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Levy, Suzanne. Liu, Y. Cognitive Styles and Distance Education. McCombs, B. A learner-centered framework for e-learning. Teachers College Record, 8 , Mills, Roger and Alan Tait Editor. Supporting the Learner in Open and Distance Learning. Trans-Atlantic Publications, Incorporated. Novak, G. Pelz, W.

Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. June, Richardson, John T. Open University Press. Sadik, A. Sanchez, I. Understanding and supporting the culturally diverse distance learner. Gibson, C. Shank, P. Simoncelli, A. N, Simpson, O. Kogan Page.

Articles for Online Course Designers, Instructors, and Learning Center Administrators and Staff

Smith, T. Trentin, G. The roles of tutors and experts in designing online education courses. Distance Education, 20 1 , Waterhouse, S. Williams; G. Workman, J. Before you film your videos, you should have a general idea of what each video should accomplish and the key points you need to hit.

Remember, you're providing a shortcut to a transformation , so you want to bring your students results as efficiently as possible. This means: Don't add extra content for the sake of adding content. The value of your course comes from the quality of your content and transformation, not from how long your videos are, or how many of them you have. From there you can divide those steps out into lessons or modules and plan videos out for each. Using the Teachable Curriculum editor it's easy to map out your lesson plan and rearrange sections as you see fit. Your lessons should build on each other and provide your students with little wins along the way so they can see their progress and stay excited about taking your online course.

Once you've got your lesson plan mapped out, you should write out your script to get each video right the first time. My script writing method is fairly simple, and it's something I touched on during the previous step, too. Then I rearrange those bullet points into an order that makes the most sense for me. I might elaborate on each of those bullet points, but for the most part I keep it simple because even though I am, I don't want to sound like I'm reading off of a script.

By not writing out what you want to say word for word, you'll sound more natural.

We've already talked about setting up a studio and the different types of videos you can create. Now, we'll go more in-depth into how you can actually go about creating those videos. Showing your face in that first video will help your audience better connect with you. Getting over camera shyness. Someone mentioned to me that they'd love to do sit down videos but they're camera shy so they don't feel like it's in the cards for them. Silly name, functional idea. Floating head videos are essentially when you've got a video within a slide.

Creating floating head videos is fairly simple, all you need to do is design slides make sure to leave space in the bottom right area for your video so you don't block any text! On a side note, we have resources that will allow you to learn how to use Screenflow. The most basic type of video you can make is a slideshow with a voice over. These are great if you want to get things done as quickly as possible without having to worry about filming yourself. They still provide a great deal of value.

Once you've got all of your content designed and recorded, editing can be an entire new battle in itself. Video editing isn't hard once you get the hang of the program you're using, but unfortunately, it seems like every single program has an entirely different learning curve. I use Windows Movie Maker and Camtasia for my videos, so those are the two programs I'll be walking you through in the video. For my Mac friends, know that ScreenFlow is going to work very similarly to Camtasia, and there are hundreds of iMovie videos on YouTube that can help you learn the ropes.

If I'm being honest - Windows Movie Maker isn't a great program because it's features are very basic, but it gets the job done. Adding voice overs is a lot trickier on Windows Movie Maker than it is with other programs, but I'll do my best to explain it though I recommend watching the video!

Camtasia makes editing all three types of videos easy, but the biggest perk is that you can create floating head videos effortlessly. When you're making a floating head video in Camtasia, all you'll need to do is open up your slides to full screen in whichever program you're using, open Camtasia's "Record Screen" option, and turn on the microphone and webcam.

From there you can adjust the size of the video and where you want it to fit on the screen. By going in with a plan and knowing exactly what you're accomplishing with each video, you'll be able to confidently film great content for your course. And no matter which program you're using to edit, learn the ropes before you get started and get comfortable with the program. Launching your online course brings back a lot of the same feelings that the end of the school year brought back in high school.

You were excited for the break so you could relax, but at the same time, the end of the year was always stressful having to play catch up and study for finals.

