5 Advantages Of Creating Your First Self-Paced Course

A Case For Your First Self-Paced Course

Marketplaces like Udemy have revolutionized the perceptions of what instructors can achieve using pre-recorded lectures. There are many success stories of how instructors made thousands of dollars selling their courses on Udemy. What does this mean to you as an instructor who made instruction their full-time occupation? A good point to start would be understand the importance of reuse – as you teach you create a lot of useful content rich with examples that are context-sensitive, and at times providing context to otherwise dry content that is difficult to engage with. You draw upon years of experience to add color and meaning to difficult and verbose topics. You put in a lot of hard work to do this. So why let it get wasted? How about capturing it as a recording and brush it up to make lecture videos out of it? How about adding a few activities –like a quiz and additional reading– to make it a full sized self-paced course?

Imagine having students come to your eLearning course only to get impressed by the quality and ask for more detailed versions, or for live sessions for Q&A. Isn’t that a better use of your time? Isn’t it better than getting frustrated with students not putting in any effort prior to coming to the classes, making you go through basics that they can cover at their pace well before coming to the class? I know a number of instructors who complain about this. Unfortunately, it just stops there. Take a step towards making your time count and build that first self-paced course of yours.

The advantages of having self-learning courses are multifold. Let us have a look.

1. A Steady Stream Of Revenue With Little Requirement Of Your Bandwidth

If you have deployed your course on a decent platform, chances are minimal that your students need any assistance in going through and completing the course. It is up to you to keep the course updated as needed, but there is no expectation around it. So, you keep yourself busy with your instructor-led courses while your self-paced course keeps churning money.

2. Possibilities For Up Selling With Value Adds

Benchprep once conducted an interesting experiment: They let their users ask a question to the instructor for free, but asked them how much they would be willing to pay for it if they had to. Not sure if they eventually made this a paid option, but the case for offering something like this -answering a limited number of questions for a given fee in addition to the regular course fee- makes sense. You could even look at evaluating practice test answer sheets and offering customized advice, again for a fee. Not everyone who buys the self-paced course may opt for these, but even if 15 or 20% of them do, that is a good way to build upon your success from the self-learning course.

3. A Great Preview Of What To Expect From Your Instructor-Led Courses

By making parts of the self-paced course free for a preview, you let your students get a feel of your teaching style and quality before they pay for it. By making sure you give out information on your instructor-led courses alongside the free preview you double your chances of sign ups. In general, what you charge for an instructor-led course would be a few multiples of what you charge for a self-learning course, so this more than pays for your efforts.

4. The Best Possible Promotion When Deployed On Marketplaces And YouTube

A great way to promote both your self-paced course as well as your instructor-led course is sharing a few tit bits from the self-learning course on marketplaces like Udemy (make it a free course and provide more info in the bonus lecture about your paid offerings) and on YouTube (the second largest search engine on earth - second only to Google, you know what we are talking about). You may want to include social channels, and Vimeo in this list for a better visibility.

5. A Starting Point Or A Companion For Your Instructor-Led Courses

Finally, to the part that gives you the most satisfaction as an instructor - blend your students learning experience by mixing your self-learning course with your instructor-led variant: In fact you may want to offer the self-paced course for free to anyone who signs up for an instructor led course and push them to go through it in tandem with your instructor led course. Doing this not only enhances the classroom experience for everyone including you, but also results in better retention and success rates among your students.

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