Teachfloor helps course creators manage and scale their self-paced learning courses in real-time. This guide will share tips for creating effective self-paced online courses while you scale your online learning school faster than you think.
Whether you are a course creator offering courses to individual learners, a Bootcamp founder offering Bootcamps to companies, or a training manager creating online training programs for your company, we want to guide you on how to build, scale, and manage a successful self-paced course on Teachfloor.
Topics that we will cover:
- What is a self-paced course?
- Its Advantages and Drawbacks
- Tips to help in creating effective self-paced courses on Teachfloor
- build your course, to
- scale your course with automation features
What is a self-paced course?
Self-paced learning, popularly called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), are courses stored online and taken by students at their own pace without a specific timeframe. Students have full accountability for when and where they complete these courses. Once completed, most courses offer a Certification of Completion as a guarantee that students have fully taken the course by themselves, passed the tests, and consumed the content materials.
Self-paced learning gained popularity during the pandemic when everyone stayed at home to work and learn. Most of these courses are free and less expensive than those with live classes and webinars. This course model has disrupted education forever, as anyone with a laptop and wifi connection and the perseverance to learn can learn from the top instructors and universities.
However, studies show that this format has a huge disadvantage to effective learning and has been found to have low completion rates. Students cannot finish the entire course due to a lack of accountability, focus, engagement with others, and boredom.
Despite this fact, self-paced eLearning courses are still prominent. They are not dead; they have simply evolved. So, the main question we want to answer is how can we build an online course that is effective and successful.
Those creators who want to create an interactive self-paced learning environment should increase learner engagement. How can they do that? We will break down these game-changing tips for you that can change the trajectory of your course.
Before that, let's go through its advantages and drawbacks to fully immerse ourselves in the concept of self-paced courses.
Major Advantages of Self-paced online learning
They are profitable and less expensive.
Creating an evergreen course opens up the possibility of earning five to seven figures per year just by selling online courses. Hard to believe? This has been proven by successful course creators earning these figures annually. Also, a recent report from Coursera showed that MOOCs revenue has increased by up to 26% in 2022. It’s proof that these courses are profitable and scalable.
For instance, if you have a self-paced course priced at $50, and 1,000 students buy it, you earn $50,000 in revenue. If you can find ways to make it scale to 10,000 students in a month, then you can earn $50,000 for a month. Not only it is profitable for course creators, but it is also less expensive for students.
If you want to calculate your monthly course revenue, here's a free calculator tool to help you do that.
They are flexible and support different learning preferences.
Since students can take the course in asynchronous learning without a deadline, it is flexible in terms of time and duration. It also supports different learning activities, styles, speeds, and preferences of students. Learners have full autonomy and accountability in deciding when and where they would like to start and finish the course. While this advantage exists, there are also drawbacks for students who cannot take full accountability for their own learning journey.
They are accessible and they revolutionize education
These courses are stored online and can be accessed by anyone, regardless of location, race, or social status. Due to this fact, anyone who has access to a laptop and the internet can take a course created and instructed by top instructors from top universities. Anyone can earn an online certificate or degree from MIT, Stanford, or Harvard, or learn from Andrew Ng's Machine Learning course. The power of self-paced learning revolutionizes how we learn globally.
In addition, it’s usually used for continuing education credits in these top universities. Most of the time, self-paced learning is also used by universities to create a hybrid learning format.
Major Drawbacks of Self-paced online learning
After feeling positive due to the advantages, let's also balance it out and talk about the drawbacks of self-paced learning.
Due to its flexibility, accountability is at stake. Sadly, not all students have the motivation to be accountable for their learning. In reality, learning on your own is hard. Not everyone enjoys it. So, the major drawback of these courses is low completion rates. Students have a hard time finishing the course until the end. There are many factors such as distraction, low motivation, boredom, no interactive activities, etc.
Solution: Build an online community where students won't feel alone while learning by themselves. They can still learn alone and watch videos alone, but if they want to ask something and start conversations, there's a community full of like-minded people who will make them feel that they are not alone. They can co-create interactive activities together while being able to set accountability with each other.
No to Low Student Engagement.
Since students learn at their own pace, they don't engage with other students who are also taking the course. A self-paced learning experience doesn't allow the learner to engage in real time with others, which is why learning becomes a one-way street where students only consume information from instructors and no one else.
Solution: In addition to a learning community, there's a peer review feature in Teachfloor where instructors can set up for students to review assignments, projects, essays, and presentations of their peers. This feature opens up peer learning among students to help them learn from one another and engage them asynchronously.
In the past, self-paced learning only consisted of text, images, and simple PowerPoint with videos as learning materials. There are no engaging elearning activities. As a result, students found the course boring and overwhelming which requires a little more work for them to complete the course.
