By Julie Hood
In our rush to launch our course, it’s easy to forget some of the most valuable ways to improve your course.
Today I’ve got six easy ways you can create a better course:
1. Use a microphone. When you record, make sure you use some kind of microphone to improve your audio. Even if it’s just the microphone with the earbuds for your mobile phone. The sound can be even more important than the quality of your video to improve your student’s experience.
2. Watch out for echo. One of my clients recorded her course in her office. It had high ceilings and all wood floors, and her voice echoed through the entire recording. It was really hard to listen to. So for her next video, we had her record in her daughter’s room that had lots of fabrics with the bedding and the curtains, and a rug on the floor. It was so much better.
3. Condense. Condense. Condense. It’s so easy for us to start rambling about our topic and make long-winded recordings to teach a lesson. Before you start, make sure you have determined the purpose of the lesson and the key points you need to make. You may even want a notecard with your list of points to keep you focused. Your students will love you for not taking up any more of their time than necessary.
4. Recap and Summarize. At the end of your lesson, recap your main points. It will help your students remember what you taught them and fill in any blanks if they missed part of your lesson. Summarize the lesson so they finish with the key points you want them to remember.
5. Check your order of topics. When you put together the outline of your course, make sure you are teaching in the best possible order. Ask yourself, “What do they need to know first? Second? Third?”
Go through each lesson and ask yourself, “Do my students have everything they need before they start this topic? Have I explained the terminology? (If not, do that first.) What do they need to understand first – before they can understand or complete this lesson?” There’s nothing worse than a student getting to lesson 8 and saying to themselves, “I wish they had told me that at the beginning! It would have made it so much easier.”
6. Add notes, summaries, checklists, worksheets and to do lists to make your lesson easier to understand and use. Notice I didn’t say transcripts. Personally I think transcripts can be time-consuming to absorb. I would much rather have a good set of notes that summarize the lesson for me. Course designers will recommend fill-in-the-blank notes because your student is more engaged with the material when they have to fill in key words. Checklists and worksheets are those extra items that make sure your students actually use the training you are giving them. I love it when an instructor ends a lesson with a to do list for me – so I don’t have to pull that out of the training.
So there you have it – six easy ways to take your course to the next level!
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