Are you an experienced Teacher or Trainer? Are you pretty knowledgeable on a specific topic that your friends and family constantly asking you about?
You may want to create online courses. How big is online learning? About US$107 Billion according to Global Industry Analysts, Inc. That’s pretty big.
And it’s growth is just starting.
That’s the good news, and online learning companies like Udemy, SkillShare and Lynda.com are thriving. Lynda.com was recently bought by LinkedIn for $1.5 Billion. Udemy raised $65 million in capital in 2015, has 20,000 teachers and 12 million students.
Here is the bad news…
Putting together an online video course requires skills you may not have as a teacher. Most experts are experts because they love their topic. They immerse themselves in it and they spend a lot of their work or spare time learning more, experimenting more or practicing more than the average person.
Online video courses require other skill sets. Standing in front of a camera is quite different from speaking in front of 35 students in a classroom. If a student can’t hear you, they raise their hand and you raise your voice. On a video, crisp audio is crucial.
In a classroom, you get instant feedback from your students if they don’t understand something. Not so with online video courses. Your live students tend to be polite. Not necessarily so with your online students. Your online students may ask a question at 2:30 am your time, then loud wonder why you never answered their question.
The students in your class, mostly have to be there. You online students not only don’t have to be there, they can ask, and get, a full refund, if they want.
Understanding the differences between how you teach now and how you teach online is paramount to making the transition smooth and free of frustrations.
Of equal importance is deciding what new skills you want to learn and which tasks you want to delegate.
If you love teaching Salsa dance steps and rarely get on your computer, then learning how to edit video might be as pleasant as poking your eye.
When you enter the world of online video training, you have three presentation formats to choose:
1) Talking head
2) Screen Capture
3) Presentation (PowerPoint or Keynote usually)
Plus the fourth option which is some combination of the three.
Talking Head, which is basically the camera pointed at you and you standing there talking is generally speaking… Required. Not having your introduction and Concluding lecture is pretty much like going to your Principle or Dean and asking to stand behind a curtain as you lecture…
Screen Capture is very useful for demonstrating software on your computer.
Presentation with PowerPoint are beginning to be looked at as ‘Old School’ and a bit boring. They have the added danger that all you will do is read off your points and that begs the question why not just give the student the presentation and go home? They are usually quite capable of reading.
As you no doubt guessed, I am a big proponent of the talking head video. Unfortunately, many teachers and trainers get the deer in the headlights look when faced with a camera. Pretend it’s a student and practice.
You can speed up your growth as an online instructor by:
1) Taking online courses and start modelling the best traits
2) Getting coaching on course development and presentation skills
3) Outsourcing the production tasks as much as you can
One tremendous benefit that online course development brings you will also affect your live teaching and all manner of presentations. This is a big improvement in your presentation skills in the classroom and at conferences.
When you record your lectures you review them. The result is you see all the subconscious behaviours that you never see when you teach a class. You can’t see them. You will notice the ‘um’s’, the ‘ah’s’ and all the other things you do that detract generally speaking from your effectiveness as a teacher or trainer.
Once those idiosyncrasies reach your conscious mind, you naturally change them and gradually remove them. Awareness is the first step towards change.
Producing courses alone is the biggest mistake Trainers/Teachers make. The learning curve is steep and usually involve areas that you have no aptitude for.
Do what you are good at and delegate the rest and you will find your online teaching career blossoming and your stress levels dropping.
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Meet the Author
Scott’s Udemy Profile: https://www.udemy.com/user/scottpaton/
Scott Paton instructs or co-instructs over 58 courses (averaging 4.6 Stars from 780+ reviews) on Udemy with more than 28,000 students. His courses range from his area of expertise: Podcasting and Alternative Health to Stock Options, EFT and Accounting. He helps experts in any field understand how they can develop profitable online video courses that teach students all over the world, build credibility, position them as the Authority in their field and generate leads for their one-on-one coaching or training programs. He loves to travel and wrote this on a beach in Hawaii.