Online Teaching, Course Online, Learning Experience, Learning Management System, LMS

Remember how vlogging took off in the 2010s with the advent of smartphones? Only a decade before, we couldn’t have predicted the phenomenon. Something similar is happening with online teaching in 2020. The unprecedented pandemic and lockdown have given a new life to online teaching and learning. Online courses were Googled 100% more than before between just March and April this year.


Does online teaching suddenly seem to be a very lucrative career? The truth is, it was so even before 2020. After all, it takes only a little more than time, knowledge, and an internet-connected device to pursue it. 


Online Teaching In 2020

Online Teaching 2020

While the upsurge in online learning was majorly attributed to the lockdown, we can safely assume that the boom is here to stay, since audiences are realizing the advantages of online mediums. There are multi-faceted innovations taking place in this field, which make this year a good time to start your online teaching career.

  • The AI&ML edge: There is an active discourse on the usage of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI&ML) to develop online teaching. Gamification is being touted as a giant leap in holding the interest of young adults and school students. 
  • Google Classroom is the new school: Since schools have indefinitely shut down, plenty of schools are moving lectures, assignments, and all other activities to Google Classroom, Zoom, and other popular platforms. There is a generation of online learning-ready adults being prepared, which bodes well for online teachers. 
  • Collaborative learning redefined: In the early days, there were doubts expressed about the isolation of an online student. With new-age tools such as Slack, Trello, etc. which help students interact and work with each other, collaborative learning doesn’t have physical boundaries anymore. Students from across the world can share thoughts and ideas with each other, providing them a new worldview.
  • Credibility: Online courses will no longer be looked at as a lesser alternative to your CV. With Ivy League universities opening up to digital learning, online courses now carry as much credibility as offline ones do, with lesser monetary investment. It’s a win-win for students across the world. 
  • Endless tools: If we make a list of every single online teaching tool available right now, it will be a never-ending list. Tech companies have risen to the occasion and made a plethora of tools with various use cases available to online teachers. These include everything from video editing software and video calling apps, to digital whiteboards and social apps. 

Apart from your knowledge, your time, and your basic internet device, you need some add-ons to be an online teacher. If you have tried a few webinars and classes, you’ll realize that you can do just fine with the basics, but perhaps not in the long run. Here’s some help with sifting through the heaps of hardware and software tools available for online teaching right now. 


Hardware tools for online teaching

You need a good laptop that doesn’t crash with an internet connection that doesn’t lag. After some research, you’ll find courses out there with YouTube influencer-grade quality videos. Remember that your audience now streams sports, movies, and everything else in HD. If you’re planning to seriously take up online teaching, a few hardware investments would help your course get a professional and credible makeover. 


1. HD webcam: Your laptop/computer’s webcam won’t provide the quality that an external HD webcam can. Since it’s not a physical class, video and sound quality is what decides the quality of interaction with students. Plus, external webcams can provide a greater field of view, which is necessary for classes such as dance which require a lot of room. Here are some of the most preferred models. 
  1. Logitech C922: This is the highest order of HD webcams. It costs a lot, and delivers a lot including the field of view, vibrant colors, crystal clear video at 30fps, background replacement technology, HD glass lens, built-in mic, et al. Buy it only if you’re an established online teacher. 
  2. Logitech C270: This is the perfect webcam for beginners. It provides good low-light performance, recording at 720p, a 60-degree field of view, a built-in noise-reducing mic, and a universal clip for convenient attachment. It’s a few notches higher than your integrated webcam. 

2. Professional video lighting: Since you’re competing with the Pewdiepies of the online world, professional lighting is a must. It’s not rocket science, a few online videos will teach you the trick. Remember that even if you’re using colorful lights for your background, stick to white for the foreground to maintain clarity, make your face look fresh and vibrant. Here are your best options:
  1. Small ring light: This little wonder can be used even for mobile video calls. It is compact, comes with a tripod for flexibility, and its brightness can be adjusted. There are other features such as 3-color lighting mode, USB-powered LED, low heat output, and an energy-saving mechanism. 

  2. Mount Dog Softbox light: Investing in a beginner-level softbox will add a nice natural touch of lighting to your face, which is what makes it perfect for portrait shots. It is a tool used by both photographers and online content creators. It is compact as well but will take a little more investment. 

3. Earphones/headphones with mic: Teachers spending hours being plugged in should prefer lightweight, compact headphones with a mic. In order to avoid saying, “Can you hear me now?” and fiddling with your basic earphones, laptop audio, and speakers, you need a good pair of earphones with a mic. Generally, Sennheiser, Sony, and JBL are the safest and most credible choices for any kind of audio equipment. Here are some options. 
  1. Sennheiser PC 3 Chat On-Ear Headphone: These compact earphones provide noise-canceling, a wide frequency response range, and stereo sound. They are reasonably priced as well. 
  2. Sennheiser CX 150BT: If you don’t want the weight of headphones and would prefer wireless earphones with a mic instead, these will do the job. They come with superior audio, Bluetooth connectivity, and a three-button remote. 

  • A good quality smartphone: Suppose your laptop breaks down, or your Wi-Fi isn’t working. You never know when you might have to take that impromptu mobile class. It would only be wise to invest in a top-notch smartphone with an excellent camera and audio quality. Our suggestion would be to go for the top-notch models instead of compromising. Second-hand and refurbished options can be great for cost-saving. These are our picks. 
    1. iPhone: You can easily get an iPhone 7 or lower for less than Rs.40,000 these days. If you can invest in a higher model on an EMI basis, there could be nothing like it. If magazine shoots can be done with an iPhone, online classes surely won’t be a lot of trouble. The video quality of an iPhone coupled with the audio quality of AirPods can give you a great makeshift mobile lecture in times of need.
    2. Google Pixel: Instagram bloggers have created entire careers out of professional-grade content shot with a Google Pixel. You can easily buy a refurbished model for half the price. Of course, the higher the model version, the better. But even earlier models of the Pixel have excellent cameras and speakers. 

  • Virtual whiteboard: This is especially necessary for teachers who are used to a physical classroom. Writing on a board can not only make concepts clearer but can also make it easier for you to structure your lessons. Here’s the trick: You don’t need a full-fledged whiteboard, you can use an iPad or a digital drawing pad that will help you scribble conveniently without moving. Here’s our recommendation.

Wacom One by CTL-472/K0-CX: A favorite amongst graphic designers, this drawing board is pressure-sensitive, cordless, battery-free, and measures only 6inchesX3.5inches.


Software tools for online teaching

software tools for online teaching

 

 1.FreshLMS: is your dream Whitelabel and re-brandable platform where all your other resources come together. With the amount of autonomy and flexibility we provide over your custom website and custom domains, you can create your dream, personalized course. We’re talking integration of custom course structures, payment methods, lesson designs, control over interactions, pricing, and much more! Pricing is another positive of FreshLMS over online teaching marketplaces that have templatized course structures, marketing plans, and pricing structures.

Online Teaching

2.Canva:  is Photoshop for non-designers. It can help you design everything from logos to presentations with ease. Canva has various templates that will mean much lesser aesthetic efforts from you. If you invest in a paid version, you will have access to more than double the number of amazing templates, fonts, 100GB storage, priority support, and much more.

Online Teaching

3.Prezi: Forget Microsoft PowerPoint, Keynote, and Slides, Prezi is where professional creators make presentations. It provides excellent video, design, and conversational presentation services. 

Online Teaching

4.Camtasia: This video recording and editing tool is excellent for teachers who want to provide tutorials and demonstrations. It has custom video templates, animations, effects, music, and audio features.

Online Teaching

5.Audacity: When you use Audacity, you can do an amazing range of things with audio such as live recording, cutting, copying, splicing, and mixing audio, changing pitch, and even adding effects. The best part? It’s free and legal! 

Online Teaching

6.Zoom: is a must for live lectures as very few other software provide the kind of flexibility and add-ons that Zoom does. You can scribble, annotate, divide students into groups, and even make do with a slower internet connection. 

