Teach What You Know and Love Part Two

Welcome to Living Authentically After 55. I'm Karen Crowell and I'm your host. This week's episode is part two of Teach What You Know and Love, and our motivation for momentum is about creating your course outline and producing your materials.

Before starting your outline, you'll want to remind yourself of why someone would take your course. What are the potential goals the student may have? What struggles might the student have in their work or personal life that they'll overcome by taking your course? Try to summarize your answers to these questions into one statement. For instance, if your course teaches advanced techniques in photography that will produce high-quality photos that businesses will want to buy, your statement could be - this course is great for anyone who wants to have high-quality, professional grade photographs that can be used commercially. Next, you want to look at your student's starting point. In other words, what expertise or knowledge should the student already possess in order to succeed in your class? Is this a beginning course or more advanced? Here's a sample. In order to succeed in this course, students should have a basic understanding of the various settings on a digital camera, how to change those settings, and how to apply filters. Consider what skills you want your students to possess after taking your course and write another statement that summarizes what they will accomplish. For example, after completing this course, you will be able to turn color photos into black-and-white, remove unwanted objects from photos, and add textures to backgrounds. You will also know which companies will pay the most for your photos.


Next, make a list of your learning objectives and the specific skills you're going to help your student learn and note any special knowledge or equipment the student will need to complete those learning objectives. For instance, you will need a digital camera and a PC or Mac in order to take this course.


Now it's time to outline your actual course. Basically, there are four components that you'll incorporate into your course. You'll have sections, lectures, resources, and the discussion area. I'll use one of my grammar courses for an example. My sections are divided up by different elements of grammar. For instance, one section is titled Nouns and Pronouns, another section is verbs, and another is determiners, and so on. You get the idea. Within the Nouns and Pronouns section, I have one lecture that's on the different functions and types of nouns and a quiz for a reinforcement resource. Then I have a lecture on the function and categories of pronouns and a quiz. I've also included handouts and worksheets for more resources. The discussion area can be used for students to ask questions or for the instructor to pose a question or communicate to the class. Once you've developed your outline, you'll want to decide what type of media you'll use. You may want some lectures that are animated videos, some talking head videos which are where you appear on camera, some PDFs, and some that are just audio lectures. You don't have to use all the different types of media. You could do all animated videos or all talking head videos. That's the fun of putting the course together. You get to choose and be as creative as you want.

This brings us to the second stage of teaching an online course and that's producing the content. You'll want to decide if you're going to work off of a script and use a teleprompter or if you're just going to improvise. I personally always write my scripts out and use a teleprompter.


Right about now, you may be thinking that this is going to take a lot of equipment and be very expensive to put together, but it's actually very simple and can be done very inexpensively. If you own a smartphone or digital camera that can record, you pretty much have all you need. If you want, you can buy an external microphone. It will give you better sound quality and most can be purchased for between fifty and one hundred dollars. As for the teleprompter, you can download a teleprompter app on your phone or iPad. If you want to set your camera behind your phone or iPad, you can make your own reflecting teleprompter out of two picture frames. There are actually YouTube videos that show you how to do that.


I'm not familiar with other companies, but I know that Udemy has two Facebook groups where you can get all kinds of information on ways to put a course together. You can also ask questions, get feedback, and bounce ideas off of other instructors. I've personally put together three courses, and I'm currently working on a fourth, so you can always email me with any questions you may have or post them on the Living Authentically After 55 Facebook page, and I'll help you as much as possible.

After you record your videos or audio lectures, you'll want to clean them up a little bit with editing software. Again, this can be done very inexpensively. There's a free program called Audacity that works great. I personally use Adobe products, so I use Premiere Pro and Audition. Once you've completed your videos and resources, you are ready for stage three, which is the publishing stage. You will upload all your lectures and resources to the site of whichever company you have chosen and set the selling price. I'm not sure of the other companies procedures, but once you've uploaded everything onto Udemy's site, your course will be reviewed by Udemy's standards and quality assurance teams before it actually goes live.

Once it goes live, you'll need to work on stage four, which is marketing. If you're doing the course more for fun and not really concerned about income, you can just tell your friends and family and let Udemy do all the marketing. However, if you want to make more money and a bigger percentage, then you'll need to do more marketing.

If you're interested in making a course, you can find a list of companies and their contact information in the Online Education Companies document under the file tab in the Living Authentically After 55 Facebook group. If you have friends or family, no matter their age, who are interested in producing online courses, be sure to share this podcast link with them. Map out your course and have a great week!

Facebook: Living Authentically After 55

Twitter: @livauthentic55

Reaching retirement is much like graduating from high school. It's a fresh start and an opportunity to live true to who you are. The good news is that living authentically is not based on finances, material goods, health, or other external forces. It's about who you are as a person and being who you want to be, not what others expect you to be. This podcast series will help you discover or rediscover who you are, find your interests, give you valuable information to enhance your day-to-day living, help you meet the challenges that can prevent you from living authentically and passionately, and motivate you to be young at heart and enjoy your golden years.

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