Making Sense of Online Learning: A Guide for the Beginners and the Truly Skeptical

When it comes to your course, you're beyond excited to wrap things up and unwind after all of the hard work you put into it, but you're also worried - what if your launch doesn't go well? What if it's a complete flop? First off, let me ease your mind: You're not going to flop. You've done everything right up to this point, and things are looking good. Take a deep breath, and get ready to finally launch your online course. A few steps ago, we talked about growing your audience to launch your online course, now that we've got that audience, though, how should we go about selling to them?

This time last year I would have said, "Host a webinar, send an email, and hope for the best? There should be 2 phases to your launch strategy:. Just because they gave you their email last month doesn't mean that they're ready to buy. You need to wine and dine them a bit and show them why your course is important and why you're reliable.

Slowly introduce yourself again through your education phase. This education phase can last days depending on how long you want to grow your list before launching. You should send:. You're sending these emails to show your audience what you're capable of and what you've got to offer.

So what do you put into these emails? Write them like a newsletter, not like sales copy. We'll start selling later. Here at Teachable, we call our signature email sequence the Crazy 8 Launch Strategy because it lasts 8 days. Now you can launch over just a few days or stretch it out over a few weeks, but we've seen the data and crunched the numbers and 8 days seems to be the sweet spot.

Over 8 days you're going to send a strategic set of emails that build anticipation, excitement, and urgency that effectively urge people to buy. Your list is comprised of your number one fans at this point and they care about you and most won't unsubscribe. As expected, I received some unsubscribes, but nothing really out of the ordinary.

I trusted her to deliver high quality content and 2. Here's an example from when we launched The Profitable Teacher here at Teachable. In this email you going to describe what's in your course.

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Remember a few steps ago when we talked about using benefit driven language on your sales page? This is the time to break out that language again. Here's an example, though we deviated slightly having the course open that night. Today is the day! Don't be nervous, it's going to be great! Today your course opens and you start making money. This is a big email and you want to knock everyone's socks off. Here's an example:. Your audience is going to have questions and a lot of them and you don't want to tediously go through every single individual one oftentimes answering the same question more than once so you'll need to address the questions in your FAQ.

In this email you want to answer the logistical questions about your course:. In addition to the logistical emails, you might want to talk a bit more about your topic. My course is on Instagram themes so I might answer a few questions like this:. Here was ours:.

Here's where you get to tap into everyone's love for freebies and surprises and offer an exclusive bonus for anyone buying your course. Build excitement. And make that surprise killer! Whatever it is, make sure it's valuable. We didn't have this type of email in our recent launch, but we should have!

If you've done this,tweet me a screenshot of your email hellomorgantimm and I'll add you to the post! FreeAdvertising, y'all! Your audience has graciously allowed you to grace their inboxes every day for the past five days, so let's show some appreciation. Make sure to thank everyone for reading your emails and being part of your launch. Write from the heart and in your voice. Say "I never expected this This kind of language also builds social proof.

It shows that people have bought your course and are happy with it and you may even bring in a few additional sales here. For our launch, we included a bunch of testimonials in previous emails. At this point, your launch is almost over. You're probably a bit exhausted, but hopefully excited by the amount of money you've made. In this email, you're going to say that your course is closing.

Build a logical argument for why it make sense to buy now, reference the surprise bonus and build an urgency around getting the course before it's too late. This day has the potential to be your most profitable day. Anyone on edge is going to either buy your course now or not at all. That's why you want to finish strong and send 3 emails. Yes, 3 emails. Email 1 - send at am:. Email 2: pm:. Send a mid-day reminder that cart is closing, how thankful you are and how wonderful the course launch has been.

Email 3: 1 hour before cart closes: Last chance. This is a quick email outlining that this is the last chance to get the course, it's going away, NOW! There is so much that goes into it and you're going to be spending a lot of time writing and prepping, so give yourself a pat on the back - you did it! I really do recommend executing the Crazy 8 Launch Strategy, but you can supplement that with other methods, too. As someone who lives and breathes blogging, you had to know this would make the list. If you haven't captured their email to add to your list yet, the least you can do is put your online course on their radar.

Blogs are a great platform for getting information out to the general public, so if you have one I'd be sure to announce your course there. Webinars are live trainings related to your online course. They are typically around an hour long, give or take, and provide a lot of value. Your webinar should be introducing your course topic, letting your audience know why it's important, and teaching them something, too. They talk about their course topic, and why it's important, but they offer nothing else and their audience ends up frustrated because they lost out on an hour of their day.

