Teaching an Online Course: What You Need to Get Started


Online courses are becoming hugely popular, and they’re not limited to degree programs only. While there are many options out there for anybody looking to get their degree or improve their education with a master’s qualification online, you can also find plenty of opportunities for simply improving knowledge or learning a new skill. Whether you want to learn how to draw, how to design a website, how to code, or anything else, you can pretty much guarantee that an online course will be available these days.

For those who enjoy teaching and sharing their knowledge with others, it’s created an incredible business opportunity. If you have a skill or expertise that others could benefit from learning, starting an online business creating and selling a course to help others learn all about it could be an ideal career choice for you. So, if you’ve decided that this is what you want to do, how can you stand out from all the other online course tutors out there and become a top choice?

Get Extra Qualifications and Certification

When people pay for an online course, they want to make sure that they are getting the most for their money. That’s why having additional qualifications and certificates to prove your expertise in your subject, or even your skill as a teacher, can certainly help you gain more credibility and be a more appealing option to your potential students. This University of Redlands MALT program (Master’s in Teaching in Learning) is a great choice to help you become both a better educator and a better student, and will certainly help you in your endeavor to offer an irresistible online course. If you want to offer a qualification, you’ll need to ensure that you have the sufficient accreditation to do so before starting.

Get to Know Your Potential Students

Whatever kind of online program you have decided to teach, the first thing you need to do is get to know the people who are going to be signing up for it. The better the understanding you have of your students, the easier it will be for you to put together course materials that will interest and appeal to them, allowing you to not only attract more students to your course but encourage them to see it through. Ask the following questions:

– What are my potential online students interested in?
– What are their likes and dislikes?
– What are their motivations for wanting to take the course?
– How much will they be able to afford to pay for the course?
– How much time do they have to commit to studying?
– How do they prefer to take in information?
– What are their learning styles?

The answers that you provide to these questions will help you determine your ideal student and put together a campaign to attract people who fit the profile.

Create a Community

Once you’ve created your online course, marketed it, and have some students signing up, a good way to keep everybody engaged and ensure that they get the most from their learning experience is to create an online community. You could do this via a forum on your website or an email newsletter, but one of the best options is to start an exclusive, members-only Facebook or LinkedIn group to add students to once they have signed up. Some of the main benefits of creating an online community for your online course include:

– Students have a sense of ‘belonging’ which encourages them to continue and see the course through
– Peer-to-peer learning and advice can be very helpful for both students and yourself; it can take the pressure off you and allow students to explore different ways of looking at things that you may not have thought about
– You can use the online community to ask questions and run polls to find out more about what your students think of the course, what they enjoy, what they dislike and any suggestions that they might have for future course materials or subsequent courses

If you enjoy teaching others and sharing your knowledge on a subject that you are passionate about, creating and teaching an online course can be a very enjoyable pastime that you can even turn into a very successful business with the right strategies.

More people than ever before are signing up to online courses either to gain qualifications or to simply learn something new that they’ve always wanted to be able to do, so the opportunities are endless when it comes to the subject and type of course that you teach and the kind of students that sign up.