Find practical steps on how to create an online course outline and plan your online course content with ease using the tips given in this guide.
Online courses are not only today’s handy gateway to education, but they are also becoming a common part of every students’ life.
In our past guides, we’ve already discussed the importance of an online teacher, their salary criteria, and other aspects.
Today, let’s get down to the actual business of making money online through creating courses.
Since you have decided on becoming an online tutor, you’ll be required to come up with course content.
How do you go about it?
Well, that’s exactly why we are here to help!
Creating an online course outline involves 6 important steps:
1) Brainstorming ideas
2) Breaking the content into chapters
3) Breaking each chapter into steps
4) Creating an outline
5) Coming up with a structured presentation
6) Validating your course.
These are the steps that will guide you in creating a comprehensive course that meets your students’ needs.
How To Plan Your Online Course Content
The most basic step you need to take before interacting with your students is to plan your course outline.
You need to fish in as many students as possible.
For that, you need to have a detailed course outline planned.
Your course should not only satisfy your students but also make them jump at the offer of your online course!
Having a comprehensive course outline can help you plan all your courses thoroughly and step by step.
This will ensure that your course content is covering all the information regarding the course topic.
You should aim to cover all the queries of the students.
This will cause satisfaction.
It can also help you prepare your courses for the future.
But how to ensure that your course outline is exemplary and covering all the aspects of the course?
Well, not to worry!
We have devised a detailed online course outline scheme for you.
This should help you in planning the most comprehensive and informational course.
A course that will make your students fall in love with your content and will make it easier for them to learn!
Table of contents:
Introduction: How To Plan Your Online Course Content
How To Create An Online Course Outline
- Step 1. Brainstorm Ideas
- Step 2. Break It Into Chapters
- Step 3. Break Each Chapter Into Steps
- Step 4. Create An Outline
- Step 5. Structure Your Presentation
- Step 6. Validate the course
Tips For Testing Your Online Course Idea:
So let’s get started!
Step #1 Brainstorm Ideas
To draft up the perfect course outline for your students, keep in mind the goals and objectives of your course.
Take some time to brainstorm various ideas.
Write at least 4-5 objectives that you are planning to deliver through your course.
For example, if you are planning to design an online course on web development, your major aim should be to enable your students to design a fully functional website at the end.
The easiest way to brainstorm is to create a practical mind map.
Just jot down whatever point comes in your mind and add it to your planner.
Once you have a series of points, it will be easier for you to place them in a sequence and start creating your content!
If you are still confused about how to conduct a brainstorming session, just take your favorite textbook, and go through the ideas of the content.
That will give you a vague picture of how you need to do the outlining.
Step # 2: Break Into Chapters
Now that you have gotten a vague picture of your course through the brainstorming session, the next step is structuring your course.
For this purpose, you need to create a transformation matrix that will make it easier for you to satisfy your students.
First, group those points from your brainstorming map which share similar ideas.
This grouping of ideas will break your entire course content into similar chapters.
This will make it simpler for your students to understand.
The division of your course content into chapters can help you in filling up the transformation matrix for your course.
This is basically the outcome that the students will gain after going through each chapter of your course.
Your outcome should be simple – the satisfaction of your students.
Let’s consider another example of baking.
If your online course is about baking, then your chapters should comprise all the baked goods that you are planning to include in your course.
You need to have separate chapters for ‘cakes’, ‘pasta’, and ‘pies’.
Step # 3 Break Each Chapter into Steps
After the division of the course into some basic chapters, the next step is to divide each chapter into designated steps.
For creating the transformation matrix for each chapter, evaluate all the steps comprising each chapter.
This will create a breakdown structure for each chapter of your course.
This breakdown helps to boost up the learning of your students.
A thorough division of the course into chapters and sub-chapters will also make it convenient for you to plan and record the entire course.
Let’s consider the previous examples.
For the web designing course, you need to split each chapter into steps.
For instance, the ‘HTML Learning’, divide it into steps like the code crafting, implementation, and testing.
Similarly, for the baking online course, let’s consider the chapter ‘cakes’.
