Launching online classes for your learners require expertise in information technology, software development, and design. Hence, if you are wondering how to start online classes without having those skills, this article would be your saviour.
If you have never launched a course online, the whole process might seem a little intimidating to you. From researching your competitor to approaching your target audience and creating a course which sells, there is just so much to do. Rather than feeling lost and wondering how to proceed, follow this step-by-step guide.
Higher education & skills development continues to evolve in the virtual age. Avenues for an online education business in India has open of late. Online courses are being pioneered which has created a fertile ground for VCs and startups to champion new ideas for the future of learning.
Starting an online education business in India can be one of the most profitable ventures provided certain cohesive steps are taken care of.
Step by Step Guide: How to Start Online Classes
Validate Your Course Idea
Validating your idea primarily aims at answering ‘how would you evaluate demand before investing your time & efforts into creating your course.’
Validating your idea requires thorough research at your side before you actually start implementing it. You must determine its existence and reach beforehand. Later on, sought feedback from people whom you trust. So many budding entrepreneurs have this tendency of getting stuck in “idea lock”. When you strictly believe in your idea, regardless of what others think, then it is time to reassess.
If your idea sounds rocking, set a prototype of the course. See if you’ll really use it once you start building a brand around it. Finally, you should work out a plan as to how you are going to attract your potential learners to check out your course.
Create an overview of the multiple ways you can create and deliver content. The delivery model is an important aspect in determining your online content type. For example, if your primary models are ad hoc online courses then you must create multimedia course content to fully engage learners coming from diverse fields. However, if your models are somewhat like educational partnerships, flipped classrooms, and MOOCs then it totally depends upon your target audience and the objective you are trying to achieve.
High-Quality Video Content / Online Live Lectures
Recording your own videos as a form of virtual lectures is an integrated part of marketing communications. Videos are essential for a well-rounded marketing plan and ignoring this opportunity would only cost you your ability to reach those you can influence.
You can release a part of your recorded lectures online for free either through YouTube or as a free bonus chapter. If you are producing your videos at home, you don’t need a studio set up thousands of dollars. You can use some hacks as well as purchase only the necessary equipment while creating video content. Here are a few things that you might look at:
- Production and script development
- Types of equipment to use
- Getting the best lighting
- Audio considerations
- Postproduction effects
- Publishing it online
ScreenFlow/ TOC Walkthrough
A comprehensive walkthrough of the Table of Content in the form of ScreenFlow gives learners an overview of the course outline. If the targeted audience is well, it surely gives a positive impact on gauging learners.
Marketplace and LMS Reviews
Udemy and Coursera are marketplaces with substantial limitations. On the other hand, LMS like Graphy, Teachable etc are great to build your online education business empire.
Hosting & Selling Your Course
The first step is to decide whether you want your branded online course website or want to sell on marketplaces. LMS like Graphy offers people the chance to sell through their own branded websites using easy-to-use course-building tools.
If you want to be competitive in your field, I recommend you to choose an LMS. You must go check out the top 3 criteria before choosing an LMS.
Create Course Content That Works
In today’s world, technology is the last thing you need to worry about. There are various tools and platforms to help you out with that aspect.
This article would be more focused on the overview of content creation.
Step 1: To start online classes define your training goals
The purpose of launching your online classes should be clear. Determine your business metric and the impact you want to create through the courses. If you are an established business you could be taking online classes for different purposes. For example, one of the reasons could be to train your clients about how to use certain tools.
On the other hand, if you are into the education business, you could be launching online classes to teach students beyond the four walls. Get it clear in the first step itself.
The three items you’ll need to define in the first step.
- Business goal: Define what are the financial and other growth outcomes you expect to bring into your business through your courses.
- Teaching Goal: Define the teaching goals behind the launch of your course. Whether to help your clients master a tool or to teach a subject or help your customers use your products better.
- Learning objectives: You need to clearly define what your learners will achieve by the end of the course.
Step 2: Outline your online classes
Divide the whole module into folders and sub-folders, containing topics and sub-topics. While planning out the whole module, keep in mind the learning objective.
Keep yourself in the place of the learners and try to determine the flow of your course content that would be most effective. Plan out a combination of the form of content that would be more engaging. Our educators who create audiovisual content like videos or teach online live classes have apparently seen higher engagement.
Once you are done with the module planning, establish a tentative delivery timeline for those content. Make sure you document them.
Step 3: Build your online course content
The real work comes into play at this step.
You would start creating online course content at this step. However, the process need not be time-consuming.
Put together all the information you have accumulated till the current date.
Gather Developed Content
Think thoroughly and gather the content you already have developed. All the PowerPoint presentations, digital copies, training manuals, pre-recorded videos, product demos, support articles or any other form of content must be placed together.
Now, it’s time to organize those pieces in a cohesive manner. Don’t get overwhelmed by the overabundance of files you have gathered. It could lead to distraction. Hence, keep your content precise. Select only those materials which are in alignment with your learning objectives.
Now that your content is organized, determine the content you’ll need to update or develop from scratch.
In order to address new active learners, try to engage in a diverse group of learning styles by creating an all-inclusive curriculum.