Your webinar should be more than just a sales pitch. Here's our post on how to create a webinar that converts. I can't log onto Facebook anymore without seeing ads for online courses, and if you know how to set them up the right way Facebook Ads can be incredibly valuable. You can direct your Facebook Ads to your course sales page, or if you set your ads up far enough before launch you can direct them to a content upgrade so you can get your leads into your sales funnel.

The benefit of adding people to your sales funnel rather than directly to your sales page is that you're able to qualify those leads over the course of your email launch. There are so many benefits to running a Facebook Group relevant to your course topic. As an admin of a Facebook Group, you can announce when your course goes live and get feedback from your audience there.

The Facebook group is more of a community builder, but I will be making the community aware of the course launch. I'm sure you already guessed this one - but I will be writing a blog post announcing my online course. Additionally, I'll be adding sales copy to all of my existing Instagram posts, too. I am starting with warming my list back up and getting them excited about Instagram themes. I'm sending out freebies, growth guides, and other bonuses all revolving around Instagram before launching into our signature Crazy 8 Launch Strategy. It's been a great journey introducing you all to this series and walking you through step by step, but it's now coming to an end.

Morgan Timm is a content marketer at Teachable with a background in blogging and social media. She runs Mostly Morgan , a life and style blog that reaches an audience of 40, people monthly. Build your online business like a pro Join , other online entrepreneurs and get the latest tips to grow your business and create online courses that sell Subscribe.

Download now. Our biggest event of the year Thank you! We're prepping your download and will send it to your inbox in the next 5 minutes. Get free resources. Morgan Timm Aug 16, What are your passions? You know, the things you could talk about for hours and hours? What are you skilled at?

When people come to you for help, what are they asking about? What are you experienced with? Maybe you've got experience with a career path or an online program. Search for Facebook groups. Online forums. Twitter hashtags. Get our massive course creation bundle! This is the most complete free bundle of resources to help you create an online course.

Download the bundle! This is a common hang up among people creating courses in more creative fields. Your audience could learn your topic on their own. Without you and your course, your audience might spend ten times the amount of time sifting through information, videos and blog posts trying to figure this out on their own. Somebody else is already teaching your course topic for less.

Oftentimes people are buying your course for you and your unique perspective. Even if someone else in your niche is teaching the same topic, you can still be successful by highlighting what makes your course unique. Whatever it is that makes your offer different - make sure to highlight it and use it as a selling point. They will be far more likely to spend money on your offering.

Create a workbook. To accompany your online course, consider creating a workbook that your students can refer to and fill out while they go through your curriculum. Workbooks can increase the value of your online course by twenty-five to fifty dollars. Schedule a few throughout the life of your course for different times of the day so you can capture as many of your students as possible. Offer consulting. Create a community. You can easily create a Facebook group or a community on Slack. From there you can decide how tightly monitored your community will be.

Improve the production quality of your course. If you are using professional tools to create your course, or even hiring professionals to help your produce it, then the quality of the lectures and content themselves will be high enough to justify a higher price point. You can increase the value of your course by several hundred dollars by improving the production quality of your course.

You can also create a great studio set-up at home for cheap but we'll go over that on the next step. Weekly office hours. Consider setting up a time each week where you will be online and available to your students. You can create a thread or channel in your community, or even set up a new lecture in your school and host your office hours there. This is a time where your students can ask you questions and get your feedback. You can increase the value of your course by one hundred dollars by offering weekly office hours.

Devote more time to each student. Get creative! We have listed only a handful of different bonuses you can add, but the options are limitless. Perhaps your course is geographic specific, in that case, you can plan an in person meetup. The sky's the limit! Offering students a space that's exclusive to them where they can share progress and offer their input is a great way to increase value.

It will have questions for them to consider and answer, as well as examples. I'm providing a guide breaking down the pros and cons of different apps. Download our massive online course creation bundle! We gathered of the most useful files you can use to build your online course all in once place. Download the ebook! Trust seals, like a money back guarantee. Branding the page to my business: I made sure to use the same colors on my sales page that I do on my blog to keep things cohesive. I've seen successful instructors with mini novels on their sales page and it's worked for them, but it's not something I could get away with.