In this, enlist all the steps in baking cakes, like the dry ingredients, wet ingredients, over-temperature, and icing.
A thorough division of each chapter into steps would definitely ensure the satisfaction of your students.
Step # 4 Create an Outline
Now comes the most time-consuming step, but definitely one of the most helpful ones!
Creating an outline makes your work so much easier, that it’ll definitely surprise you!
This step is the actual visual representation of all your course breakdown structures.
In this step, create a visual presentation of the chapters and steps or sub-chapters of the course.
Creating an outline makes it easier for you to organize and manage your online course content.
Everything that you need to mention in your course is enlisted via this course outline.
The thorough breakdown also makes it simpler for your students to understand and learn better.
So it’s safe to conclude that an online course outline is the most fundamental tool for every online teacher.
Step # 5 Structure Your Presentation
After creating a draft of your course outline, consider a visual presentation of your outline.
The outline presentation makes the course division procedure systematic.
It’s also handy for both online tutors and students.
You can easily access your course data any time through this presentation.
The basic factors of an online course – the course scheduling and the course content, can easily be done in a step-by-step process.
This is through the outline presentation of the course.
It could involve various procedures like making a visual mind map or a linking mechanism.
Step #6 Validate The Course
An additional step that can ensure your outline is not only systematic but also convincing for students.
You can send your course outline presentation to experts, friends, or fellow tutors.
Doing so will get you some valuable feedback that can help you get a picture of the market demand for your course.
You can then re-shape your outline so it fits the understanding criteria of your students.
Or you can just add some last touches and give it a go!
Tips For Testing Your Online Course Idea
Now that you are done with the preparations of your course outline and are ready.
You may still experience some nervousness and anxiety before previewing your course on the web.
What if your course doesn’t appeal to students?
What if you don’t get enough engagement in your course?
What if all your hard work goes down the drain?
These questions are enough to tie your stomach up in a knot.
But we might just have the antidote to keep everything smooth and on track!
To check whether your course is all set to go up on the web, you need to test it.
This will save you valuable time and effort that you are investing in your course.
So here are some tips and tricks that you can use to evaluate your course before putting it on the web!
#1 Sell Before Creating
This may sound weird and all confusing, but trust us, it’s the key!
We don’t want all your hard work and time to go to waste.
‘Selling before Creating’ means that you promote your course to your students before you upload the entire course plan.
Start by uploading an introductory lecture or an introduction of yourself to see the response of your students.
Analyze what they are interested in and what factors are causing them trouble.
Some of them can be poor lightning or sound disturbance.
But your students’ valuable feedback will come in handy.
You can polish your future course content to match their observations.
This will guarantee you some major traffic of students on your course!
#2 Ask Your Audience
Who can provide you better feedback than your students?
They are your target audience.
If you want to ensure that the student traffic on your course stays consistent.
Try creating the course according to the ideas of your students.
One way of doing so is by asking them for feedback.
At the end of each lecture, you can attach a poll or a survey form and circulate it among your students.
You can also attach these polls on some topics that match your general idea.
Their valuable feedback can help you add some last touches to your course content.
Your students will also be delighted to see course lessons designed according to their feedback.
It can even motivate them to promote your course.
#3 Create a Lead Magnet
Lead magnets are beneficial in getting you some attention on your course.
For this purpose, you need a resource, a call to action (CTA), or a URL.
Attach this CTA to all your social media profiles and spread it on the web.
Don’t miss out on the topics or platforms similar to your course.
The CTA can help you in directing your audience directly to the lead magnet of your course.
The lead magnets are like the content overline of your course that instantly attracts the audience to your platform.
The lead magnet in the case for your online course can be your course outline!
So, pay attention to all the tiny bits of details forming up your course outline.
These tips and tricks will keep your online course in the limelight and ensure the valid students’ attraction that it deserves.
Similarly, all these steps can definitely ensure some major student traffic on your online course.
The key to remember is that a highly systematic course outline paves way for some highly motivated students to jump up on your course!
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Elad Lev is the founder of Weshare.net – In love with words, videos and everything in between. His passion for helping people in starting a business online and teaching online is avid in every article he makes. In addition to his writing and content publishing.
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