Are you planning on creating an online course or taking an online course? These five big tips are for you no matter in what camp you are in currently.
An online course is good when it has continuous support from the course creator. The course is clearly structured, and you will get small wins during the course. A good online course has well-researched content and has hard to find knowledge in it. When you have tangible end results after taking a course, we can conclude the course was a good one.
So no matter if you are creating a course or taking one, the mentioned principles make up for an excellent online course.
What is sad, though, is that there’s so much variety on the level of online courses these days. One course might give you all the support you need, but the content is sub-par if even that.
One course might give you top of the class information and knowledge, but there’s no after purchase support, leaving you hanging with the information alone.
Maybe the biggest mistake course creators do is that they don’t deliver what they promise. Giving you false hopes of succeeding it, only to see that you missed the mark by a long shot.
So if you are purchasing a course, do make sure that these tips are present and that you know what you are getting into. And on the other hand, if you are creating a course, make sure that you hit these marks.
But enough of the intro, let’s get to the nitty-gritty, and just so you know, this is written from the customer’s point of view. So if you are creating a course, make sure you see what the customer is seeing.
H3 The 5 Big Tips!
- A community for continuous support
- Clear course structure
- Small wins along the way
- Tangible end results
- Well-researched content and hard to find insights
A community for continuous support
This is pretty much the most basic advice and tip I can give to you. It’s also the bare minimum a course should have, and while you might wonder why is that. Here’s the reason!
You will more than likely need help!
There’s pretty much always one or two questions that will arise during a course and what’s more important than having a support channel of some kind.
The course should have a Facebook group, a built-in community platform, discord channel, Slack community, or some other form of community.
The most important thing is that there should be some form of community around your course.
I remember when I took a course called a Six-Figure Blogger. Even though the course was pretty self-explanatory and well-made, I still had a few lingering questions, and if there hadn’t been a Facebook group for the course, I would’ve been alone with my questions.
So having that path to contact the course creator and ask questions is super important.
It also creates a better relationship between you and the creator, and there’s also a chance to go a bit deeper with the course that you’ve bought.
There are always courses that leave you wondering what it was that the creator meant or how to do something that was said in the course but not shown.
Community is a strong pillar that every course should have, and if it’s left behind, well, hopefully, the course is so well-made that no support is needed.
Clear course structure
While the course creator might have a very clear idea of how the course flows and what can be learned in what lesson and module. The end result for you might be very different.
You, as a student, might not be able to connect the dots, so having a clear course structure is a must.
Every lesson and every module needs to be in chronological order, so to say. Even if you were taking a course on digital marketing best practices, and while it might seem like there’s no real reason for a specific topic to taught in any particular order.
However, even in this case, a course creator should start with the foundational things first. What is digital marketing? What different elements are in it? What are leads? How to get leads? And so on.
If a course starts from how to get leads, when a person doesn’t even know what digital marketing or leads are, then the learning curve is pretty steep.
So the course has to start with the correct knowledge and understanding who is it that is taking the course.
So you, as a customer, should read the course curriculum very carefully and decide whether the course is flowing in the correct order and if the course ahs all the things you need.
Is the course thorough enough, or is there something where it lacks a big-time?
Small wins along the way
An excellent course creates small wins for the students. The pricier the course, the more wins you would like to get. Buying a $1,997 course with zero wins feels a bit of a failure (both to you and for the creator).
A good example is a course about website development. Inside the course, there could be a lesson where the course creator would take you through the whole process, and at the end of the lesson, you would have developed a fully functioning webpage, for example.
That is a small win — something that the student can accomplish and something that gives real results. Even if the end result of the course is something totally different, there could be these little wins that would keep the student motivated to complete the course.
Motivation, perseverance, grit, are all the same when it comes to learning new things. We all need these things when learning gets tough.
To boost motivation, a win now and then keeps the spirit up, and keeps us going. If it were all downhill all the time, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a lot of people failing and quitting an online course way before the end.
Small wins also give you a good feeling of progress. You’ve achieved something that you were not able to achieve before.
I remember taking One Funnel Away Challenge training a little while ago. And I think this was one of those courses that enabled me to achieve these small wins on a daily basis. The course structure was clear, and the objective of every lesson was apparent. Also, every lesson you were meant to achieve this one thing, and when you did, you felt awesome.
So if a lesson can give that good feeling progress and getting things done, then we can say that it’s one of the things that makes an online course good.
Tangible end results
Possibly the biggest and most important thing that an online course needs to have or give. Whenever you buy an online course, you are looking for a change. You are looking for a way to get somewhere or to know something new.
We, as of course takers, want a change. We want the knowledge that is otherwise unreachable. We seek to know more, and we aim to make a change in our lives.
Whenever I buy an online course, I’m very precise on what is the outcome I’m looking for and if that course is going to provide that to me.
While we both know that no online course can help you if you don’t do what is told in the course if you don’t do the work.
With many online courses, there are bigger and smaller promises made. Some offer you a new skill, a new business model, a new funnel, Pinterest traffic, a money-making blog, etc. There are a lot of promises, but can that course keep those promises?
That is the big question. Can the course deliver on its promise? Can you get results with the course, or is the course full of fluff and no tangible results.
I once thought that by buying a course, I would get the knowledge to get to a certain place in life, only to realize later that I wasn’t ready for the course. I wasn’t prepared to execute what was necessary.
There are always those who are better equipped than you or me. When they buy a course, there’s a higher chance for them to get results, and it’s only because they are more prepared for it.
If this all feels too abstract, here’s a good example of what I’m talking about.
I once bought an online course called Six-Figure Blogger. Yes, it’s the same course I mentioned before (I still like the course so that you know). So at the time, I purchased the course, I wanted so badly to get that six-figure income from my blog, but for you to achieve that, you need traffic and guess what. I didn’t have the traffic necessary for it.
So while I didn’t get results at the time, I did learn a bunch of new things. So we could say I got some results, BUT I did not get the six-figure results I was “promised.”
So when you buy an online course, do make sure that you are set. You have the needed qualities, capabilities, equipment, skills, etc. to achieve the tangible results that are promised in the course.
Well-researched content and hard to find insights
As the last piece of advice or tip, I would say that well-researched content and hard to find industry insights are the thing that makes an online course good.
It’s not hard to rehash old content and content found online to something “new.”
Where I see improvement being made, is when a course presents topics, knowledge, and insights that they have combined themselves through years of execution.
That is what makes content excellent and pure gold when it is something that is piercing a hole in the content bubble and creating another layer of knowledge to an already solid bubble if there’s even such a thing.
A good example is a course called Consulting Accelerator 2.0, where Sam Ovens teaches you how to become a consultant. Sam did more than 1600 cold-calls during the time he was building his consulting business that way.
During those 1600 calls, he was able to solidify a method to acquire high-paying clients in one single phone call. That is what is called, creating content that is new and innovative.
So when a course creator has created something that is never seen before, then we can be sure that it’s the highest quality you can get.
What makes an excellent online course?
A course that has knowledge not found anywhere else, and when that knowledge yields tangible results for the student, for you. When a course has a support channel for the student to get help. When the course has a clear structure and easy to follow lessons and modules. When it motivates you with small wins and keeps invested to the end of the course.
That is when we can say that an online course is good.