Solution: Thanks to the advancement of technology, content creation has also advanced. Course creators can now create interactive online courses in the learning management system with social learning & gamification.
Game-changing tips for creating an effective and successful self-paced online course on Teachfloor
Build Your Course.
1. Identify the course topic and target audience.
What course topic would you like to create? And who are the people interested in this topic? These two questions should be the first things that come to mind when planning your course. It’s critical to identify your target audience's needs when creating a course. Go deeper into this as much as you can. Read, interact, converse, and collaborate with your audience.
2. Write clear learning objectives.
After deciding your course topic and target audience, it's time to write the learning objectives. What are the goals of your course? What are the learning outcomes? Feel free to write at least 3-10 course objectives depending on your topic and make them actionable. For instance, instead of writing "To learn how to use AI writing tools," write "Produce a 3,000-word article using an AI writing tool."
3. Outline course content and modules.
Now that you have your course objectives, it's time to create an outline of your course content and modules that align with your objectives. Here’s an example:
Course Objective #1: Produce a 3,000-word article using an AI writing tool
Module #1: How to produce a 3,000-word article using an AI writing tool?
- Defining Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it works
- Discovering the AI landscape in the marketing industry
- Learning how to use an AI writing tool
- Producing 3k words of content using an AI writing tool
- Building in Public: Posting the content on social media and gathering feedback
Voila! Module #1 with 5 lessons outline is complete!
4. Create an engaging course structure.
Student engagement can boost your completion rates. However, it’s one of the biggest challenges of self-paced. How can we structure a course where students engage and interact with each other despite learning on their own?
We recommend using Teachfloor’s exciting features to help you out in your course structure:
Teachfloor’s built-in community is just one click away from your courses. It allows course creators and students to interact with each other as if they are discussing topics in a live session. With features such as channels, walls, direct messaging, group chats, comments, reactions, and a member directory, you don’t need Slack to get your students involved with each other. All you need is Teachfloor’s all-in-one user-friendly LMS.
There are gems to be found in Teachfloor’s curriculum builder as you explore and navigate the platform. For example, you can embed content from your favorite app into your course. If you are using Miro as an interactive whiteboard, try pasting its embedded code into the platform so students are able to access and interact with the app directly on Teachfloor.
PEER REVIEW AND INSTRUCTOR REVIEW.
Peer learning is something to consider when creating high learner engagement. In Teachfloor, it works perfectly for a self-paced learning environment. For instance, you can ask your students to submit their 3,000-word article and give or gather peer feedback using the platform. It's easy to set up as an element under the curriculum builder feature.
QUIZZES AND SURVEYS.
Of course, we can't forget quizzes and assessments! These are valuable in instructional design to measure your student's learning performance throughout the course. Teachfloor has quiz, survey, and assessment features that allow you to create interactive quizzes, assessments, and survey forms. At the end of the day, there's no need to grade these activities yourself because Teachfloor already performs them for you through student reports and grading automation.
5. Launch your course.
After planning your course, it's time to launch it! Efficient course creators don't do this by themselves. They look for learning management systems that are tried and true to their mission, and which can help them with their training needs and elearning development.
In Teachfloor, you can build and launch your course in minutes or hours depending on how long and how much content you have. Let's start with its useful features:
Teachfloor is a no-code learning platform that allows any course creator or corporate trainer to add elements and courses in the simplest way possible. A curriculum builder is a pre-built software with a drag-and-drop feature, so you don't need months or even years to build your online course. You just need a few hours to launch it.
It's easy to use with 11 useful elements while adding unlimited bite-sized lessons in one course. What's more surprising is that you can create unlimited courses and activities without additional costs.
Right after writing your course objectives and outlines and collecting your course content materials in one place, you can easily upload your course materials and execute your course structure through the curriculum builder.
In just minutes, you can easily increase your online presence with an outstanding landing page for sharing upcoming classes, collecting payments, and much more. Once you create a new course, there's an automatic course page created for every course.
Here's what you can write on the course page:
- Brief introduction about the course
- Benefits of completing the course
- Tips on how to take and complete the course
- Course structure, milestones, and prepared activities
- Course outline with module and lesson titles
- Links and guides to the learning community
- Best wishes and gratitude
For an online course to sell well, you need to brand it. It doesn't need to be complicated like those huge companies that have their full branding design guidelines. All you need is a business name, a logo, a domain, and a brand identity.
Think of a business name that makes sense for your course topic or subject. You can create your logo in 5 minutes on canva.com, while you’ll find a domain name on Hostinger.com or Godaddy.com. In more or less 30 minutes, you can establish your branding!
CUSTOM DOMAIN & SINGLE SIGN-ON.
