There are so many courses available today. Some free, some cheap, some more expensive and some very expensive.
When offering courses to potential students, we have to consider what value we are giving to students.
Why Offer Free Courses?
Some organisations, such as universities and education providers offer free courses so that students can have a look at what they offer. Then hopefully the student chooses to enrol on a course that they need to pay for.
Other organisations offer free courses as a way to bring students in to purchase something more expensive.
For example, a lot of marketing organisations, coaching and start your own business sites offer free courses. The student enrols on the free course, then at the end, they are encouraged to purchase expensive coaching or an expensive course.
Free courses have their place, but if you are selling courses rather than offering free ones, how can we ensure that we stand above the other course providers?
How Can We Add Value to Our Courses?
There are many ways off adding value to courses. By adding value, you encourage a student to enrol on a course.
They may have course A – they enrol on the course, get a username and password and off they go until they finish.
Or you might have course B – they enrol on the course, they are allocated a tutor or told who to contact if they need help, they might have free additional materials etc.
If the courses are exactly the same price, which course is the student more likely to enrol on? We are guessing course B.
So, let’s look at ways to offer value –
Does the Course Do What It Says on the Tin – Quality
There are thousands, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of courses available today. With the growth in suitable technology, virtually anyone can offer a course from the comfort of their own home. There are also the long term course providers, who have been developing their courses for decades.
When offering a course, we need to look at the value of the actual course.
Does the course do what it says on the tin? If it promises to help students learn what to plant in shady areas, does it actually do that? If it promises to help you to understand algebra, does it?
Is the course well-written and good quality?
As we said, there are lots of courses out there, but are they good quality ones? When designing a course, it is important to ensure that your courses are high quality and well-presented. There is nothing worse than a student enrolling on a course to find that it is poor quality, littered with spelling mistakes and has poor presentation.
Offer quality courses.
Does the Course do What It Says on the Tin – Knowledge
Does the course give your student knowledge?
Most students enrol on a course for a reason. They want to learn about algebra. They want to know how to prune trees or what to plant in a shady area or to understand psychological theories. At the end of the course, they want to know more about the topic they wanted to study.
So, does your course give your student that knowledge?
The knowledge they wanted when they enrolled.
Offer courses that provide the student with the knowledge they want and need.
Does the Course do What It Says on the Tin – Result
Does the course offer a result to the student? We don’t just mean knowledge here. Many students will want a badge or certificate or letter to confirm that they have completed the course. Many employers today will want to see evidence that potential employees and employees are continuing to educate and improve themselves. It really is lifelong learning today.
So, does your course offer a Course Completion Letter, Certificate, Badge of Completion etc?
Offer a Course Completion Letter/Badge/Certificate. Offer a result.
Another way to add value to your courses is to offer students the opportunity to upgrade. For example, if you offer a course Horticulture I, why not offer Horticulture II, Horticulture III and so on? Offer students the opportunity to improve and upgrade as they expand their knowledge and experience.
You might also offer the opportunity for students to gain higher qualifications, such as Advanced Freelance Writing or certificates.
Offer Options to Upgrade
Are your courses credible?
Credibility means simply to be trusted or to be believed in. So, a credible course is one that will do what it says on the tin. If the course says that it will teach you how to grow lavender or care for poultry or improve your copywriting skills, it will do just that!
Courses that are credible will be valuable, because they help a person learn and improve their value to employers and themselves.
Offer Credible Courses
Courses do vary. Some are self-study. Some have tutors available to help the student. The cost of a course will be affected by this. Tutor support means that a tutor is available to mark assignments, perhaps answer queries and questions. The tutor will want to be paid. So course with tutor support will usually be more expensive than automated courses.
Again, it really depends what the student wants. If they are happy to work through an automated course on their own, then that is great.
If they want more intensive support and input from a tutor, again, that is entirely up to them.
As a course provider, it is important to consider what student really want in this area.
There are other options though –
Offer automated courses
AND offer courses with tutor support
Remember though –
Tutor support usually increases the cost of a course
BUT it also increases the value of a course. The student is learning from, hopefully, an expert in their field. They are getting feedback and advice on how to improve and develop.
Decide Whether Tutor Support is Needed
Videos can be useful in courses. Some courses are solely made up of videos. The presenter/lecturer will talk through the topics in a video or string of videos. Some students prefer this way of learning.
But there are other options. For example, many students like studying in the written word – online and on paper versions. It is important, therefore, to consider how your students want to learn.
Say you are explaining a difficult calculation. Some students may like to watch the video. Others may want to sit there and study notes until they understand it. Others may like a mixture of both.
The video below explains the benefits and disadvantages of using videos -