How to Structure Online Courses to Help Students Get Better Results
The process of how structuring online courses is fairly straightforward when you think about it. You start from a higher level of organization and work your way down. The entire structure focuses on an A-to-Z journey for your learners.
Step #1. Start With A-to-Z and the Learner Transformation Statement
How to structure online course programs starts with determining points A and Z in your learners’ journey. A is where your learners start the course, and Z is where they end. The journey from A to Z is part of your learner transformation statement (LTS).
The LTS is crucial for giving you direction when structuring your course. It lets you know the overarching goal, as well as what your learners will get out of the course. With an LTS, you aren’t just throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks. Instead, you are developing a solid plan to help your learners get the desired results.
Step #2. Add Milestones
Once you have the learner transformation statement and your points A and Z, it’s time to create the milestones or learning objectives, which comprise the other letters between A and Z. They are goals or stepping stones throughout the learner’s journey that get them from point A to Z.
The importance of milestones is simple. You can’t just give your learners a 15-hour course or even a short three-hour course and expect them to stay engaged and organized throughout. You need further divisions to keep your learners on track.
Step #3. Add Subpoints
Within each of your milestones, add another layer of division. These can be sub-letters, mini-lines, sub-points, or however else you want to call them. We call them modules. Others may call them units, chapters, and the like. You will have a few of these modules for each milestone. That continues the trend of breaking the course down into manageable chunks that can engage your learners.
Comparing the Process to a Book
If you are having trouble visualizing how to structure online course programs, compare your online course to the book. The book as a whole is the A-to-Z journey or learner transformation statement. The milestones are chapters in the book. Finally, the modules are sub-units within each chapter of the book.
Step #4. Always Include Action Steps
In addition to the LTS, milestones, and modules, make sure to include action steps in the structure. These are steps where your learners do tasks that are helpful and relevant. Tasks shouldn’t be traditional fill-in-the-blank questions. Instead, it should be useful and actionable, something that will help learners achieve their goals.
For example, our masterclass teaches you how to build and launch your course. Our action steps involve creating and planning parts of that course. Think of a similar action step for your program. It should add value and be necessary for learners to achieve their goals.
Start planning your course structure by thinking about the A-to-Z journey of your learners or your learner transformation statement. Then, divide that into milestones before dividing milestones into modules. And don’t forget to add action steps within the journey.
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