5 Ways A User Generated Content Platform Helps You Design Online Courses
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How To Use A User Generated Content Platform To Build Online Courses

Massive Open Online Courses, or as they are commonly known as MOOCs, have democratized the access to education by bringing courses taught by the best universities in the world to students at a relatively low cost. A parallel democratization of teaching too has been taking shape with the likes of Udemy, Kajabi, Kindle Self Publishing and even YouTube. While services like Coursera focus on bringing the courses from the best universities to the average learner, UGC -that stands for User Generated Content- platforms help the average professional build their own course packages that may be accessed by anyone with an internet connection.

The benefits that UGC platforms provide to the learner cannot be overstated. Traditional MOOCs do not have the flexibility to delve on a niche topic that is not covered by the university curriculum. Also, they are not always the best place to learn the latest topics. Programming courses focused on iOS or Android were first launched on UGC MOOCs much before they became a part of the curriculum at traditional universities. Completion rates are reportedly quite low for such MOOC courses offered by leading universities.

The challenge however is in the course design process. While the educators who design courses over UGC platforms are skilled and knowledgeable in their respective areas of specialization, they are not often the best when it comes to designing course materials. The following tips will help such course designers build a learning package that appeal to the learners without having to hire a professional course developer.

1. Keep It Minimal

Your viewers are here to learn, not to watch a performance. It is important to design a course that does not have too many distractions. Your course package should be minimal without too many colors, sounds and visuals, unless they aid in the pedagogical process. Also, avoid a lot of opinionated preface to the subject so that your learners can dive into the subject without having to waste time.

2. Pick The Right Medium

Many popular online platforms for eLearning encourage educators to build video courses. While they do a better job in explaining concepts compared to text, it is important to look at other external factors while deciding on the right medium. According to one study, people like to watch videos when they read about something, not necessarily when they are learning about it in an online course. Similarly, if your target audience is a programmer who learns your courses in between work, then it makes sense to provide a text package rather than a video that they may not be able to play in their workplace.

3. Create Structure For Your Course

Course creators are routinely guilty of under-structuring or over-structuring their lessons. Not breaking your course down into bite-sized chapters could bring down the usefulness of your course. Not only does it clutter the learning process for your students, it also makes it difficult for the educator to streamline the teaching process. At the same time, over-structuring your course -that is, too many chapters- could create disjointed chapters that the student might have trouble piecing together.

4. Deliver Quality

The importance of your audio and visual delivery systems cannot be overstated. No matter how well structured your course is, your students may not be able to make use of it if your visual and audio delivery is not up to the mark. Quality software for voice and video recording and editing can cost money. But they are worth every penny especially if you are looking at making your course materials commercial. There are a lot of online services that let you rent out audio and video recording devices that you could make use of.

5. Diversify

As a new course developer, it may be tempting to launch a bunch of online courses one after the other. The idea is that even if you capture a small chunk of learners for every course you launch, you may end up with a sizeable volume of students. But in doing this, you may fail to understand what your learners like and want. If you are just starting out with UGC MOOCs, it is highly recommended to launch your courses across multiple media(um) such as video, text, eBooks, etc. and focus on multiplying the access points of your course. This includes launching across different platforms. It(This) helps you understand the efficacy of the various platforms and delivery mechanisms and it should also help you build a strategy for your future courses.

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