Step 4: Engage your target learners
Now that you are done with the substantial part of creating online classes, it’s time to deliver it to your target audience. You have to plan on how to effectively deliver your course to your learners. The accessibility of your course is just as important as the content itself. If learners can’t access your course, they would never be able to see the course content.
By “accessibility” we’re referring to a learner’s first encounter of the course. It could be the course link or landing page. Structure the process of discovering your course of buying them in a way that is easy to navigate and value-filled.
You have many options to simplify online course access for your learners:
- Email the course access link
- Embed the link on your website
- Share the links on your social media channels.
- Include the link in products used by your learners.
- Send the course access link through a text.
- Provide the link in a chat channel
Based on the type of course platform you choose, you should enable the above options to introduce the course to your audience.
Step 5: Measure the engagement metrics
Once the learners have purchased the online course, track their progress and other metrics in your dashboard. Usually, platforms like Graphy provide a full-fledged sales dashboard to instructors.
- Measure the metrics.
- Use them for the course evaluation & feedback.
- Improve your course as you proceed.
Take your first set of learners as the sample learners who will provide you with their input regarding the flow of the program. Whether the training progress is logical or whether they stumble at certain points during the online classes. Obtaining their feedback would enable you to perfect the program before its official launch.
At this stage, if any technical glitches pop up, you can notify the service provider to get it rectified. If your mic didn’t work well or the video recording didn’t turn out to be smooth, you will have ample time to improvise and upload better content. In addition, you can also do the following to gain traction:
Pricing & Discounts
While pricing your course, you should offer discounts and subscription revenue models. Do some research to figure out how your industry leaders are doing. Consider your target audience as well as their paying capacity, and price your products accordingly.
Multiple Products & Bundling
You can offer multiple courses individually or in a package. This helps is upscaling when running an online education business.
Internet Marketing & Promotion
When you plan to sell online, you must devise a strategy to gauge your potential learners online too. Your digital marketing strategy must include the following:
- Personal selling
- Lead Generation
- Public relations
- Direct marketing
Opening an online education business requires extensive research and dedication. But, it’s worth the hard work and hustle. It can be very profitable and satiable in terms of educating to a massive population at competitive rates.
Conduct live online classes for your learners
The ed-tech landscape has been brimming with various buzzwords that sometimes it becomes hard to grasp its concept. One of the most popular features being seen in the education industry is to conduct live online classes.
Online live classes or the virtual classroom brings learners from around the world together under one virtual roof. The classes conducted are highly interactive. It greatly reduces travel time and on-site teaching expenses.
The virtual classroom is a one-stop solution for live delivery, doubt clearing sessions, and improved user interaction. Live classes address the entire business of creating and managing the teaching-learning process.
Traditional Classroom Vs Virtual Classroom
Even the goal of both types of teaching methods are similar, they differ in the way of its presentation and reach. Both types of classrooms aim at bringing together educators and learners under one roof.
In one hand, the traditional classroom brings together both the parties physically inside a room. The participation happens physically face to face where they interact with each other while being aware of the whole physical surrounding.
On the other hand, the same set of participants come together in a tech-enabled online roof where the whole classroom is attending the class from different locations.
Although the traditional classroom is more interactive, you can bring the same level of engagement by conducting live online classes through a powerful LMS like Graphy.
There are a few key components of a virtual classroom. You must look for these features while choosing an LMS to conduct live online classes.
Why Educators Must Conduct Live Online Classes
So, you have already launched your online courses.
Or, planning to launch one!
A powerful live class platform to gauge learners and make them fall in love with your online course platform.
Live online classes allow both learners as well as instructors to connect beyond the physical boundaries.
There is no classroom rent as well as that sort of expense involved in the live classes. Learners save money and time by not commuting as well as paying a relatively low online fee. On the other hand, teachers have a huge cost cut down too.
Online classes allow learners to learn at their own pace without worrying about the limited hours. This feature is especially helpful for professionals or students learning a skill beyond their conventional career demands.
Practical and Proven
In live classes, learners take part in the interaction as well as clear their doubts in real-time. There are more tools involved in the process which makes the learning effective and fun.
Conduct online training, webinar, share your screen, or do video conferencing. You can leverage this educational technology in more ways than you probably can imagine.
Sessions can be recorded
You can record your lectures while conducting the live class. Not just that, that lecture would be saved in your asset library that you can re-use to create or upload new content for the course. For the learners who missed your lectures, you can make that recorded video available to them. All of this is possible through Graphy.
Zero Coding Skills
It requires zero coding skills to own a platform like this. So there is no reason why you shouldn’t be upgrading to it.
If you conduct live online classes, you will have the edge over other educators operating in your domain. These little features separate an established brand from an amateur one.
Use white-label software for your LMS and incorporate your own branding and design. Include your company’s logo and buy a domain name that is short and catchy. This will ensure that your online course platform presents a professional image.
Once, you run through the five steps outlined in this post to start online classes, it will be increasingly easier for you to do the online course creation. Through the process, you would be able to gain tremendous insight into your target learners and their interest. Along with helping learners by providing online classes, you would also be able to achieve your business goals.