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Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:
How To Design An Online Course

How To Design An Online Course (Method 2023)

Are you thinking about putting your passion or knowledge in a certain area or topic to good use?

If you are, then one of the best ways to earn a lucrative income while also ensuring that you help others is through offering a variety of different online courses that can be taken anywhere in the world.

Besides offering plenty of conveniences, online courses are a lot more accessible than more traditional methods of obtaining a qualification or knowledge within a certain area.

So How to design an online course and share it with a maximum number of students?

For those reasons, more and more people are opting for virtual learning over in-person teaching methods. The only question is, how do you design an online course, exactly? 

This is where we come in to help. In this guide, we are going to be showing you how you can create, design and implement your very own online course in just 5 quick and easy steps.

Regardless of what you want your course content to look like – this guide will help you. Read on!

Why Does Great Course Content Matter?

Before we get any further in this guide, we first think that it would be a good idea to talk you through why it’s so important to make sure that you are creating great content for your course.

Generally speaking, when someone seeks to learn something, they will typically opt to learn from a course that is well made, features a great structure and offers plenty of resources to help them progress in their line of work, or area of interest.

That being said, when it comes to creating your very own courses that you would like to offer to customers, your students are going to want to know that they are going to be spending their money on something that is truly going to help them, while also ensuring that they will complete the course feeling improved and accomplished.

As the course creator and leader, the best way to help ensure that your students genuinely benefit from what you teach is by creating a course that will achieve the following:

  • Solve a problem or help progression of the student – both personally and professionally.
  • Allow the student to learn new skills while being able to refine the skills they already have through assessment, community learning and more.
  • Provide the student with plenty of opportunities in their personal life or career after the successful completion of the course.
  • Provide the student with plenty of resources that they can use both during the course as well as long after, too.

How To Create An Online Course In 4 Simple Steps

How To Design An Online Course

Now that we have taken a closer look at why it’s so important to make great content for your students, we are now going to be talking you through how you can go about creating your very own online courses…in just 5 simple steps!

Whenever you’re ready, just keep reading to discover them:

1. Identify Who Your Students Are

First things first, before you even think about starting to design your online courses – you are first going to need to take the time to discover and identify who your target audience is going to be when the time comes for you to begin selling your courses.

In order to do this, you are going to want to begin by thinking about what it is that you want to offer, who might benefit from the courses that you offer as well as what your main learning objectives are going to be. 

With that being said, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your course suitable for those who don’t have any existing knowledge or only for those who do?
  • How many students do you expect to teach in your classes?
  • What is your level of involvement in your online courses going to be?
  • What age is your online course going to be suitable for?

By asking yourself these questions, you will help to ensure that you will be able to identify the right demographic for your online course.

2. Create Clear Learning Objectives

Once you have settled on a demographic, you can then go ahead and create learning objectives that will help you create your course.

As we have already mentioned above, one of the main reasons that students will sign up for your courses is in order to achieve something.

While this can vary from person to person, the majority of people, when signing up for a course, will want to do one of the following:

  • Develop skills.
  • Learning something new.
  • Solve a problem.
  • Aid in the progression of their career or personal life.

That being said, prior to creating your course content – you should take the time to outline clear learning objectives, as this will help you to create great course content. 

3. Create Course Structure 

Before you go ahead and begin designing your course content, you are first going to need to create a structure for your course. This includes the content, assignment plan, assessments and more.

The course structure will greatly depend on what it is that you are teaching, as well as your level of involvement in the course, too.

Either way, creating a course structure will serve as the foundation of the course and help you to create it.

4. Design The Course Content

After you have taken the time to create the course structure and outline it – you can then go ahead and begin creating your course!

When creating your course, you are going to want to follow the structure that you have created in the previous step to help you create the content in an organized way.

While you are creating your course, make sure that you ask someone to proofread all of the written content after you have finished it, as this will allow for a fresh pair of eyes to read over what you have created and provide any constructive criticism that they might like to offer.

Along with this, if it is possible, you should also be sure  to include as much visual learning material as possible, too.

This includes everything from infographics, videos, imagery and more. 

Top Tip: To help ensure that the quality of your students’ learning will be as rich as possible, why don’t you consider creating supporting content for your students to learn from that can be used as resources – both during and after the course?

Many course creators offer additional resources free of charge to help enrich the learning experience, although this is optional. 

5. Upload The Course Content

After you have finished creating your course, all that will be left for you to do is to simply go ahead and upload the course to your chosen learning platform!

There are many different platforms to choose from, and each platform will allow you to easily provide your students with a virtual learning experience.

It is highly recommended that you use a learning platform, as it will ensure that your students will have everything they need to complete the course in a constructive and user-friendly manner – including everything from course content, assessments areas as well as the community dashboard.

Once you have uploaded the course content to your chosen learning platform, you can then go ahead and begin advertising your course on your various social media platforms.

As well as this, you are also going to need to make sure that you are advertising your course on your website, as this is going to be the place where students will be able to purchase a spot on the course.

The Bottom Line

All in all? There are plenty of benefits in deciding to take the plunge to begin offering your very own online courses.

Besides offering you a way to share your knowledge or passion with other people that would like to study within your area of interest  – but offering a variety of online courses will also serve as a way for you to earn a lucrative income, too. 

Still, even though there are plenty of benefits to creating online courses, we’re sure that you might agree with us when we say that – when it comes to actually creating them, the process can seem quite a daunting one!

However, by making sure that you are following our seven step guide that we have outlined to you above, we are sure that you will be able to begin making your very own online courses in no time at all.

As a final parting note, before you go ahead and click off this guide – why don’t you consider bookmarking it?

By saving this page, it means that if you ever needed to come back and refresh your knowledge on how to create and design online courses – you will know exactly where to find our seven step guide. 

Thank you for taking the time to read through this guide and goodbye for now!