Digital Learning Is On The Rise – Will You Be A Part Of It?
In 2019, the eLearning market was valued at more than $200 billion. Between 2020 and 2026, it’s expected to grow over 8%. It’s no wonder that trends like mobile learning, online courses, social learning, and corporate MOOCs have been steadily rising, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The demand is there. The only question is, will you be the one to provide e-learning solutions to students and professionals?
Why Invest in eLearning?
The most common reason for creating an online course is to generate revenue. It is a renewable asset that does not expire or sell out. Design a course once, and people will buy it again and again. And because of its digital format, you will save money on producing and distributing your online courses.
You can also use online courses to attract an audience for your other products. If you sell a product that has a bit of a learning curve, creating a training course for that product is a great way to ensure customer success and lower churn rates. If this is your approach, you’ll want to provide your online courses for little to no cost since your main revenue will come from the product itself.
How to Effectively Create and Sell Your Online Courses
Step 1: Pick a topic for your online courses.
The best way to find a topic that would engage your audience is to ask them! Send out a survey to find out what they’d like to learn. You can also reach out to followers on social media by creating polls or calling for responses. If you notice a reoccurring theme in the answers, then you have your topic. Those with a smaller audience who may not respond to surveys or social media can pull topics from other content they produce, such as blog posts or YouTube videos. If you choose to cover multiple topics, start with the most popular one and move on from there.
“If you notice a reoccurring theme in the answers, then you have your topic.”
Step 2: Validate your course.
There are many businesses that have a great idea for an online course but never follow through because they’re afraid it won’t generate revenue. This is a legitimate concern, but the good news is that there are two ways to assess your ROI ahead of time. Just as in the previous step, you can send out a survey asking your audience if they would be willing to purchase your online courses. Another option is to pre-sell your course. This is a very clear way to demonstrate the demand while also generating revenue up front. It can also be a great way to publicize your course, as people’s anticipation will grow while waiting for the debut of your online courses.
Step 3: Create the course.
If you, like most people, have never designed online courses before, it can seem like a daunting task. That’s why at The Mauldin Group, we provide instructional design consulting and development that is customized to your needs including: facilitators, learners, goals and budget. We are able to effectively design and implement an eLearning solution by following our 5-step instructional design model known as ADDIE. This stands for:
- Analysis – The analysis phase is when we work with our clients to identify their instructional needs and goals. We establish the objectives of their training program, as well as the potential students’ needs and goals.
- Design – Next, we start the content design process. We’ll work with you to establish the instructional elements such as lesson plans, learning objectives, assessment tools and training tools. We carefully consider different forms of media communication during this stage.
- Development – In the development stage, we build the program’s technological foundation, as well as any hard copy instructional materials. Our developers create the platform you need to communicate, test, teach and evaluate each student’s retention of your instructional program.
- Implementation– The implementation phase is when we execute a thorough training protocol for instructors covering the curriculum, testing procedures and final evaluations. We review the process to make sure it is intuitive and efficient. We also install the technology tools for learning, train students on how to use them and ensure that student registration performs flawlessly.
- Evaluation – Lastly is the evaluation stage. Just like an instructor needs to evaluate the learning of their students, we need to evaluate the performance of your online courses. We implement a two-part review process that includes both formative and summative evaluations. The formative evaluation is an ongoing review throughout the whole development process. We carefully evaluate each step to ensure that any negative, confusing, or ill-performing elements are addressed BEFORE launch. The summative evaluation will help us define any criterion-related testing needed and develop a review procedure that allows for feedback from all users.
Once you have the content for your online courses, you’ll want to establish a Learning Management System (LMS). An LMS offers its instructors and students the convenience and efficiency of having one platform to communicate and exchange learning materials from any location. You may recognize this structure from college or university learning systems, where it originated. The LMS platforms have proven themselves vital for all educational entities and businesses in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The Mauldin Group offers customized development of Learning Management Systems using the WordPress platform. It couldn’t be easier.
Step 4: Market your course.
The key to a successful marketing campaign is understanding the buyer’s journey. Each customer goes through a series of stages that lead them to purchasing your online courses. The first stage is called “Awareness.” This is when a customer becomes aware of a problem they would like to solve. Then they begin to look into their options by researching and exploring what solutions are available to them. This is called the “Consideration” stage. When they’ve gathered enough information to satisfy them, the customer moves on to the “Decision” stage. In order to attract as many buyers as possible, you must market to them at every stage of their journey.
The Mauldin Group Has The Skills To Design Your Online Courses
At The Mauldin Group, we understand that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for instructional design. Your online courses require a careful, customized strategy that looks at both the instructors’ and students’ needs. Using the ADDIE model for instructional design, we help our clients to build eLearning courses that are instructional and easy to navigate. Learn more by visiting our website or calling 866-438-7756.