Zoom Online Teaching

7. Slack: You must have seen Slack being used in offices. It is a very convenient way for your students to remain in touch with you and each other. You can collaborate, send files, post updates, and connect via call as well. If you don’t want your students flooding your WhatsApp with queries, give them a dedicated space such as Slack. 

Online Teaching

8.Hootsuite: is your go-to marketing dashboard, where you can create and manage social media content, engage with audiences, align your marketing plans, monitor, and analyze them as well.

Online Teaching

But, before you make an investment…

Ask yourself if you’re in it for the long haul. Don’t start making serious monetary investments before you’re sure about your emotional investment in the long run. Teaching is an art, and like all other artistic professions, takes equal parts heart and brain. How would you know that you’re ready for the long haul? Just dip your toes for a few weeks. We mean, try a free FreshLMS subscription and start doing your thing. If it goes well, you know exactly what to do next.

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knowledge commerce, Build brand, Course Online, E Learning, Learning Experience, Learning Management System, Persona Branding, Training

“Knowledge is power. And you need power in this world. You need as many advantages as you can get”, – Ellen DeGeneres. 


This quote has never had a truer reflection upon society than now when every second person in your network is trying to add maximum courses and skills to their CVs. Writers are becoming coders, designers are moving into UI/UX, engineers are turning into digital marketers. The age of acquiring maximum knowledge and expertise in your specific field is behind us, it is now time to diversify your knowledge base. 


“Why to do it with courses?”, you’d ask. With endless information on the internet, you can figure your way out on your own. But there’s a difference between information and knowledge. Knowledge is information that comes with experience and perspective. Information is only consumed, knowledge is absorbed. The new industry that has emerged from this phenomenon in the 21st Century is now being referred to as the ‘knowledge commerce’.


What Is Knowledge Commerce?

Knowledge Commerce

One of the world leaders in the field of online education, Kajabi, came up with this comprehensive term in 2017. According to them, online learning and e-learning weren’t enough. Hence, they coined ‘
knowledge commerce’, which is defined as simply ‘charging customers for access to your knowledge.’ This process of sharing can be done through online courses, blogs, e-books, membership sites, or any other digital medium.


The online learning industry has given everyone an opportunity to acquire monetary value for their knowledge. An online course is no more just a substitute, a mere alternative, or a trend. It’s actually quite the rage now. To give you an idea of how much the knowledge commerce industry has developed, here are some statistical insights. 


Knowledge commerce: a $240 billion+ industry


The figure could very well be much higher than $240 billion in 2020, thanks to the spike in online course registrations due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the need for upskilling due to layoffs and threats to job security, and other related factors. The 2025 projection for this industry is no less than $325 billion


As per a Payoneer survey, 54% of millennials in developed countries plan to start their own business. 64% of people with a full-time job want to acquire more skills and earn from other sources. Even the older generation is seeking upskilling in order to stay relevant. The freelance and self-employment boom is directly proportional to the knowledge commerce boom. Every other youngster is either conducting a course or signing up for it.


More than 6 million students all over the world are pursuing higher education online, with the number only expected to increase. Searches for online courses on Google spiked by more than 100% in the months of March-April 2020 alone.  There might soon be a generation more used to digital learning than physical classrooms. 


The free market of knowledge


  • Become a Pro Gamer
  • Power and Responsibility: Doing Philosophy with Superheroes
  • Clown for Fun and Profit: Learning the Art of Clowning
  • Influencing People

These are not BuzzFeed articles. They are all online courses. You can now learn almost anything from experts online. So, whatever your skillset may be, there is a market for it. It doesn’t have to be academic, professional, popular, or trending. In fact, the rarer it is, the more niche an audience it will have. The democracy that knowledge has achieved through online marketplaces is astounding. So, if your answer to most of the below questions is a resounding yes, you’re ready to share your knowledge online. 


  1. Do you like teaching?
  2. Are you good at content creation?
  3. Are you full of new ideas?
  4. Would you like to be self-employed?
  5. Do you have an entrepreneurial streak but don’t want to invest money?

There’s only one way to find out if you’d be, which is actually trying it. Why are we keen that you try?  

 

2020: The best time to enter knowledge commerce


There are certain market trends that have made knowledge commerce a flourishing industry in the past few years. 


  • Digital dependence: The days when people would be hesitant to try the digital version of anything are gone. The trend of B2B and B2C commerce being replaced by D2C (Direct-to-consumer) e-commerce has stretched from products to services such as teaching as well. The absence of middlemen, saving of physical resources, and affordability of online products and services have all contributed to this shift. Consumers have started realizing how online learning can be better, especially with the pandemic forcing them all to turn towards it.

  • Skill gaps: Technology is developing faster than ever as we enter the AI & ML (Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning) era. There is a constant fear of being left behind because of not being able to keep up with evolving skill requirements. In a LinkedIn survey earlier this year, 63% of Indian working-class respondents said that they plan to increase the time they spend on online learning, with a major focus on industry knowledge, communication, and career advancement. You might very well be one of these students, and you can be a teacher in another as well. It is a democratic industry, after all. 

  • Knowledge shared is knowledge (and money) earned: When you teach someone, you learn twice. The comfort of digital exchange facilitates better ways to gain knowledge from your students. Feedback from them helps you develop your teaching skills, which can ultimately lead to your courses being valued higher. In the process of teaching, you end up getting four kinds of ROI.
  1. More knowledge about your subject matter
  2. Better teaching skills
  3. Money
  4. Creative satisfaction 

  • The rise of the personal brand: Gone are the days when only celebrities carried a personal brand. Today, each one of us is a brand. Employers check not just LinkedIn but also Facebook profiles before interviews. There’s a reason why LinkedIn is full of personal stories and blogs.

No one wants to be just another link in the wide corporate network. They would rather be exceptional motivational coaches, niche music instructors, or teachers of revolutionary marketing ideas they couldn’t pitch in an actual boardroom. To differentiate yourself, enhance your credibility, and move towards a possible self-dependent career, knowledge commerce is the perfect path. 


If you want to create your own mark in this industry, here are a few mediums to explore. 


Ways to sell your knowledge online

Knowledge Commerce

There are multiple ways to sell your knowledge online, and picking one might get confusing if you’re new. Here’s a little help. 


  • Online courses: An online course is where you can combine all kinds of media, i.e. articles, presentations, videos, books, etc. and have a  full-fledged teaching experience. Online courses are fast-growing from a close substitute of classroom lectures to being the better option. The market is more ready than it ever was. As per a Google-PMG India report, online education in India itself is set for an eight-fold growth by 2021. Needless to say, competition is growing by the day and it only makes sense to stop thinking and start designing your online course now.

  • Consulting: Paid consulting is a niche option that you can undertake if you have expertise and confidence in your particular field. You can advise companies by actually visiting them or exclusively online. This requires great networking skills, high credibility, and high personal brand value.

  • Blogging: You can start guest blogging on credible websites in your area of expertise, be it beauty, management, finance, or the arts. People always turn to blogs for in-depth research. A good number of guest blogs can help you divert traffic to your personal blog, landing page, or website, where you can promote more exclusive content, courses, products, etc. 

  • Webinars: Webinars can be a precursor to an online course. They are highly personalized and allow potential customers to interact directly with you. Building up hype for your upcoming webinars can also give you some practice in marketing your personal brand as an online teacher. Anyone engaged in knowledge commerce through any medium should host regular webinars simply to stay in touch with their audience. 

  • Ebooks and whitepapers: Ebooks and whitepapers are detailed studies of a specific topic for audiences who want a deeper understanding that they can read at their own convenience. These are what the knowledge commerce industry calls ‘lead magnets’. Once you mail your ebook or whitepaper to someone, you have a lead for your online courses, webinars, and blogs. 

