Should You Create an Online Learning Course?

For years, the prospect of signing up for a course filled us with stress. The additional costs, travel, and commitment on top of a busy schedule put off a lot of people from developing their skills and interests. With the advancement of technology adoption and Internet speeds, many obstacles to learning have been removed. These days, there are many e-learning platforms for students of all ages, whether they are undertaking academic or casual study.

There are many reasons why online learning is superior to traditional learning. Online courses allow students to move quicker through the areas that they are confident in while spending more time on those that they need to work on. The flexibility and personalization allows them to study at their own pace and boosts knowledge retention rates by 25 to 60 percent compared to the mere 8 to 10 percent of physical classroom lessons.

According to IBM, participants absorb five times more information in online courses that feature multimedia content compared to traditional teaching. Because online courses teach more material but take less time, the associated costs are reduced while the ROI is increased significantly. In fact, a study conducted by IBM recorded a return of $30 in productivity for every dollar spent on online learning.

Why Create an Online Course?

There are numerous benefits to creating an online course. Individuals who have valuable knowledge and experience can leverage this by creating unique and exclusive online courses. Highlighting your passion can help you to connect with people who have similar interests and can aid in networking efforts. Being an author of an online course will also establish you as an authority in your field.

Although it takes a good amount of dedication and consistency, authoring an online course requires little or no financial investment. And—unlike many other avenues of self-promotion—your audience can easily view evidence of your expertise. Having an online course can also help entrepreneurs to share their innovative ideas with the world and access more sponsors and investors. Finally, successful online courses can be a rewarding side hustle that provides passive income.

Similarly, many companies choose to create online courses so that they are viewed as experts in their field. An interior design company, for example, could create an online course teaching others how to decorate their bedrooms in a certain style. This will not only increase their audience but also bring in potential clients who recognize their professional skills from browsing through their online course.

Some companies create online courses specifically for internal use. Instead of sending their employees to third-party training providers, companies can use custom-made online courses to upgrade and retrain their employees. Investing in continuous professional development attracts new talents and enhances the satisfaction of existing employees. This in turn increases employee skills, motivation, and performance, which leads to a greater ROI and a more profitable bottom line.

Choosing an Online Learning Platform

The EdTech industry has advanced rapidly and there are now multiple online learning platforms that boast a variety of services and capabilities. Course creators can choose the appropriate online learning platforms depending on the complexity and interactivity of your course content. However, some features differentiate an excellent online learning platform from an average one.

A great online learning platform must have an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Users should be able to log in and navigate the site easily, with a clear overview of learning progression. Training resources should be within a few simple clicks and the information should be presented with a logical flow. In addition, the platform must be responsive—meaning that it will function well on a desktop, tablet, or mobile, with the content fitting correctly on the screen.

The tools that come with the online learning platform are just as important. Built-in authoring tools are usually quite basic, making your online course look like a glorified PowerPoint presentation. Fortunately, there are external tools such as Adobe Captivate that can help you to create engaging digital learning resources. Some platforms make it even easier by allowing you to lease off-the-shelf e-learning content.

Collaborative and social learning tools are another useful feature to look for when choosing an online learning platform. These tools enable your students to interact with each other via group discussions, forums, or media sharing so that they can achieve better learning outcomes together. This encourages creative problem solving and can enhance team rapport and cooperation.

Finding an online learning platform that will tick the boxes for all your current and potential needs is going to be challenging. Therefore, focus instead on finding a platform that can be scaled up as your course’s popularity grows in the future. Most legitimate online learning platforms will allow authors and audiences to take a free demonstration before committing to a plan.

Online courses play an essential role in lifelong learning. By taking the time to author an online course, individuals and companies can share knowledge and establish themselves as industry leaders. As the EdTech industry continues to evolve, we can expect to see more diverse and interesting online courses, as well as more corporations investing in online learning for their employees.