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The global online course market is expected to reach $325 billion by 2025. But the self-paced online learning market is in decline, with revenues expected to fall by 6% a year. Completion rates for these types of courses can be as low as 15%. So why is that many online courses simply do not work? Based on our experiences, we put it down to three key reasons.
#1 The course doesn’t solve a problem
Lots of people are putting courses together but often they don’t get the strategy right at the start. They focus on the content or the platform, not starting with a focus on the one problem that they need to solve. Or they go the other way and try and build a course that solves umpteen problems and as a result people don’t engage because it’s providing solutions that they don’t need. Remember people don’t really want to pay for your course. They want to pay for the solution to their problem.
#2 The course doesn’t engage the learner
Too often we see courses full of content that doesn’t engage the learner. It doesn’t call out how it is going to benefit the learner. It doesn’t hook them. Or, it is made up of one type of media (often all videos) which may engage at the start, but as the course goes on engagement levels drop. Create a course with a range of learning assets to engage people in different ways.
#3 The course doesn’t provide a challenge or motivate the learner
Adult learners are goal oriented, and they need to be provided with a challenge to inspire and motivate them. Without a challenge, without a goal, the learners will be demotivated. If there is no motivation, then why will they complete the course. So build some challenges in your course, that provide small goals towards reaching the large goal – the solution to their problem. But make sure that they are goldilocks challenges – they can’t be too hard – the learner will become demotivated and give up – but they can’t be too easy or they won’t be challenged. The challenge needs to be just right. So if you want your courses to work, to create an impact and have a high rate of completion then you need to solve a problem and engage and motivate the learners.