Adding Value to Your Online Courses​

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

Tutor Support

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 -

Videos can be useful. But decide –

  • Is the whole course on video?
  • Will I have some video and some written notes/other methods?
  • Will I use videos at all?

Decide Whether To Use Videos in Your Courses

Get Feedback

A way of adding value to your courses is to find out what your students and tutors want. Ask your students, ask your tutors, ask potential students just what they are looking for in courses. Their answers might not be what you are expecting and will allow you to make changes and improvements on your courses.

Seek Feedback and ACT on it!

Financial Incentives

You can also offer other financial incentives to add financial value to your courses. For example –

Free eBooks

Discounts if they enrol early

Discounts if they enrol on more than one course with you

Offer Financial Incentives

Adding Value

Adding value to courses is not just about offering financial incentives. Value means creating something of high regard, something important, worthy and useful.  We need to create courses that are useful and worthy if we want students to keep coming back and if we want students to recommend us to others.


What about ACS?

We aim to add value to every course we create –

  • Offer quality courses – We do just that. We create high quality courses developed by our experienced and enthusiastic writers and tutors. We also update our courses regularly.
  • Offer courses that provide the student with the knowledge they want and need – We pay attention to the world around us. The world is changing rapidly and as a result, our courses need to change rapidly. We make sure that students have the knowledge they need in the world they are living in today.
  • Offer a result At the end of our courses, students can receive a certificate, course completion letter, badge etc. Giving them the result that they need.
  • Offer Options to Upgrade – Students can upgrade their knowledge, studying courses such as Horticulture I, II, III etc to expand and develop their knowledge.
  • Offer Credible Courses – Our courses do what they say on the tin and the fact that we have been around for 43 years and pretty successful with it, suggests that our courses are valued and credible!
  • Decide Whether Tutor Support is Needed - We design courses that are self-study and tutor supported, so our students and affiliates have the option of what to study and offer.
  • Decide Whether To Use Videos in Your Courses – Many of our courses do include videos, but we think that course notes, diagrams and, most importantly, enthusiastic and keen writers and tutors are essential for a positive learning experience.
  • Seek Feedback and ACT on it! We seek feedback all of the time. From our tutors, our writers, our students, our affiliates and potential affiliates. If something is wrong with a course, we want to know so we can act on it. If someone wants a new course, we want to know, so we can develop one. We ACT on feedback and we act quickly, developing new courses and eBooks all of the time. We are not bogged down by the bureaucracy that many larger educational establishments are.


We offer the option for you to

Contact us to find out more about how you can use ACS courses and eBooks to add value to you and your business 


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What our partners say

We've been working with ACS over the course of the last three years. Being able to mix and match content to suit our students' needs has been extremely useful. With their material in combination with our own in house tutor service we have been able to provide a complete online learning service which has helped us expand our student cohort and advance our teaching techniques! We are thankful that we have had them as a partner throughout our time in the industry and look forward to many more years of growth together.

Jason T - Director, ACS Partner College (Affiliate)

ACS Distance Education have been fantastic to work with over our first 12 months as a start-up online short education affiliate.
They provided immense support in the foundation period ensuring we setup the best support mechanisms for students and engaging quality tutors.
ACS have continued to be receptive to feedback and promptly moved to make improvements wherever required.

David C - Director, ACS Partner College (Affiliate)

Having access to ACS' extensive library of digitalised education content has allowed us to scale our business quickly and efficiently. Their LMS is easy to access and manage, whilst also providing the consumer (student) with a professional and easy to use experience. John and Kate have always been a pleasure to work with and are quick to provide support when it is required."

Andrew O - Director, ACS Partner College (Affiliate)

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