An online course is a series of training emails sent to subscribers. Adding a course online to your existing programs can have benefits to the audience, your client and you. Even better, you can easily create your course from existing material. Here are seven simple ways to do it.
Convert a workbook
If your training program or seminar already has a detailed handout or workbook, consider submitting it as an online course (instead of handing it out to participants in the workshop itself). The material is already very relevant to the program, so it is the perfect fit for a follow-up course for the living workshop.
This can, of course, mean that you have to provide another handout at the workshop, but it can only be a cutaway version of the full handout - which is easy to create. Alternatively, you can decide that you do not need any handout at all for the living workshop and just deliver it as an online course later.
Summarize the book chapter
If youve been working on writing a book, youve thought about organizing your material logically and delivering it in an appropriate sequence. So its easy to create an online course that delivers the material in the same episode and sequence. Of course, you will not deliver the entire chapter of the book by chapter, but you can provide a summary of each chapter in each course module.
Extract articles from a book
In the previous example, your course gives an overview of your book. You can change this something - and deliver more value - by sending more detailed material in each module. All you need to do is identify pieces of the book you can extract as individual articles, and then send these articles as an online course.
Sort related articles
You can also take the previous idea and do the opposite: Instead of extracting articles from a book, you collect articles that you have previously written, collect them in a suitable sequence and deliver them as an online course.
Publishing a regular newsletter or blog will make it extremely easy to do. Its even easier if you tagged your blog posts when publishing them, as its easy to see everything youve written on each topic. Simply look through the list, identify some that can be included in your course, and youve made 90% of your work!
Convert a list of bullets
In all previous ideas, you provide material (at least 300-400 words) in each course module. But there is no reason for your material to be so far and detailed. Sometimes your course participants will appreciate getting a shorter message, especially if it is still relevant and practical.
Look for a list of things you learn and consider if you can deliver each item in the list as a module (You may need to expand each list item in a paragraph or two but not much more than that). For example, if you have written The Top 10 Tips for Improving Better Meetings, all of these tips can be a course module.
Choose inspirational quotes
Another easy way to create an online course is to send an inspirational or motivational quote in each course module. Although some people may think that this is a waste of space (and I really do not like people who exaggerate this on Twitter or Facebook!), Likes many people to get a daily, a week or a month of inspiration. Then collect relevant quotes and send them in a regular online course.
Use other peoples materials
Finally, keep in mind that you do not always have to leave your own material in your online courses. Just because its not your own material does not diminish its value. The participants in the course still value the fact that you have screened through the material and handpicked what is most relevant to them.
Be sure to have permission to use that material. If you only link to that material on a general web page, you do not need permission. However, if you include any material directly in your course modules, be sure that you have the copyright holders written permission to do so.
One of the easiest ways to create a high-quality online course is, for example, by finding a series of relevant videos from YouTube or TED.com, and simply use them as your course materials. In each course module, you only link to the video and add a paragraph or two that explains why it is relevant to the participants.
Which of these can work for you?
Not all of these ideas will work for everyone, but Im sure you can find some that will work for you.
In all these cases, you duplicate materials that have already been published. But do not ignore these ideas for that reason alone. Some of your course participants need to get the material delivered to them at intervals, and will appreciate that you put the thought of delivering it in that way.