  • Build your own website: It has become a common practice amongst creative professionals to send not just their CVs but also links to their personal websites that showcase their portfolios in the most attractive way. A website is where you can tie together all of the mediums mentioned above. You can also throw in merchandise, testimonial columns, your personal story, and much more. Nothing will shape your personal brand as an online teacher like a website will. If you notice, most well-known online teachers have their own personal websites. 

Time for some inspiration


Teaching is a creative pursuit and is fuelled by inspiration more than anything else. Plus, no case is convincing without case studies. Let’s have a look at some of the most successful names in the knowledge commerce industry today and what you can take away from them.


  • Neil Patel: Neil Patel’s brand is much more than his warm and welcoming face, which is his brand logo, and the first thing that you see on his website. A bestselling author, Forbes Top 10 marketer, a top web influencer as per the Wall Street Journal, and much more, Neil Patel helps brands with digital marketing. 

He shares a plethora of knowledge on digital marketing, SEO, and content marketing knowledge in the form of videos and blogs. Although his teaching initiatives are only supplementary to his consulting business, they are what drive everything. He’s known by more people as the go-to guy for digital marketing knowledge than as the consultant.


Takeaways:
  • Supplement your main business with teaching and it could work wonders for your personal brand.
  • Blogging is still relevant.
  • You can make a holistic personal brand of which teaching is an important part but not the main one. 


  • John and Hank Green (Crash Course): Best-selling romance novelist John Green, along with his brother Hank Green and a small team started a YouTube channel called Crash Course that translated the textbook subjects of science, history, humanities, and even astronomy, entrepreneurship into fascinating videos. Their videos have humor, animation, special effects, peppy music et al. They sell advanced resources and knick-knacks on Patreon. With 11.3 million subscribers and billions of views on their videos, these teachers surely know what they’re doing.

 

Takeaways
  • Make existing knowledge interesting by giving it a new twist.
  • Diversify your personal brand and don’t be afraid to cross the boundaries of professions.
  • Some animation and humor never hurt. 

  • Justin Sandercoe (Justin Guitar): Justin Sandercoe, the internet’s favorite guitar teacher, has 1.26 million YouTube subscribers. This UK-based guitarist has worked with prestigious brands such as the Brit Awards and World Music Awards in the past.

His YouTube videos are teasers to the actual courses on his website. He has also added a mobile app in the mix to increase convenience. His website also features testimonials from guitar gods such as Mark Knopfler and Steve Vai. There is a lot of free content on the website.  But for advanced-level benefits, there are paid courses too. He also sells books through his website. 


Takeaways:
  • Testimonials matter. Ask your ex-bosses or any other relevant people you’ve worked within the past to validate your expertise on your website. 
  • Use YouTube for practice in content creation and for marketing as well.
  • You should probably take that old guitar out of your closet. 


  • Alexa Polidoro (Learn French with Alexa): Alexa has made a lucrative business out of her passion for the French language, with scores of YouTube videos and a paid subscription on her personal website. She keeps innovating her content on a frequent basis with quizzes, live lessons, creative exercises, and interactive tests. Live videos are a key part of her marketing strategy. Her YouTube channel 951K subscribers, and her video views hover around 30-40 lakhs. Her method of breaking down every concept, repeating information, and presenting it in a light-hearted manner has earned her a lot of dedicated students. 

Takeaways:
  • Language learning is a profitable market.
  • Keep innovating with your content and courses. 
  • Have live sessions as often as possible and encourage one-on-one interaction. 

The key takeaway: Self-branding


One thing that’s common between each of these self-made and successful teachers is that they have their own websites where they sell their knowledge. They took the freedom to decide how their knowledge is sold, designed, curated, and controlled every part of it. That is the only way they could bring about their uniqueness as teachers, whether it’s Crash Courses’s quirky animations, Neil Patel’s curated data, Alexa’s childish yet fun games, or Justin’s multi-step learning techniques – it was a website where they could showcase their content in all its glory.


A readymade course on a marketplace might give you a little bit of convenience, but you won’t enjoy the creative freedom that comes with your own website where entire pages can mimic your ideas and personality.


FreshLMS: Your self-branded knowledge commerce destination

Knowledge Commerce


As mentioned earlier, online courses and personal websites are comprehensive platforms where you can combine all your teaching resources along with pitching your personal brand. This works much differently than online teaching marketplaces, where you get a readymade audience and course structure without the freedom to promote other material, add external links, or even decide the value of your own courses. 


With a self-branded platform such as FreshLMS, customization is key. You just have to pay for a monthly or yearly subscription to create unlimited courses and add unlimited members. Here is how FreshLMS ensures that you retain full control of your online teaching endeavor. 


  • Heavy on-course personalization: Tailor-made course sections, chapters, login and sign up screens, freedom to attach external links and media.

  • Ideal user journeys: Customized sales landing pages, CTA buttons, look and feel, and enrollment pages.
  • Prompt quizzes and assessments: Provisions to use quizzes for both engagement and marketing purposes, backend score calculations calibrated for different use cases.
  • Custom domains for every course: Create perfect conversion funnels with custom landing pages, domains, and marketing campaigns.
  • Effortless payment unification: Easy integration with all leading payment and gateway platforms.
  • Smart third-party integrations: Technology that works cohesively with third-party apps and platforms such as HubSpot, Mailchimp, and Zapier for your analysis and data needs.
  • Completely Whitelabel and re-brandable: 100% Whitelabel operations that put you on the forefront.
  • Next-gen reporting and analytics: Actionable insights into course performance, cash flow, engagement, sales reports, and much more
  • Support for both solopreneurs and organizations.

Final lesson

The world needs your knowledge, and it can give you money, creative avenues, personal satisfaction, and much more in return. So, why wait? Step into the new leg of the Digital Race, the knowledge commerce era, and explore a whole new world that awaits you. Who knows, you could also become the new favorite marketing expert, juggler, or classical dance teacher on the internet!

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Course Online, Build brand, Buildings, E Learning, Learning Experience, Learning Management System, Learning Management System, LMS, Online Course, Udemy Marketplace, Uncategorized

Back in the day, kids wanted to be doctors, pilots, firefighters, movie stars, and sportspersons. Ask the kids of the 21st Century, and they will have answers such as ‘Vlogger’, ‘Influencer’, or ‘YouTuber’. The rise of the YouTuber as a profession has been momentous. 

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Udemy Marketplace, blog, Build brand, E Learning, Fashion, Learning Experience, Learning Management System, Persona Branding, Training
“But, where do I begin?”

When you begin something monumental, this is always the first question. That’s exactly what we plan to answer for online teachers who are new, as well as ones who are experienced and want to start a new course. So, hop on!

You might have heard varying opinions that have left you confused about which teaching platform to choose. The most popular choice seems to be a Udemy MarketPlace, a beneficial platform for students. Is it as beneficial for teachers, too? Figure this. There are individual courses on offer for as high as $1 billion and more on self-branded platforms such as Kajabi, Teachable, FreshLMS, Thinkific, etc. The opportunities beyond Udemy Marketplace are endless. Before picking your preferred platform, let’s start by breaking down what you need.


Questions you need to ask before selecting the platform

Introspection is the beginning of any good decision, so let’s try to dive deep into your personal requirements.

  • What is my objective for becoming an online teacher? 
  • Do I see myself pursuing online teaching in the long run? 
  • If yes, then how important is my personal brand to me?
  • Do I want my courses to sell purely on course content, or do I want my personal credibility to add to the course value?
  • Do I want a high level of customization or would I prefer things templatized? 
  • Do I want to make my own personalized website, or just follow a template for the time being?
  • How much time and dedication can I put into my new course? 
  • Do I want to create my own marketing strategy for the long term or leverage the hosting platform’s reach? 
  • Would I like my course design, structure, registration page, landing pages, payment mechanisms, etc. to all be customized? 


Based on your answers, consider the following two options. 

Online teaching marketplaces

TL;DR

 

Udemy is the Amazon of online courses. You are one of the thousands of sellers using Amazon’s brand and platform to sell your services. 

