How much online course content is enough? How much is too much? How do I avoid overwhelming my audience when I am developing my online course?
This is perhaps the most common question (or set of questions) I get asked about online course development for small businesses and I totally understand why it stresses so many of you out. The last thing we want to do, when we have sold our course to our beloved client, is to overwhelm them and make them regret their purchase, right? How do I know how much content to include so that I teach my “thing” but without including so much that I scare them away?
It’s a great question!
One that needs to be asked.
And thankfully (for me) it is one that is easily answered.
How much content do you include? Well, it’s simple, just enough!
I know that doesn’t seem like a real answer. It sounds like when your Mom would say “we’ll see” or “because I said so” when we were kids. But just as I found when I reached adulthood that my Mom is always right (gosh it’s hard to admit that), you will see that I am right about this too.
You see the first step in creating your online course is to create a goal.
What is the purpose of your course? What do you want your audience to be able to do when they are finished with your course that they weren’t able to do before they found you and your genius? What is “the thing” that you want to teach them? That is your goal for your course.
When my ideal client completes my course Your Online Course Outline they should feel prepared to begin the process of building their own online course offering. That’s my goal. Now we will talk more about goals and objectives in more detail at another time, but know that they all need to be measurable and obtainable.
Now there are also objectives to your course.
These are smaller little “accomplishments” that all add up to completing the goal. For instance, in my course Creating the Course Your Audience Craves a few of the objectives are:
- To help my audience choose a topic that your audience craves
- To make sure everyone who has taken my course knows how to include education psychology and theory or what I call, “the secret sauce”.
- To show the value of creating interaction and engagement with your learners.
Your objectives help you meet your goal. If you meet every objective, you must meet your overall course goal. It’s a given! It’s a beautiful thing!
So, how do we make sure that we don’t include too much or too little information in your course?
The answer, like I said before, is really easy.
Anything that goes into your couse should help you meeet your goal.
Make sure that every piece of content you include in your course is relevant to your objectives and the goal of your course. If you are teaching a course on underwater basket weaving, it might be relevant to include a chapter or module on choosing the right snorkel, but it probably isn’t relevant to spend any amount of time talking about the price of tea in China. One topic is relevant to your course goal and objectives, one is not.
And it is as simple as that.
When you are mind-mapping and breaking out the content for your course and determining #allthethings to include, you will come up with many things that you think are interesting and important. We all want to help our ideal client and serve them in the best way we know how. We feel like teaching them literally everything we know is the best way to give them value, but it’s not.
They don’t have to know what you know, they just need to know what you teach them.
The key is to break down your content and to go back through your mind map or your lists and weed out those ideas and topics that just are not necessary to achieve your goals and objectives. If it isn’t needed, leave it out.
Some educators say that it is easier to build a course in reverse. This is definitely true when you think about making sure your content meets the needs of your learner and meets the end goal of your course. Start with the end in mind and measure every piece of content or idea against your goals and objectives.
To learn more about how to outline your online course, check out my mini-course Your Online Course Outline available for only $27 for a limited time! To discuss your course project and see if your content is on track, set up a discovery call with me https://traceyteaches.biz/work-with-me/
Until we meet again, Happy Teaching!