When establishing your brand, you can also secure hosting through your company's domain. Teachfloor also has a Single Sign-On (SSO) feature to streamline the learners' login process and reduce the need for multiple usernames and passwords. Our team can help you integrate SSO with our platform.
MULTIPLE INSTRUCTORS & ADMINS.
Do you plan to collaborate with other instructors to run your online course business? This is possible with Teachfloor! You can add up to 4 instructors in Teachfloor's basic plan! You can assign roles in your organization team with administrator or instructor functionalities.
💡 For further reading on creating your course, here's a free ultimate guide to effectively design your course curriculum.
🚀 Scale Your Course.
1. Maximize our automation features.
Thanks to technology, creating a course or starting an educational business has become easier! You can do it in minutes or within 24 hours because of automation. To scale your online course business, you need to maximize the use of automation features in your LMS. If you can accomplish a task in 30 minutes with the use of automation, why would you keep doing it for 4 hours without automation?
At Teachfloor, we offer a variety of automation features to help our users save time and focus on the most important tasks. Let me show you how to use them to scale your course:
AUTOMATE THE ENROLLMENT PROCESS.
Onboard your students without any hassle with our enrollment process automation. With multiple app integrations such as Zapier and Stripe, you don’t need to worry about your onboarding and enrollment process. Through this automation, you can focus your energy and time on marketing and growth strategies to acquire new students who will buy your courses.
Aside from automating the enrollment process, we can automate payment collection with Teachfloor. Our team can also help you have a smooth checkout process, and manage one-time fees, subscriptions, installments, and online and offline payments. Powered by Stripe Integration, all you need to do is set up your Stripe account (if you don’t have an account yet) and then connect it to the platform. This can accelerate your revenues even while you sleep!
Are you using apps other than Teachfloor? Then worry no more, as you can effortlessly integrate your favorite apps into Teachfloor's learning platform. For instance, almost everyone in the tech industry is using AI-generated tools such as ChatGPT for text and DALL-E for images.
If you're using ChatGPT to improve your course content creation, then you can seamlessly integrate OpenAI into Teachfloor to make everything faster! Another example is Google Suite. If you love Google Suite, then integrate it into Teachfloor to manage your content materials more easily and quickly.
When it comes to self-paced learning, notifications are the key! Why do I say that? It simply reminds your students of the next step they need to take in your course. If email newsletters can nurture leads and convert them into paying customers, notifying them through email can remind students to finish your content.
In Teachfloor, you can customize it based on your preferences. For example, do you want to send participants an email reminder 24 hours before the course starts? Do you want to notify your students whenever the instructor reviews their activity? Do you want to receive an email every time there's a new course sign-up? Tick the box, and you will get notified!
2. Develop a growth marketing plan.
Teachfloor takes care of the boring tasks, so now you can focus on growing your business. Marketing is crucial in an online course business, and developing a growth plan is a must to scale. Fortunately, Teachfloor is a well-rounded platform that can help you with your marketing strategies. How? Let's talk about it.
Marketing can be maximized with automation. If you have a multi-channel strategy, we can help you set up marketing automation processes such as drip campaigns, email cadences, newsletters, LinkedIn automation, and conditional messages based on user behaviors.
Since Teachfloor has multiple integrations, we can use no-code automation tools such as Zapier, Mailchimp, and social media automation tools to cross-manage your tasks. Book a demo to explore this service.
Teachfloor helps you build a self-paced learning course with high learner engagement in minutes!
When it comes to creating self-paced training and courses, success only comes when students are engaged. MOOCs have been proven ineffective due to the lack of social learning and accountability among students. But with an LMS that helps you to boost social interaction without taking up too much of your time, the format becomes effective and valuable.
Create your course on a learning platform that you can trust, like Teachfloor, so you can focus on the most important tasks. Teachfloor is very intuitive, full of automation features, less expensive than competitors, and supports course creators and training managers to scale their online academies.
Build your course with a dedicated team.
Lastly, Teachfloor has just released additional services for first-time course creators and edupreneurs who are building their online businesses. You can either work by yourself or with Teachfloor’s dedicated team to build your online academy.
If you want to do it by yourself, start your 15-day trial to launch your online course by signing up! We have a dedicated support team to help you if you feel stuck while exploring the platform. If you want to talk to us, you can also book a live demo.
If you’re stuck in creating your online course and building your website, Teachfloor has just started its eLearning agency where we can help you with a wide array of services! There are founders and course creators who still need full support in taking their businesses to full scale! Teachfloor can help you with that through:
- Optimization and automation of your enrollment process
- CRM & CMS Integrations
- LMS & course setup
- Checkout flow optimization
- Website design and development
- Marketing automation
If you want to learn more about how it works, talk to us!