 

If your answers for most of the questions above lean towards templates, Udemy, or a similar marketplace might be a good choice. With such a platform, you get these features:

  • Your course content, pricing, and marketing are influenced by the marketplace’s policy. There is a structure in place which you ought to follow.
  • You can leverage the reach of the marketplace and not work too much on your personal reach. 
  • Udemy offers lucrative quizzing tools, mobile interface, worksheets, etc. 

Self-branded platforms

Platforms such as FreshLMS are customization services that work like Shopify. They put you on the front foot and offer a chance to create your own digital store, price your course freely, have a personal connection with students via email and other platforms, cross-sell your other courses, and grow your brand on exactly the path you choose for it.

 

Some features that FreshLMS offers are:

  • Heavy on-course personalization
  • Ideal user journeys (fully customized)
  • Prompt quizzes and assessments 
  • Custom domains for every course 
  • Effortless payment unification 
  • Smart third-party integrations (for marketing and reports)
  • Completely Whitelabel and re-brandable operations 
  • Next-gen reporting and analytics (with insights about performance, cash flow, engagement metrics, detailed sales reports, etc.)
  • Support for solopreneurs and organisations 

 

We will now pit Udemy Marketplace against the option of your own website on five crucial parameters, and then you can figure out the rest for yourself. After all, we aren’t here to decide for you, but just to empower you with information.

 

Course content: Udemy vs your own website

Udemy Marketplace

 

If you choose Udemy, you have to upload your course into a preset interface. You can use video, audio, text, and add subtitles. This should make the process faster. However, Udemy also has a tedious approval system where you might get stuck with tiny details.

 

With your own website, you decide every single step of the user journey. You can embed videos from YouTube or other streaming platforms, as opposed to Udemy where you cannot link any other website including YouTube. With FreshLMS, you can even have a custom domain for each course.

 

Course design: Udemy vs your own website 

Udemy Marketplace

 

On Udemy, there is just one design which all courses follow. Your course content is the only thing that will set it apart. This works for some students as taking one course familiarises them with the layout and makes taking subsequent courses easier.

 

However, as a creator— and we mean it in the most artistic sense, (teaching is, after all, an art and not just a service) — wouldn’t you love to give it a personal touch? You could turn the way your course looks, your logo, and your brand into additional selling factors. When FreshLMS says ‘Whitelabel and Rebrandable’, it means those words in every sense. 

 

Pricing: Udemy Marketplace vs your own website

To give a fair picture of how pricing on Udemy works, let’s look at a testimonial of a former Udemy instructor from 2019.

 

“Students that bought my course at the full price of $199 from my website felt cheated once they saw that they could get the same course on Udemy for under $10 – and understandably so. This misstep cost me thousands of dollars, not to mention countless hours that I had to spend responding to refund requests. Once I stopped selling my courses on Udemy, my refund rates dropped dramatically.”

 

Your course can end up being valued much lesser on Udemy, without you having any control over it. Even if you aren’t bearing the difference, such valuation could hurt your brand in the long run. It is always more satisfying to create your own niche, be honest about your value, and earn what you deserve. 

 

Sales and marketing: Udemy Marketplace vs your own website

On Udemy, you end up splitting half the fees you earn with the marketplace. Plus, you compete with a lot of other courses on the same subject, using the same interface. When Udemy marketplace your course with discounts, it is basically marketing itself more than you or your course.

 

Most of the platforms where you can make your own website have monthly and yearly subscription models, wherein you pay them once and then make unlimited courses for unlimited students within the timespan. You can use various options like PayPal, Stripe, etc. free of charge. You are also responsible for marketing your course and conducting the analysis. You have the freedom to link your website to tools such as MailChimp, Hubspot, Zapier, etc.

 

Customer support: Udemy vs your own website 

Udemy has a huge list of FAQs, a ticketing system, as well as a chat option. However, you cannot directly call an expert. As a teacher, you are also not allowed to respond to or moderate comments. You can’t ask for more information regarding a customer’s complaint.

 

If you have your own website, you also have your own communication system. You can moderate comments, decide how you respond to complaints, and use email, call, chat, or any other means to resolve them. In a world full of consumers obsessed with ‘personalization’, what could be better than putting them directly in touch with you? 

 

The verdict…

We’re not going to lie, Udemy is a good place to test your course material. But when it comes to sustaining in the online teaching world, you will have to put in a little more effort. +

 

The day Udemy changes a feature or policy, you will be powerless. You own neither the audience nor your own offering, effectively limiting growth. With your own website, you will have limitless power and control to design, change, and update constantly. 

 

Your website is basically your own boutique classroom minus the school’s rules. 

 

After all, it is always the teachers who shut textbooks and make their own rules who teach the best and remain in our minds forever.

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Online Course, blog, Buildings, E Learning, Learning Experience, Learning Management System, Solopreneur, Training

Congratulations! Being here means you have cleared the first step, which is being sure of wanting to teach online. Great efforts are always preceded by a strong will. Now, wear your teaching hat and get ready to kick off the exciting journey of creating your first ever online course.


Before we go further on this path, let us indulge you in some trivia. Did you know that the global online teaching market is set to touch $350 Billion by 2025? This is, mind you, a pre-2020 projection. With the online learning market exploding due to the lockdown, the figure is only set to increase. In more ways than one, it is the best time to start teaching online.


So, whether you are a corporate employee who has finally found some free time to pursue the post-retirement desire of teaching or a dance instructor who misses guiding students in physical classes and shows — you’re at the right place. The world of online teaching is not nerve-racking but might seem a little intimidating because of the overload of courses and information this year. Don’t you worry, we’re here to tell you why it doesn’t have to be so. Let’s start at the very start. 


The birth of your online course 


There are two pillars for this stage, inspiration, and research. You’re not even thinking about course material yet, you’re just introspecting. 


  • Inspiration: Teaching is an art. You’ve seen it in your favourite teachers and professors from your school/college days. There was that one history teacher who could make the World War less scary and more fun to study, that one marketing professor who made it seem like selling hotcakes is everybody’s game. You’ve also seen it in that one colleague who makes PowerPoints look like a short film or that cousin who taught you how to play the guitar better than any formal teacher.

There is one thing common between all of these people — inspiration. They are all extremely motivated people whose passion is infectious. Now, ask yourself. What is your true passion? It could be anything from a dance form to organizing Excel sheets. You will find students for everything. It doesn’t have to be something popular or trending on LinkedIn. It’s better to carve your niche where you’re more confident and less influenced by others. This niche is where your passion and your skills converge. 


  • Research: After inspiration comes to research. This gives a method to your madness. Although you can create your own research methodology, here are a few steps you can begin with:
    • Look for existing courses and materials in your field of choice.
    • Read up to expand your knowledge and expertise. 
    • Take an online course yourself. Use Google Search, Quora, blogs, social media, and any other relevant online tool. 
    • Talk to interested people you know and find on online forums. 
    • Find out which aspect of your passion they are most interested to learn, and how they’d like to learn it. 

By this stage, you are motivated enough to get into the details. Let’s begin by determining the type of your course, which will make further steps easier.


Types of online courses

Types Online Courses

You will find a lot more types than the ones listed here, but these are the only ones you need to know. The rest are only narrower categorizations of these. We believe that it would be better for you to not fall into meticulous structures and instead find your own space, build your own structure.


