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  • Writer's pictureSarah Angell

Share Your Expertise and Build Community with Online Courses

Photo by Christin Hume

Online courses are a great way to share your expertise and build community. Are you an expert gardener, a trained yogi, or a retiree with great recipes? We all have experience, talents, interests, and hobbies that we can share with others. Why not monetize your knowledge while building a network of individuals who share your interests?

Creating an easy-to-follow online course can be accomplished in a few methodical steps that can alleviate the overwhelming feeling of this task. It all begins with an idea, organizing information, note-taking, and developing course materials such as course modules that can include video lectures or tutorials. You can complete the process from the comfort of your home and with the guidance of a course designer who will help you get your course online and advertise to potential students.


Here are five key steps to developing a polished online course:


1.      What is your skillset?


What knowledge and wisdom do you hold that you can transform into a course? Start by creating an informal list of your expertise.

2.      Break it up.


Take your informal list and break it up into subject matter subcategories. Separating your information into categories will help you create modules for your course.


3.      Describe the process.


Begin by taking your students through each step of the learning process. 1-4 PowerPoint slides per step will walk your students through the learning process. Each module will follow a similar guideline to create a whole course. A maximum of 8 modules will keep course information concise and ensure your students successfully complete your online course.


4.      Make it interactive.


Creating course video tutorials or lectures is not necessary, but it is helpful for captivating your students' attention and promoting an interactive experience. Everyone has a unique learning style, and some students learn best through their visual and auditory senses. Creating videos to complement each of your modules will help your students follow along and build a personalized connection with their instructor.


5.      Choose an online course platform.


There is an array of online course platforms to choose from. I like to use Vancouver-based Thinkific, but other platforms offer similar usability and content creation. Choose your platform wisely, as you want a dashboard that is easy to access and work with when adding your course content. Customer service is also essential to address any technical questions promptly.

Online course platforms are a new digital frontier, so most companies are still developing the usability and services they offer within their platforms. Expect to practice patience as these platforms evolve and hire a knowledgeable course designer who can help you navigate a content management system.


Sharing your knowledge is not as intimidating as it might seem. With some basic guidelines and digital assistance, you will be on your way to creating valuable online courses that help promote your business, share your skillset, and contribute to your income stream.


Sarah Angell is the lead Web Solutions Specialist and Virtual Assistant at Angell Web Solutions Inc., a virtual assistance company specializing in digital administration, web design, and online course design.



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