Online learning has never been more important than now. From schools to businesses, online courses have quickly become an effective alternative to in-class courses, helping people to continue to learn wherever they are.
Online courses come in all shapes and sizes, so if you’re looking at creating your own, take a look at our simple guide to the four types of online courses to create now.
A mini-course, as the name suggests, is a short course designed to be completed in a couple of hours. With mini-courses, size doesn’t matter here as each one is designed to provide insight into a particular topic in a digestible way or provide a gateway for more in-depth learning on a subject.
The great thing about mini-courses is that they can be repurposed from wider topics, or created to focus on a particular area. Many people who create online courses use them as a way to draw in users to register for a longer course, as well as use them as add-ons for a particular subject.
A mini-course is also a great way test the market for interest in a larger course you are making. With a mini-course, you can see interest in your topic before investing your time and resources into a much more extensive course. If your audience buys your mini-course, that means that you have evidence that your larger course will sell.
2. MOOC / self-paced online course
Massive Open Online Courses, also known as a MOOC is generally a self-paced online course designed to help people learn a new skill or increase their knowledge. In addition, this course could include a community for learners to interact and may have facilitation by you as the expert.
Using a range of tools and content types, including text and presentations, video, animation, discussions, etc., MOOC style courses provide an engaging way for learners to develop the knowledge and skills they need.
A masterclass is typically a signature course, created by an expert on a subject, designed to share their knowledge with people who want to know about it. This type of course is usually a combination of a self-paced online resources, combined with virtual facilitated discussions with the expert. Learners may also have regular one-to-one sessions from the master trainer.
As an opportunity to ‘learn from the best’, a masterclass should include a unique type of content and insight that people can’t get anywhere else.
4. Membership site
Membership sites generally provide access to an ongoing selection of exclusive content for members. Membership sites can provide a range of online courses designed to enhance knowledge of a subject, which sometimes sits alongside other content such as articles, whitepapers, and access to different templates and tools.
Membership sites require ongoing development of learning assets to ensure that new content is provided to members so membership subscriptions are renewed.
There are several routes to choose from when creating online courses, and each one will depend on the type of audience you are targeting, as well as the appetite for the content. Mini-courses and masterclasses can provide a fantastic introduction to help you test the water before moving onto something more in-depth. As more and more people look at online courses to help them develop their skills and experience, it’s worth exploring the type of content you could put out there.