Have you thought about teaching online but have dismissed the idea because you have no experience in teaching? That’s OK! If you have something you are knowledgeable in and want to teach you shouldn’t be limited by lack of experience. Also you don’t have to have a degree in something to be able to teach online. A degree helps to verify your knowledge, but as long as someone has left with more value in a subject matter after learning from you than before they have arrived, then you can teach. So how do you go about it? ‘Help!’ you’re probably thinking as the idea of creating an online course overwhelms you. Fear not! We will run through what to do.
I have no personal experience of teaching online so I can sympathies with your worry. However, I am here to tell you it is possible and it can be done.
Planning the Course
First of all, decide what you want to teach. Let’s use an example of someone who is an expert in social media and growing businesses on these platforms. Maybe this person has become an expert through their own discovery and growth on their own social channels. Once you know what to teach, break down what you want the goal of your course to be. So, with our current example maybe the goal of the first course is to understand what different social channels do and how to set up your businesses on the right one.
Planning the Lessons
Great! Look we have already made progress. We have a course goal and possibly a name. The next bit is then breaking down that goal into bit sized lessons. The first lesson might be an introduction to social media in general and what it is and why people might use it. The next few lessons then might involve understanding what each social media channel does and how to set up your company page on it, if it is appropriate. As I am sure you will agree, or maybe you won’t if social media is not your forte that not every social channel is right for a business. This is really valuable information to give your learners as it could allow them to make educated decisions regarding the social media strategy for their business. As we are using social media as an example I have broken down the possible different lessons below.
Example Course to teach online
Course Name : Introduction to Social Media channels and how businesses can use them ( you might want a snappier title than mine)
- What is social media and why do businesses and consumers use it
- What is Twitter and how can a business use it.
- What is Facebook and how can a business use it
- What is Instagram and how can a business use it
- What is Youtube and how can a business use it
- What channels should you use?
And so on. You get the point. Now, this of course in this example is an introduction course into social media and how to set up a business on it. Therefore, you will not be expected to go into depth about the many million different things you can do on each platform and how to use them. There are whole courses and books dedicated to just one channel, so don’t think you need to answer every single question ever on these topics. That’s why it’s important to outline clearly what the goal of the course and lesson is.
Planning the content for the lessons
Your next question is what do you put in each lesson and how to actually teach it? Did I guess right? So, yes next we will want to populate these lessons with beautiful content and VARIOUS content types. It is most important! and I mean very important that you have different types of content in your lesson/course in order to keep the course engaging.
There are many advantages to video based learning which we have looked into here before. So think about including some videos in your courses, this can be a great way to give you more experience as you practice teaching when you record a prerecorded video for your course. In the social media example we are using you could have a recorded video demonstrating how to set up your business profile with accompanying text in the lesson.
Try a live class?
Then for lesson 6, you could have a live class! Do it! I know it sounds a bit intimidating but I am sure you will find the experience very rewarding for yourself and your learners. Lesson 6 really lends itself to a live class as you can have a group of people with likely different businesses discuss with you their experiences with social. This allows you to tailor this last lesson to a Q&A style and run through various examples of businesses using different social platforms. A live class brings a stronger relationship with your learners because the process is more interactive. You may even find them being advocates for your next course!
Are you feeling a little more confident? Hopefully you are! We have run through how to structure a course and ways to teach online. If you’re still worried about teaching online with no experience, remember that, while you may not have experience in teaching you are an expert in the field you are about to teach. You know more than you’re learners. So any value you provide to them in whatever format will most certainty benefit them. Then after your first course you can go on excited and enthusiastic for teaching your next one!