I promised more on online courses, so here it is.
The development of online courses, though only 10 years old, is fast and furious.
(You have to know this, to know the most important point at the end of this short post.)
~14 years ago, college programs went online.
~ Thirteen years ago, technical training burst onto the scene (think Lynda).
~ Nine years ago, Kahn Academy published free online courses with primitive formats (whiteboard, anyone?)
~ Five years ago, individual groups began platforms online courses (think Udemy).
It’s safe to say, online courses exploded with a less-than-gracious ka-boom across the Internet.
The past four years, though, have been the most important in online course history. Why?
Because everyone and their dog can now create an online course.
OY. That’s good and bad.
Good because it opens doors for you to share what you have.
People can learn from you.
Bad because a ton of people are out there teaching online —
and not doing it well.
So, now, a bunch of “experts” have run to their keyboards create “How To” courses for would-be online teachers. I’ve seen more than a couple dozen “how to create your online course” courses splatting across the Internet this past six months alone. And most of it is people capitalizing on an innocent, vulnerable, humble thirst to share what you know and make money at it.
Honestly, I’m Horrified with a capital H.
Because, as a writer/creator of online courses for many years, I can tell you — much of it is c.r.a.p. and it makes my heart break that people are spending their hard-earned money to buy these programs. (Yes, I’ve checked them out. Talk about BIG HOLES in the information and, in the end, you still don’t know how to get your knowledge and ideas into something that you can put up and have people pay for it.)
Be careful. The courses on how to develop courses can be a waste of your time and money. Most of the programs on how to teach online are about format — not about how to narrow your ideas and present them in a way that people can understand, enjoy, and love (so that they tell their friends and come back for more).
In other words, most of these programs DON’T teach you how to break your ideas down into something
* Clearly laid out
* Technically easy to follow
* Linear and single in its ideas
* Powerful in its points, so that your readers can take action and get results
Because online courses have exploded, you now have to deal with the “noise” of a bazillion poorly-laid-out programs. We don’t need MORE online courses.
We need well-designed online courses that shine brilliantly with content and draw people naturally. No grape juice, please. We need fine wine.
If you have any skill — and I mean ANY — that you can describe and teach, taking others along your path, then you have the potential to make wine from the grapes of your knowledge and experiences.
But there is a “good” way and “bad” way —
a so-so way and a brilliant way —
a non-financially stable way and a financially-sound way —
to create online courses.
My own personal passion thumps in my chest when I talk about this (can you tell?) —
Because the idea of you sharing what blazes in your heart truly inspires me.
Remember when our parents would say, “If it were easy, everyone would do it”? The internet has made that a reality with increasingly poor results. I really appreciate someone like you who strives for integrity and quality instead of capitalizing on an industry.