  • Masterclass: Masterclasses are advanced-level courses. These aren’t usually meant for beginners. They’re for people already well-versed in the field who want to gain expertise. For this, you have to be an expert yourself. These courses are best suited for creative fields. 
  • Coaching: Coaching courses are where you, the coach, helps an interested beginner gain knowledge of a topic and learn the ropes. These include everything from business coaching, career coaching, personality development, to yoga coaching.
  • MOOC: Massive Open Online Courses are meant for unlimited participation from across the world. These are easily repeatable, fixed syllabus courses that promote student communities. They’re good for fields such as STEM, business, humanities, and technology. 
  • Corporate Training: In fields such as hospitality, Human Resources, and administration, employee training is crucial. In the current situation, an online course is the best way to provide corporate training. Corporate training topics range from confidence-building to personality development and communication. 
  • Creative Courses: Gone are the days when you couldn’t turn your hobby into your profession. Creative courses are very unique in themselves, and each needs a different approach based on the nature of the art. A dance class would require both the teacher and the student to have a spacious room. A musical instrument would be a must for a music class. For visual arts, students might need physical material such as paints, or even software, depending on the course niche. Keep these specific requirements in mind while working on your creative course. 

Roadmap for creating your first online course

Online Course

Now that you have probably figured out the domain of teaching, let’s get to business. What you have now is a subject, a course category, your expertise, your subject research, and your audience research. That’s plenty of material to start working on your actual course material.


1. Pick a specific topic

Based on your research of the theme and the audience, find out what marketing professionals often call ‘pain points’. These are gaps in the market, areas that no one else has touched. For example, say you want to teach the violin. You find out that there is hardly anyone teaching it exclusively to senior citizens, who need a different pace and approach from children or youngsters. Tap the pain point and introduce a specific course for them. 


2. Decide the end goal of your online course

What is it that your students will take away at the end of this course? Just like you must have done with research papers in college, determine your conclusion first. Then, build towards it. Express the end goal in a sentence. For example, ‘At the end of this online course, students will know how to read and write basic sentences in French, along with some cultural knowledge about France.”


3. Make your drawing board

You’re probably imagining a wall full of ambiguous post-its, pins, colours, flow-charts, and maps, like in the movies. That’s exactly what we’re suggesting. When we say make your drawing board, we mean to make one literally. Jot your ideas down in words, sketches, tables, etc. Use coloured pens and sticky notes. Put all of it down where you can see it simultaneously. At this point, every idea is a good idea. Put it down without thinking about whether it makes sense to anyone else or not. 


4. Organize your board

Now comes the tough part. Take out ideas and elements that do not fit within the goal you had decided for your online course in Step 2. With the rest, make a class-wise plan. Then, set a mini-goal for each of these classes. For example, let’s assume that you’re conducting a baking course. Here’s how the course structure would pan out:

  • Lecture One: Introduction to baking

Goals: Identifying baking tools, usage of a microwave, and basic practices 

  • Lecture Two: Types of cakes 

Goal: Understanding the difference between the basic varieties 

  • Lecture Three: Making a basic cake

Goal: A small cake for two 

  • Lecture Four: Frosting and other decorations

Goal: Adding frosting and other personalized decorations to the cake made yesterday 


Decide how much time each class would roughly take, including introduction, lessons, 

and discussions. 


5. Add activities and assignments

The most engaging, creative way to achieve the goal of each class is an activity. Divide your students into groups and give them something to work on. Promote conversations and discussions amongst themselves. After the class, give them assignments as well. Make sure not to make them too heavy. A good measure to keep in mind would be that it should be something they can finish within an hour. This keeps them involved without putting too much pressure on them. 


6. Put your online course together

Now that you have a clear course outline, it’s time to make the actual course. There are numerous tools available for you, starting with the basic PowerPoint (which is actually not very basic, it has unbelievable features that you could very well need a whole online course to learn), to sophisticated tools such as Photoshop. Use a combination of tools that suit you best. This is your time to make the fun presentation you can never submit to your boss. 


7. Conduct a crash test

Now, you have your course. Do you immediately launch it? Of course not. It’s your first course. You need to test it. Hold a free webinar or lecture on the same topic, and carefully note down the response and feedback you receive. The webinar will also serve as a marketing tactic for your upcoming course. You can even hold a demo class with friends and relatives and take their feedback. Remember that any criticism you receive is only a chance for you to improve. 


8. Add finishing touches

Based on the feedback you receive, make alterations to the course. Review each part including the assignments. After your crash test, you might realize that school students get easily distracted while reading a book without pictures, or that teenagers want to be treated as adults and would like more challenging assignments. Derive these key insights and refine your course. Even if you realize that you have to go back to the drawing board, do it. It’s okay if your course is delayed, but not if it’s short-sighted.


9. Choose the right platform

Now that the final draft of your course is ready, you need to pick a platform to run the course on. There are a plethora of platforms online, and you might get confused because each offers some advantages. It would be best to simply pick the one that lets you do what you want freely and turn every feature into an advantage.


Create your first Online Course

At FreshLMS, customization is the top priority. While hosting your course, it provides the following features which let you design every part of your course as per your preferences.

  • Heavy on-course personalization
  • Ideal user journeys
  • Prompt quizzes and assessments
  • Custom domains for every course 
  • Effortless payment unification
  • Smart third-party integrations
  • Completely Whitelabel and re-brandable operations 
  • Next-gen reporting and analytics
  • Support for solopreneurs and organizations 

10. Sell your course

Selling your course involves three key elements. Once these are done, you’ll be ready to hit the play button.


  • Pricing: You already know your audience. Now, decide how much you’d like them to pay. Don’t make the mistake of charging too little just because it’s your first course. Remember that this will also decide your reputation in the future. You can also decide a base price and then charge extra for optional add-ons such as extra lectures, curated notes, etc.

  • Naming: After the price comes the actual selling. Name your course. This is the last step and not the first because now, your name will be inclusive of your online course material, your audience goals, and your USP as a teacher. The best way to name a course is to describe it as taking a student from point A to point B. i.e. ‘Learn How To Play 5 Yanni Tracks On The Violin In 5 Weeks’.

  • Promotions: Start promoting it on social media and personal circles first, and then move on to niche platforms that are relevant to your audience. For example, if your audience is millennials from the US, you should probably tap into Reddit. Remember that it’s your first course. Heavy promotion might not lead to a heavy flow of inquiries and registrations. This is, however, just the beginning. These promotions are going to build your brand image for future courses.

Are you ready?

Create Online Course

We reckon you are! There must be a lot of thoughts going through your head with most of them turning into questions such as, “Should I do this?”, “Will it be profitable?”, “Will I be good at it?”. The best part about online teaching is that you only invest time and effort. There is nothing to lose here. You will gain new knowledge for yourself, even if your financial or other goals aren’t met immediately. So, it’s time to stop thinking, and start doing it. 


We’ll leave you with some inspirational words from one of the best teachers in the universe.

“Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.” 

Yoda, Star Wars
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Learning Management System, blog, Learning Experience, LMS, Online Course, Training

Are you one of the many who has started being more active on LinkedIn, reading more blogs, taking online courses, and flaunting them since the lockdown? It’s not just you; millions of students across the world are also adapting to the e-learning way of life. 

Popular EdTech companies reported more than 100% increase in new students after rolling out free and discounted classes. Numerous other EdTech platforms have been offering significant discounts on courses for students across age groups.

Due to the pandemic, at least 1.2 billion school students in 186 countries had to skip school. At least 120 million people in India alone lost their jobs due to the struggling economy. The current situation is a blessing in disguise not just for EdTech companies but for the affected groups as well. Parents do not have to invest in heavy bags, books, travel to school, etc. this year. People who have lost their jobs can capitalize on the surge in online skill up-gradation courses and strengthen their profiles. People working from home can use the travel and office time they’re saving to upgrade their skills as well.

Is it just about the lockdown, though? Or is the lockdown just a catalyst that has opened the doors to a revolution in the way we learn and teach? In the Information Age, it is the latter.

Why is Online Learning Important?

A few months ago, when the worldwide lockdown was in its initial, uncertain stages, a list of 450 online courses offered by Ivy League universities was doing the rounds on social media. These courses covered topics from computer science and business to humanities and design. A decade ago, there were no means other than making it to these universities for accessing this education. Today, any student from any country can pay a nominal amount to watch lectures from esteemed professors, interact with them via forums and live streams, and get yourself a certificate. 

