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The 3 keys to ensuring success in your e-learning course

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In the flourishing field of e-learning, everyone wants their place in the sun. As such, the market is growing by the day and competition is becoming increasingly stiff. Especially for freelance trainers who are not well known and do not have a large platform.

Whether this is your first or your tenth course, the question remains the same: are you in the process of creating a training course that will work?

You know as well as we do that it would be a bad idea to embark on a process to create a training course without knowing if your offer will meet with the success it deserves. When you are solely in control, moreover, it is hard to take a step back and obtain the necessary feedback to know which path to take.

The aim of this article is to guide you to make the best possible choices based on a single population: your future learners. This method derives from the teachings of Geneviève Gauvin, a freelancer who helps other freelancers in getting started.

Before we start, there is a prerequisite for this guide: you must already have a community, i.e. people who know you and know your activity. There is no limit to the size or age of this community, however small it may be. If no-one follows you or knows you yet, however, follow this step first.

Step 1: the very idea of your course is attractive

The aim of this step is to make your prospects understand that your course is designed for them. Your goal? To design your presentation and content so well that your prospects understand the nature of the course. They see straight away that your modules address a problem they encounter.

The 2 key steps

1. The subject and goal of your training are specific.

Why a specific subject? So as not to spread yourself too thinly and create a bulldozer training course that serves no real purpose.

Why a specific goal? So that prospects can understand it, achieve it and obtain a sense of satisfaction when they realize it.

How to proceed? Analyse your training idea: can you divide it up into sub-parts? Could it be split into several courses? If so, consider offering a range of courses or at least several themes. Otherwise, your course is already specific enough.

2. Specify your target.

Why a specific target? By addressing everyone and anyone, you address no-one. You therefore lose out on the chance of reaching the right people.

How to proceed? Analyse two parameters: the experience and behaviour of your target. Their experience corresponds to their level of knowledge about the subject. Their behaviour corresponds more to their profile, expectations, fears etc.

Phase 2: get the community to validate your idea

You no doubt think that your course is both useful and innovative, but you may be the only one to think this. This, in any case, is what you need to verify next.

Don’t forget that you are creating the course for your community, not for yourself. If the community doesn’t validate your idea, you need to rework it.

Tip: contact prospects. When you have defined your target, choose 5 people in your entourage or outside your circle (thank you LinkedIn!) and ask them a set of questions. What questions? Try:

  1. What concerns you most about your current situation?
  2. What will happen if your situation doesn’t change?
  3. What do you need to resolve your problem?
  4. If you resolve the problem, how will it change your life?
  5. What would drive you to take my course?
  6. What would hold you back?

Your aim here is to find out the fears, the obstacles, the needs and the expectations of your target. On the one hand, you prove or disprove your intuitions and, on the other hand, you recover components of their language. This is always useful for your communications.

Phase 3: your community is impatient for one thing: to start your course

You now know what you are going to offer and to whom. Now is the time to make use of your communication talents! The idea here is to increase demand so that on the day you open registrations, your course sells like hotcakes.

When you activate this phase, keep in mind the following mantra: “you can give value by selling and sell by giving value” (not my phrase but again from Geneviève Gauvin).

You can use 4 approaches to do this:

  1. Collection of information: ask your community questions via social media, for example. Ask them about the content as well as the format.
  2. Co-design: involve the community in your process by having them choose a name or vote for a design.
  3. Course content: share the purpose of your idea via a blog article, a podcast, social media posts or an email.
  4. State of mind: reassure your community with regard to their fears and deconstruct their restrictive beliefs.

The good news is that these phases can be activated even before you have created your course. There is no need to over-think your content or endlessly tweak your materials to obtain some initial feedback. A final piece of advice from Geneviève is to try beta testing, i.e. pre-launch your course or part of it in advance, before is it completely finished. This will give you concrete avenues for improvement before offering it to the world.

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