learning materials and open discussions.
- If your online course accommodates a larger number of students and communicating with each student separately is out of the question, then you should look to sending email reminders or progress checks. With these kinds of emails you can remind students of their next classes or you can email them for feedback. It only takes a several minutes, but the results can be outstanding. And with mass email providers such as MailChimp, it’s a piece of cake.
Use a Variety of Teaching Methodologies
Students love variety and choice. For this reason it’s a good idea to use a variety of teaching methodologies in your courses. Make sure to switch between audio, text and video to retain interest and keep students engaged.
Additionally, students enjoy learning using non traditional methods. And since your course is online, you might as well make the use of the latest trends to deliver the content. This will set you apart from the completion. Interact with your students using the latest learning technology and tools and ensure maximum engagement and satisfaction.
Build an App
Whether you’re at work, at home, at a restaurant, or even on the toilet seat, your mobile phone is probably within arm’s reach. And don’t worry – it’s not just you. Therefore you should take advantage of this mobile phone addiction. How? The answer is simple – create an app. This way, students can always have easy access to course materials and information. Hey, you can also earn something extra by monetizing some features of the app.
Running an online course can be a demanding task but it does pay off in the long run when you see the fruits of all your hard work. Make sure you cross off some of these tips off your checklist and rest assured that your online course will be booming.
If you have any other tips that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them in the comments section below!