The sanctity of prestigious universities is no more in their exclusivity as much as it is purely in their teaching methods and resources. This, undoubtedly, is the best example of how EdTech is democratizing education globally. 

With the improvement in bandwidth and data speeds, it is becoming much more comfortable and convenient to pursue education through your laptop or mobile screen. 

Mothers in their maternity leave period and professionals who have taken career breaks for any other reason now have a chance to fill the gap in their CVs with new skills. 

Startup owners often spend a lot on consultants for expertise in areas they are not skilled enough in. They can take up affordable certificate courses and do it all on their own. 

Learning is no longer restricted just to your formal educational years. Everyone everywhere can learn almost anything, whether it is data computing or playing the ukulele.

Why is it Important to Teach Online?

You must have come across a lot of working professionals who have a strong desire to teach in their respective fields after a few years. Teaching has long been considered as more of an option that you turn to after your 40s or close to your retirement age. 

With the ability to teach online today, your passion need not be postponed anymore. 

You can take a few hours out of your work schedule and teach online courses that not only satisfy your heart but also your wallet. Just as anyone can learn, almost anyone can teach now. 

A technical writer from India can teach English to migrant students in the UK at a cost they can afford.

It isn’t just a matter of convenience and business opportunity. There is research that illustrates that students in online classes retain 25-60% more of what has been taught, as compared to 8-10% in a physical classroom

There is a lot of nitty-gritty of which helps both students and teachers. Just think about the physical setting. Within the four walls of a classroom in an institutional environment, some students aren’t very open with questions and interaction. 

When they sit in the comfort of their homes and have the option of personally messaging their teachers, a new level of ease is possible. This also helps teachers give personal attention to students, something parents always demand. 

Why the 21st Century is All About Teaching Online

The idea of a ‘personal touch’ which often discouraged people from online learning, has taken a backseat now. The level of personalization possible for both students and teachers is astounding. 

  • E-learning takes 40-60% less time than a traditional class and allows students to reread, skip, and fast forward through concepts. 
  • Students can now schedule classes at a time convenient for them.
  • They can access course material whenever they want to. 
  • Students can interact with peers from around the world and discuss lessons.
  • They can get used to innovative methods of virtual teamwork, which will also go on to help them in their professional lives. 

In his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, historian, intellectual, and professor Yuval Noah Harari has highlighted that schools across the world are stuck in traditional, rote-learning ways. 

Online learning can foster a shift from these traditions into a new age of innovation and critical thinking. 

Technical Advantages of Teaching Online

Online payments have become the order of the day. A lot of schools have started accepting fees via online means. The process of online payments for EdTech platforms has made receiving and paying money quicker. Plus, traditional tuition teachers who had to haggle with parents for home tuitions can now formalize courses and charge standard fees. 

A decade ago, people in developed countries were sceptical about both online learning and online payments. All of it has changed now. 

Another crucial factor is internet speed. As Wi-Fi becomes the second oxygen of the global citizen, countries all over the world are working towards making the internet more accessible. 

Global average internet speeds have only risen in the past few years (30% in 2017 and more than 15% in 2018). In India, faster and cheaper internet has made it possible for students in rural areas to access quality education over their mobile phones at reasonable prices.

There has simultaneously also been an upgrade in technological devices. The sheer number of smartphone brands has led to competitive rates and amazing features being available at affordable prices. With a 5G network, your mobile can now do almost anything that was only possible on your laptop. Out of about 7.8 billion people in this world, there are about 5.15 billion unique mobile phone users today.

We are at a unique crossroads in the history of humanity, where physical, logistical, technological, intellectual factors have converged and created newer ways of consuming information; modern ways of absorbing knowledge, unique ways of learning, and teaching.

Technologies to Help You Teach Online

Let’s now get to how the ideals of learning better can be achieved in practicality through online teaching methods. Technology is invariably evolving and presenting newer forms of making lessons unique. The most basic tools, such as Google Suite, Evernote, Slack, etc. can be a good start as most of us already use them for office work. Even for teachers who are not very tech-savvy, these tools are elementary to figure out on your own and master. Here’s a quick list of tools for beginners to intermediate online teachers. 

  • Evernote: This is an app that can help you convert notes into quick slides and can be used across mobiles and computers. You can divide and structure your notes into separate notebooks, share them with others, and even let others edit them. Evernote’s audio, picture, and handwriting features can make your content everything from attractive, cute, and appealing to professional and engaging. 
  • Slack: Slack is originally a communication tool for professional teams. As an online teacher, it can help you share notes, hold discussions, and even send DMs. It takes hardly a few minutes to get acquainted with its features, which are numbered but useful.
  • Google Suite: Google has its own and more accessible version of Word Docs, spreadsheets, and slides, which can be made and edited collaboratively. You don’t need to buy or download Microsoft Office; you can log in to your Google Suite anytime. 
  • Canva: Websites such as Canva help you design pages and make your presentations look more appealing. Canva designs can, in fact, easily pass off as professional Photoshop work at times. 

Online Classrooms

There are a plethora of video calling services and platforms that can be used to teach students without spending half of your lecture duration, asking each other if you are audible. You can use the tools mentioned above seamlessly on these video platforms without much hassle. Here are the best ones to begin with. 

  • Zoom: Zoom is probably the most popular video calling platform at the moment. You can share your screen, play videos for the class, write notes, send files, and even scribble the way teachers do on physical blackboards. You must have used it already for work meetings or personal calls. Zoom calls can quickly add up to 100 participants, so large classrooms are not a problem either. 

  • Google Classroom: As usual, Google has an answer for everything. Through this platform, teachers can create and manage classes, assignments, give real-time feedback, and send reports to parents. Students and parents can continuously keep track of their course progress and receive regular summaries, reviews, etc. from the teacher. 
  • Skype: Skype is no more just an app you use to video call relatives and friends who are far away. You can hold video lectures with up to 50 students on Skype, and even share your mobile screen if required. The only limitation of Skype, which you must’ve heard often, is that it lags at times and cannot be trusted with low internet speeds. 

Recorded Classes and Live Classes

With each of the tools mentioned above, you can hold both live classes and record them for later viewing. 

From a student’s perspective, recorded classes are convenient as they can view them at leisure. They can also skip and replay, which allows them to work at their own pace. 

Recorded classes also usually have lower costs as compared to live courses. For a teacher, a recorded class puts more focus on delivering a regular lecture and focus on the storytelling. However, you can also hold a live class and record it for later viewing. 

As a matter of fact, with a platform like FreshLMS, you, the teacher can focus entirely on your lesson. FreshLMS comes equipped with features that can help you create AND sell your course in under 60 minutes. These include:

  • Heavy on-course personalization
  • Ideal user journeys
  • Prompt quizzes and assessments
  • Custom domains for every course 
  • Effortless payment unification
  • Smart third-party integrations
  • Completely Whitelabel and re-brandable operations 
  • Next-gen reporting and analytics
  • Support for solopreneurs and organisations 

How to Pick the Right Tools to Teach Online?

To pick the right online teaching tools, you first need to list down your class goals. These would depend on the type of class, the material, age-group of students, etc. 

For example, you have to teach a group of teenagers. These restless, young minds need not just storytelling but something more. Games are the right way of holding their attention. 

  • Gamification: For gamifying your lectures, you can use quizzing tools such as Quizziz and Quizlet. There are also other gaming tools such as Educandy, Kahoot!, and Gimkit that you can use to make multiple games for multiple classes. Games make the class fun for both students and teachers alike. Apps like Quizzes can also be used for family game nights. 
  • Interaction: An essential aspect of online lectures is interaction. For this specific goal, teachers can use tools like Nearpod, Google Tour Creator, etc. which help you integrate VR, give prompts, take virtual field trips, and much more. Interaction has now surpassed just personal chat and voice notes, and this is just the beginning. 
  • Storytelling: The most important goal of teaching in any environment is storytelling. You won’t be surprised that there are apps for this too. StoryboardThat is an app that provides graphic organizers, templates, lesson plans, themes, characters, props, GIFs, etc. If you aren’t ready for high-level tools, you can simply use a combination of Slides and Canva designs and still make your class fun, creative, interactive, and colourful at the same time. 