Download Making Sense Of Online Learning A Guide For Beginners And The Truly Skeptical

Use benefit driven language. Make it about your customers rather than about you. Let them know what they'll get from taking your course and how they are going to benefit. They don't care that you've been studying your course topic for ten years, they're more interested in what that means for them.

Use clear calls to action. Share your transformation. Straight out say, "By the end of this course, you will XYZ. Be personable. It might seem super tempting to come across as professionally as you can and in some cases that's your best bet , but more often than not, showing off your personality a bit will strengthen your sales page. Don't be afraid to throw in informal language or a few silly puns, if that's you then your audience will love it. Learn from the best.

There is no shame in taking inspiration from beautiful sales pages so long as you aren't copying them. If you see a sales page you love ask yourself what's so great about it and see if you can't replicate that greatness. Don't waste money on poor or unnecessary equipment! Here's our list of favorites. Download the guide. Write down everything I need to cover in the video. This is stream of consciousness and I don't worry about organizing it in any particular order because I am just trying to get everything onto paper.

Organize it chronologically. This is where you refine step one. Break it down and decide the order you'll present your content in. Create bullet points. I use my bullet list to practice what I'm going to say out loud. Your lighting will make or break your video quality. Your best bet is to use a natural light source like a window or sliding glass door. This option is free but delivers professional results. I use a Ring Light , but you can get umbrella lights for cheaper. Both will deliver beautiful results. If you aren't using a plain wall or sheet, make sure the background isn't cluttered at all.

You might not think a sloppy background is a big deal, but people will notice. I mentioned that I film in the basement - that's because it's the quietest area in my house and I've been able to set up a nice studio that won't be messed with. Think pillows, blankets, or spare matress pads. Creating our lesson plan. In theory, we know the transformation we'd like to bring our students to, but how do we actually plan that out and create a curriculum that will accomplish what we'd like? Producing our videos. When should we sit down and talk to the camera rather than use slides?

Do we use just a voiceover on our slides, or opt for the floating heads? How do you even create floating head videos, anyway? An inside look at editing. Uploading your content to Teachable. This step is easy as can be, but I'll show all you new Teachable users just how easy it is. Featuring a replay of the Teachable Summit Webinar with Caleb Wojcik, this webinar covers how to create videos for your courses at home and the best tricks for easy video editing.

Get the replay. You knew I was going to say this one, huh? It's obvious, but the more you do something the better you'll get. I think I filmed my first video five different times before I felt even a little comfortable, and now that I've been filming every week it's just a normal thing. The first time is terrifying - the tenth time it's habit. As silly as it might feel, practice talking in front of the camera - you don't even have to be talking about anything course related. The more often you're in front of the camera, the easier it'll get.

Don't watch yourself in the viewfinder.

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If you have a flip out screen, use it to focus your camera and then turn it away. If you're watching yourself you're going to be worried that you look ridiculous, or wondering if you should have worn a blue shirt instead of your gray one. Know what you're going to say before you start filming.

This is where the script comes in handy. If you have a good idea of what you're going to say and you're not flying by the seat of your pants, you'll have a lot less to worry about. Even practicing your script just once or twice before getting started will help you be more confident in front of the camera. Setting starting points. When you're filming, most likely the first ten seconds of your video won't be usable.


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They'll be you adjusting, looking at yourself in the viewfinder, and mentally preparing to start speaking. To get rid of those ten seconds, drag the bar to right before you start speaking and hit the "I" button on your keyboard. That will set your start point. Splitting a clip.

We all mess up during filming - it's part of being human - but that means extra work editing out those slip ups. To get rid of your mistakes, drag the bar to where your mistake begins and hit the "M" key on your keyboard. This splits the clip. Now you can drag your bar to where the mistake ends and either hit the "I" key again to set the start point for that clip, or you can hit the "M" key again which will split the clip on the other end, isolating your mistake. When the mistake is isolated, you can click it to select and then hit the "delete" key on your keyboard. Setting ending points.