Teach What You Know and Love Part Two

This week's episode is part 2 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, think why someone would take your course. What are their potential goals? What struggles might they have in their work or personal life that they'll overcome by taking your course? Summarize your answers into one statement. For instance, if your course teaches advanced techniques in photography that will produce high-quality photos businesses will want to buy, your statement could be - this course is great for anyone who wants high-quality, professional-grade photographs that can be used commercially. Next, look at your student's starting point. What expertise or knowledge should they already possess 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. What skills will they possess after taking your course? Write another statement summarizing 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.

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

Now outline your actual course. Basically, there are four components you'll incorporate into your course. You'll have sections, lectures, resources, and a discussion area. I'll use one of my courses as an example. My sections are divided up by different elements of grammar. One section is titled Nouns & Pronouns, another section is verbs, and another is determiners. Within the Nouns & Pronouns section, I have one lecture 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 included handouts and worksheets for more resources. The discussion area is for students to ask questions or for you to pose a question or communicate to the class. Once you've developed your outline, decide what type of media you'll use. Some lectures can be animated videos, some talking head videos where you appear on camera, some PDFs, and some just audio lectures. You don't have to use all the different types of media. You get to choose and be as creative as you want.

The 2nd stage is producing the content. Decide if you're going to work off a script and use a teleprompter or if you're just going to improvise. I write my scripts out and use a teleprompter.

You may be thinking this is going to take a lot of equipment and be expensive to put together, but it's actually very simple and can be done 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 between $50 and $100. You can download a teleprompter app on your phone or iPad and set your camera behind your phone or iPad, you can make your own reflecting teleprompter out of two picture frames. There are YouTube videos that show how to do that.

I'm not familiar with other companies, but I know 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. You can also email me with any questions or post them on the Living Authentically After 55 Facebook page. I'll help as much as possible.

After you record your videos or audio lectures, you'll want to clean them up with editing software. 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 3, which is the publishing stage. You will upload all your lectures and resources to the site you have chosen and set the selling price. Your course will be reviewed by standards and quality assurance teams before it actually goes live.

Once it goes live, you'll so stage 4, which is marketing. If you're doing the course for fun and not really concerned about income, 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, 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 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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