Teach Online: Tips That You Should Know

Once you begin conducting your online classes, you will have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most common and basic ones, answered. 

  • Personal attention: Usually in physical classrooms, questions such as “Is this clear?” is usually met with either a reluctant “Yes” or indifferent silence. In an online class, you may not be able to watch the faces of your students and gauge their expressions. What you can do is use polling and quizzing features. You can introduce a reward system for feedback polls, which will encourage students to provide you with honest feedback. This will then help you to determine which student requires attention in which area, and address it through personal chat and conversations. 

  • Group activities: Zoom’s Breakout Room is the best-known tool for group assignments in online classes. Teachers can split students into groups, and all groups can work simultaneously with time limits. Another basic method that you can use is to throw open assignments for review and comments from peers. This way, students don’t just work together but also learn from each other’s positive and negative points. These activities can go a long way in building class harmony and friendships. 

  • Managing Technical Issues: Almost all technical issues of while teaching online have one explanation – lousy internet. The very first thing you need is a good internet connection. Of course, your students will also need one. Once you get a new internet plan, test it on video calls with friends, and test-run all your online teaching tools as well. Be prepared for everything. Have a mobile data backup plan in case your Wi-Fi fails, and encourage students to do the same. With 4G and now 5G, cellular data can support online classes as well as broadband and WiFi. 

  • Adapt to mobile: As we mentioned before, there is almost nothing that you cannot do on mobile. There are unique teaching apps for use on basic mobile phones and even for offline connectivity. Nowadays, a lot of budget and mid-range Android phones have excellent cameras, which aids video lectures a lot. You might find the phone screen to limiting a space, but you can overcome that too, by practising hand gestures and testing different angles for your phone. It would also be wise to invest in an excellent mobile phone rig that leaves your hands free for articulation and animation. 

  • Designing the coursework: If there were a course on creating an online course, new teachers would take it. There’s so much information at your disposal that you can get confused about what to use and what not to use for your syllabus. Designing a course structure begins with answering some basic questions and converting these answers into a step-by-step plan. 
    • Who are your students? What is their age group, qualification, likes, dislikes, etc.? Make a consumer profile-type summary of them.
    • What do they already know about the subject matter that you can use as a starting point for your course?
    • What could their possible goals be concerning your course?
    • How much time would you require to reach these goals?
    • What is the pace of learning that would suit them?
    • What are other teachers in the same field doing? Can you take inspiration from existing courses offered by universities?


  • Designing homework and assignments: Firstly, understand that you’ll probably spend as much time teaching as you would preparing assignments and evaluating homework. Next, be regular with assignments. Pre-decide the homework for each lecture. Integrate as much creativity as possible in assignment briefs. Ask students to sketch, draw, animate, act. Working from home requires a special kind of motivation to get out of your comfortable bed and work on a screen. Make sure your assignments are fun enough to provide that motivation, whether your students are 10-year-old kids or middle-aged professionals.

Mistakes to avoid

Whether it’s your first time or your fifth, there are bound to be some areas of improvement. Teaching is, after all, learning again and again. Here are a few common problem areas addressed. 

 

  1. The pacing problem

The problem with a lot of courses, online and offline, is that they become difficult to follow because of the sheer amount of information loaded in them. Through a screen, it becomes even more difficult for a teacher to judge the mood of the class and re-pace lectures accordingly. So, if it’s your first online course, make sure that you start with a light session with fewer information points and more focus on discussion, analysis, retention. This will also give you a better idea of your student group, their mentality, their choices, and their attitudes. A few lectures in, you will know their pace and can design the remaining conferences as per that pace. How much information to put in a course is a question that you won’t solve in one class or course. A few lectures later, you will have enough practice and experience to have the right answer to that question. So keep yourself open to new insights, new revelations, and new methods all the time. It is, after all, a learning process for you too. 

 

  1. Selecting a course and its content

If you are confused at the very first question, which is “What do I teach?”, you have a lot of follow-up questions to ask. However, the most important one is “What am I good at?”. Other questions like “What is in demand/trend right now?”, “What does my audience want?”, “What will pay me more?” are secondary. It is the age-old excellence-success bargain. If you’re good at something and believe in your wisdom, you will find the audience for it, and you will find success too. It is better to be an expert in something you know than to be a mediocre performer in something you’re not very good at. The world is a small place; you will find takers for anything. It doesn’t have to be coding or big data. You could even design a course on the lifecycle of arachnids and find a class full of eager students from around the world. Find your niche and excel in it. 

 

  1. Market strategy

What is your go-to-market strategy? If you’re a marketing or media professional, you already know this term. You might even be teaching or learning it online. A GTM (go-to-market) strategy is just the strategy that a company uses to bring their product into the market and create value through a business plan. You don’t need this jargon. You just need to follow the three necessary steps of marketing. 

  • Find out what people want. 
  • Deliver it to them
  • Tell them that you gave it to them.

 

In practical terms, if your area of expertise is, say, management, find out existing courses on management. Look for gaps and carve out a niche that no one else is addressing. The next step is to tackle that niche and design a course. The final step is to sell your course. Selling your course doesn’t just mean advertising it when before you start it, it also means sharing feedback when it’s over. Let the world know that your students are satisfied. It will help you get more students to sign up for your next course. All of this is a meticulous strategy that needs to be ingrained in your course plan.

 

  1. Announcing and launching a course on the same day

This would be a very rookie mistake to make. If you announce your course and commence it on the same day, you’re not giving students enough time to notice your course, think about it and then enrol. It also makes your course look like a limited period FMCG offer and gives an impression of poor planning. Instead, keep enough space between your announcement and launch. Post it on social media platforms. Give teasers and sneak peeks, which will generate excitement for your course. Take a good week and plan a strategy for each day of the week. Get your close friends and relatives to publicize your course as well. You can also use this plan to flaunt your achievements, thus proving your credibility and expertise in the course matter. The whole problem with announcing and launching on the same day is that all of this isn’t possible in a day. 

 

  1. Not having a clear course structure

Your course, whether beginner, intermediate or advanced, should have a specific goal that takes the learner from point A to point B. You should be able to explain the benefit of your course in one or two sentences. For example, “This online marketing course will teach fresh graduates to use Instagram and Facebook for promotion, sales, and engagement by acquainting them with various tools offered by Facebook.” Decide your point A, and point B, and then fill the space in between with a plan breakdown. Teaching is an art, but it takes as much structure and strategy as any other job. It is, after all, the art of sharing. You cannot share effectively unless you plan your communication. 

 

Looking Forward

 

This might have been a lot of information to take in, so read it at your own pace. Treat it like a mini online course on online courses. And lastly – research, research, and research. Check out multiple online tools and platforms and test them. Decide the best combination of devices, platforms, and resources for yourself. The world of teaching online has bright prospects for you, so jump right in and start your journey!

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Learning Experience

Education is the new currency. It is not restricted to the four walls of a classroom anymore. Today, anyone from the remote part of the globe with basic internet connectivity can get educated thanks to online learning! The demand for online courses will take the industry to the $350 billion mark by 2025


It has simplified the way people learn new subjects. But most importantly, it has enabled many subject experts to share their domain knowledge with everyone. Dissemination of knowledge is no longer limited in the hands of a few experts. If you are a subject matter expert, you are free to spread knowledge and gain extra income using online courses. You can build your own academy.


However, remember there are many experts (some really good and some who are still a novice) making online courses on the same subject. Hence, the only way to get people on your course is by offering them higher value. 


In this blog, we will discuss five best practices you should follow to create highly valuable online courses.


