How to create an online training course (11 easy steps)

Alex Mospanyuk

Even with online web-based learning being more popular than ever, creating your own course can seem like a daunting task. At Archy Learning, we have broken this process down into 11 simple steps.

1. Determine your “Why”
2. Understand your Target Audience
3. Create Content
4. Determine the Objectives
5. Write out the Design Plan
6. Creating a Storyboard
7. Choose your LMS
8. Build your Course
9. Final Changes and go Live
10. Time to Promote
11. Evaluate and ask for Feedback

Determine your “Why”

Creating your own online course simply because of popularity might be tempting, but extensive research and planning must happen before you give yourself the green light. Begin with writing out your goals. Have a very clear understanding of what you are trying to teach and what your KPIs are.

Asking questions such as “what does your audience need to learn, and what value will it bring to them? How will it help my organisation reach its goals? Is this compliance training or simply educational?”

Your course topic can even address skill gaps within your team, and help them level up. Understanding and identifying this will help you track success along the way. 

Understand your Target Audience 

Understanding your ideal audience and their current skill set is important. For example, a beginner’s English course, or an advanced coding course. Create course content that will meet your audience exactly where they are, and allow this knowledge to help you create content to help them achieve their goals.

Create Content

Once you know why you’re creating eLearning content, and who your audience is, it’s time to analyze your work! You would need to determine:

  • Your value proposition
  • Your audience’s ideal learning style
  • If you should attempt different approaches such as microlearning to see if the learners produce better results
  • The learning materials that you will provide
  • The different categories will help achieve different learning outcomes throughout the course.

Determine the Objectives

Understand what your students or employees are trying to learn. What is the learning objective and what learning activities will you provide to help them reach those goals? 

It is the expected outcome of each lesson, that they are designed to help your learners be competent in understanding the subject. Having a direct learning pathway with clear objectives will allow for a well-designed and defined training course that is sure to help your learners succeed. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and understand what is desired from the learners as well as those who are overseeing the training process. Write these objectives based on those final results. Begin by choosing 3-4 per course, and keep your content in line with these objectives. 

A great way is to create the objectives using SMART criteria:

  • Specific: Make sure you can answer the questions: Who are my learners, and what will be accomplished? 
  • Measurable: Can we measure/observe the progress of the objective? 
  • Achievable: Are your goals actually achievable, or are they too difficult to accomplish within this course alone? It is important to set realistic goals with realistic timeframes and resources.
  • Relevant: A good objective must make sense for your target audience. Make sure you know why the objectives are necessary as well as being linked.
  • Time-sensitive: Can learners accomplish the set-out goals by the end of the allotted course timeframe? 

Write out the Design Plan

It is time to design the online training plan. Simply put, this is the process in which your course will be developed in order to teach and engage your learners with your winning content! 

There are different types of strategic learning approaches you can take, such as storytelling, discovery learning, or situational learning.

When deciding on a strategy, think about: 

  • The type of content: The type of format in which you are presenting. Depending on the course, determine which is the most effective, an example being instructor-led training in video or audio format.  
  • Impact: Determine how this content will be relevant and meaningful to your audience. 
  • Objectives: Understand what your overall goals are, and how this content contributes to them. 

Creating a Storyboard

A storyboard is a rough, visual outline that helps map out how text, pictures, and other elements will look on a page, or in this case, your entire course. It will allow you and your team to see the overall learning pathway without the gritty details, and make changes needed before writing the specific content for each piece. Once you are done with the course design, submit it for approval, and you are well on your way to creating the course. 

Choose your LMS (Learning Management System)

There are many different online course creator platforms or LMS software that allow you to easily build out your course. Some LMS features and course creators even have artificial intelligence that can help enhance your student’s experience. Some are built for customer training, and others are enterprise LMS. Understanding the LMS platform you choose, and ensuring that you choose the right one that is best for you and your company is important to the success of the training programs. 

Build your Course

Once the eLearning software has been chosen, it is time to build. Once you have your prototype approved, it’s time to start designing the actual course. During this process you need to keep an eye on the original objectives and problems to ensure the course, as a whole, is geared towards solving these.

Final Changes and go Live

Present the course to a few trusted advisors, and ask for feedback. Let them have a look through it and ensure all objectives are realised and can be completed by those who will be enrolling in the course. It is important to be open to change, should it better the course as a whole.

Time to Promote

Let’s discuss your marketing strategy. Begin with knowing your ideal audience and creating compelling content. 

Have a clear understanding of:

  • Why your audience needs to take this course 
  • Where the course will be available 
  • The simplicity of the enrolment process 

It helps to build awareness with your website, blogs, and social media posts. 

Email marketing is effective as well. Explain the benefits and value that you bring, and watch the eager learners come through the funnel. Creating a marketing plan should be all part of the development and strategy, so make sure you include it in your original planning and budget. 

Evaluate and ask for Feedback 

Asking for feedback from your students is a great way to engage with your current audience, ensuring that they are getting the most out of online learning. After course completion, Take their feedback and use it to tweak the course and content accordingly.

This will help you understand what you have done well, and what can be done better.

Involve the management team to review other factors such as return on investment, and performance. This will help you also determine how to make the courses more effective. Sign up to Archy Learning for free, and create incredible and fun online courses today!

Alex Mospanyuk

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