Five Best Practices for Creating Online Courses


1. Know your audience 

This is the first step to creating a valuable online course. Let’s assume you are a digital marketer who specializes in creating winning digital marketing strategies for startups. You want to teach how to create digital marketing strategies. So, your target audience could be budding entrepreneurs or digital marketers of startups wanting to know more about designing marketing strategies on a shoestring budget.

Knowing your audience will help you to make your course more relatable to the target audience. For example, if your audience already knows digital marketing, you can briefly touch upon the basics and move on to complex lessons. It will give you a roadmap while creating course content. 

Targeted Audience


2. Prepare a clear course outline

Imagine learning to write long sentences without knowing how to write alphabets. Unimaginable, right? Your course content cannot flow haphazardly. There should be a certain logic in how it is structured. Analyze how you would like to take your audience from point A to point B and then create a clear outline for the course.

Introducing the audience to the basics of social media and then jumping directly to Google Ads would confuse the audience. The ideal way would be to introduce a concept, delve further into it, give actionable tips, and then move on to the next concept. 

Create Course

Pro tip: Break your course into a digestible chunk of small sub-sections. Try not to exceed each lesson beyond 6-7 minutes as that could take away the attention of the audience. 


3. Ensure your course is easily accessible 

The advantage of an online course is you can learn from anywhere, anytime. So, it has to be easily accessible to your audience. Ensure that your course is mobile-friendly and easily compatible with different devices. As we talk about accessibility, ensure that your course is easily accessible to the differently-abled audience too.

For instance, make the navigation simpler for a visually challenged person to access and download the lectures. Ensure that there are subtitles in your videos for people with hearing issues to understand the course better. 

Learning paltforms

 


4. Offer a good learning experience

Here are a few things you must do to create a good learning experience for your audience – right from the sign-up process to finishing the course.


  • Add a course objective at the beginning to prepare the audience for what they can expect from the course.
  • Include gamification or quizzes in the end, to allow learners to test their knowledge.
  • Give certificates on completion to nudge learners to finish the course.
  • Keep your forum interactive so people can interact and ask you questions directly.
  • Check the audio and video quality of your course.
  • Do not upload very heavy files as that could make the page load slower. 
  • Include transcripts and other documents along with the video for reference.
  • Gather feedback at the end of the course to find out pain points to improve in the future.

Good Learning Experience



5. Use the best tools

In continuation of the point above, you must use the best possible tools to create a successful course. We don’t recommend investing a massive amount in technology, but you must choose the right microphone, and the right camera to record the videos. Ensure that the sound and video quality is decent enough for the learner to stay focused on your course. 


Pro tip: Record your videos in preferably silent premises. You don’t want the background sounds of construction or traffic to seep into your audio. 

Online School

Create awesome online courses using FreshLMS?

Now that you know the basics of creating a good online course, it’s time to upload your course on a platform and distribute it on social media to promote sign-ups. That’s where FreshLMS can help you.

FreshLMS is a learning management system that allows you to upload, manage, and analyze the performance of the course on one platform. Here are a few things you can do with FreshLMS:


  • Set up your academy in just a few clicks.
  • Upload your videos without worrying about the storage space and security.
  • Embed videos, documents, and other things to make your course more wholesome.
  • Make your course mobile-ready.
  • Create quizzes and games to test the learner’s understanding.
  • Reward them with certificates on completion.
  • Setup payment gateway in just a few clicks.
  • Make your course more interactive through collaboration with learners.


And here’s the best part. You don’t have to break the bank to create an online school. Being at the beta stage, FreshLMS is letting users create and manage courses for free! We don’t even ask you for your credit card details. So, you can experiment with your course without worry and generate high ROI from it.


Ready to create your online school for FREE, Sign up for a Free Trial Now !!

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Learning Management System, Champions, E Learning, Jobs Selecting, Learning Experience, Learning Management System, Online Course, Solopreneur, Training, Video

What you will learn:


  • What is a video-based employee training?
  • Why is it more beneficial than traditional training?
  • How can FreshLMS help you for free?

Organizations operate in a fast-paced environment. There is very little time for the employees to settle in and get used to the new work and environment. Most organizations look at it as a waste of precious man-hours and money (considering that the average training cost is around $1,041 for each employee). They consider it a mere formality and find quick ways to complete the training, which honestly can be quite catastrophic in the future. 


If you ask an HR professional, they will tell you that an ideal onboarding period should be between 90 to 100 days. However, a survey by CareerBuilder showed a very different picture. The survey of 2,300 hiring managers and HR professionals indicated that only 11% of companies have an onboarding process of more than three months. 25% said the process gets over within a day, while 26% confirmed that they spend a week or less on onboarding

 

Understandably, organizations do not have the time and resources to conduct extensive training programs, given the pressure of working in an agile environment and the focus on accelerating the go-to-market process. However, the HRs argue that an onboarding program of less than a month can impact the retention rate. It takes time for employees to get accustomed to the new culture, compliance, and duties. 

They say that having a more extended onboarding program, preferably for a full year, can improve the retention rate by 25%.

So, how can organizations implement this in a cost-effective and time-saving manner?

 

The answer lies in video-based employee training.


What is a video-based employee training? 

video-based employee training?

Video-based employee training is delivered in video format. These videos can be animation videos, interviews of leaders and employees, explainer videos, and corporate videos talking about the company. They are engaging, accessible, and can be viewed anytime by your employees. 


How online learning platforms are beneficial over traditional training?

Here are five reasons why online learning platforms score over traditional classroom training.


1. Cuts cost


Cut Costs

Do you know, on average, a company spends 40% of its training budget on travel costs? Add to it the additional expenses of training material and other logistics. You can save all those expenses by adopting video-based employee training. There is just a one-time expense of developing video-based training. Companies like Microsoft and IBM have saved $303 per person to $579 million in two years, respectively using video-based training. 


2. Aids better learning


Aids better learning

In traditional training, employees have to keep pace with others to complete the training. Sometimes they might miss out on crucial lessons in the process. With video-based training, they can learn at their own pace. They can even replay the lectures or rewind it by a few minutes to learn better. This helps them to get a better grasp on the subject matter.


3. Helps to break complicated subjects into bite-sized content

bite-sized content

According to Forrester’s research, 75% of employees prefer to watch a video rather than read an article, document, or an article. Thanks to its audio-visual capabilities, it also increases the retention by 35%. This means that if you have to train your employees on complicated and technical subjects, then you don’t have to resort to lengthy training formats.

You can break them down into bite-sized videos of 3-5 minutes so that it is easy for them to grasp it. And it need not be easy. Take CitySprint, for example. They created a fun, animated video on how employees should adhere to a checklist to ensure that the package arrives safely. The video drove the points better than a textual or in-class presentation that is easily forgettable.


4. Provide training to a broader audience 

training to a broader audience

Conducting mass-training, especially for employees across different projects, time zones, and locations, can be challenging. Video-based training removes that stress. Employees across various locations can easily access video-based training. You can provide training to 10-100 employees all at once. 


5. Easily measurable


5 Reasons Why Video-based Trainings are Perfect for Your Employees 1

Tracking the effectiveness of the training can be time-consuming. There could also be delays in measuring them as you have to consolidate the ratings from the participants and calculate the average ratings. If you include analytics in your video-based training, you can measure its effectiveness in real-time. This will provide insights on which modules have worked and which require improvement. 



How FreshLMS can help you in launching your own online learning platform?

 

FreshLMS is an easy-to-use learning management system that helps to build a culture of learning in your organization. You can build courses, create courses, introduce gamification, and track its effectiveness using the platform. FreshLMS also allows you to upload video-based training. You don’t have to worry about the storage or the security of the videos. FreshLMS takes care of it.

FreshLMS is in the beta stage. We are striving to create a world-class learning platform for organizations like yours. So, that’s why we are not charging a single penny from you.

So, what are you waiting for? Visit our website to know more and get started on creating a world-class learning experience for your employees.  


                                            Start a learning platform for your organization NOW

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