When you decide to create an online course, it can seem like an overwhelming process. After all, there are plenty of logistical matters you need to consider such as how much money you want to charge and what format the course will take.
But how long does it take to create an online course? The answer depends on a variety of factors. If you want to get started today, follow our guide for some tips on how to create an online course. Let's get started!
Selecting a Topic or Subject
Selecting a topic or subject is an important part of creating an online course, regardless of its length. Students will need to have a clear understanding of what they will be learning.
Additionally, instructors need to have an in-depth understanding of their chosen topic or subject to be able to effectively convey the material. Depending on the chosen topic or subject, the amount of time it takes to create an online course may vary. For example, creating a course that is 10-15 hours may take approximately 2 months if you are dedicating 8 hours a day. However, if you can dedicate more hours, the time it takes to complete the course will decrease.
Deciding on the Lecture Style
Once the type of lecture style is chosen, the remainder of the work in creating the online course will revolve around gathering and organizing the materials, creating the content, and designing the course. Depending on the scope of the material, this can vary in length anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Creating an online course also varies depending on the lecture style chosen. Lecture styles include self-paced learning, a mix of both, and more. You also need to consider factors such as:
- The size and scope of the material
- The target audience
- The level of engagement desired
For example, an interactive, self-paced course with many hands-on activities may take longer to create than one that simply consists of pre recorded videos. This can still vary in length anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Creating a Syllabus
Taking time to sit down and plan what will be covered in each lesson and unit of the course can take a few days, depending on the length of the course. You need to consider any special topics you want to emphasize and figure out how they will fit into the flow of the course.
Additionally, consider the various media you will use in the course to engage students and support their learning. Having a well-created syllabus can lay the groundwork for the entire course-creating process.
After the syllabus is created, it is then time to begin building out the content for each unit.
Designing the Page Layout and Other Elements
Designing the page layout and other elements takes careful planning and consideration. Time should be taken to ensure all the page elements are aesthetically pleasing and balanced with one another.
Furthermore, the navigation of the course should be straightforward for students to find their way around the course material. Content should also be properly structured to ensure the course objectives are met.
In addition, developing customized multimedia such as videos, animations, or graphics for the course can take significantly longer and require an understanding of the medium. Altogether, creating an online course requires a substantial amount of time and effort to complete successfully.
Choosing the Right Platform
It is crucial to select the right platform that best meets your needs. Do you want a minimalist, user-friendly platform that is best for beginners, or are you a more experienced course creator looking for more advanced features?
Additionally, you need to make sure that the platform can support your course objectives as well as your budget. Selecting the right platform can take anywhere from one to two days depending on the complexity and the size of the course.
However, some platforms require more upfront work, while others offer simple drag-and-drop tools that can be used quickly. Furthermore, creators may consider platforms that will connect them to people interested in taking the course.
On the other hand, they might opt to host the course on their platform. Without carefully considering these options, creating an online course could take much longer than necessary.
Setting Up the Course Hosting Platform
This process typically takes the longest out of the other tasks involved. It requires that the user have some understanding of web hosting and the resources needed to create, host, and manage an online course. This usually takes a few hours to a few days.
Additionally, the platform must be able to accommodate a large number of users, alongside multimedia, and other content. This can take considerable time to configure and optimize.
After the content is loaded and organized, assessments must be developed and uploaded. Again, the amount of time this takes can vary depending on the type of assessment and its complexity. From there, the user can then begin to develop the course and add content.
Outlining the Course Content
Outlining the course content is one of the first steps in the process and can usually take between 1-2 weeks. At this stage, you'll need to plan out the structure of your course such as what topics you'll cover, the activities, assessments, and other details.
Once your outline is finalized, you'll need to begin creating the actual content for the course. This is the most time-consuming step and could take anywhere from several weeks to several months to complete.
After the content is written, it will be necessary to check for errors and make any necessary revisions. Finally, the content can be distributed in the most appropriate format for the intended audience.
Creating Visuals and Other Materials
Creating visuals and other materials for an online course can be a critical component for success. It often requires significant effort to make sure the course is engaging, informative, and effective.
This can take anywhere from a few days to weeks and even months to complete. In addition, material needs to be gathered such as text, images, audio, or video content. Additionally, they need to be edited, organized, structured, and laid out in a meaningful way.
Next, appropriate visuals and multimedia elements are chosen to complement the content. This can involve hiring a graphic designer or animator to make sure they are professionally done.
Finally, a thorough evaluation must be conducted to check if it meets the needs of the intended audience. All in all, creating effective visuals and other materials is no easy task and can take significant time and effort.
Testing Videos, Quizzes, and Links
Generally, it takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to build a basic online course with testing videos, quizzes, and links. If the goal is to build a more advanced course with interactive media, animation, and other features, this could take longer.
Testing videos can easily be sourced online, or even filmed and edited by the course creator. Quizzes and assessments can also be created online or sourced elsewhere.
Instructional designers may also need to source material, create scripts, and develop slides, among other tasks. Finally, any additional testing or feedback should be integrated as necessary as the course design is finalized.
Promoting Your Online Course
Creating and promoting an online course is no simple endeavor, but the payoffs are well worth it! For those wanting to promote it, you may consider:
- Leveraging social media
- Investing in an advertising campaign
- Setting up email campaigns to reach your target demographic
You can also focus on building relationships with influencers and content creators within your niche. This will greatly help to get the word out regarding your course.
Utilizing these tactics along with a bit of creative thinking and determination will help you to promote your online course successfully.
Reusing Existing Course Materials
If most of the course will be created from scratch, then how long does it take to create an online course from existing materials that can be quickly converted? If previous courses have been created on the same topic, reuse those and it will take even less time.
On the other hand, if all the content needs to be created from scratch, the process will take significantly longer. Looking for existing materials, gathering them, and organizing them in a format that meets the learning objectives are also key tasks.
Harnessing existing course material is a great starting point when creating an online course and can help save time and money, and will speed up the process.
Tips That Can Help Speed Up the Course Creation
Creating an online course doesn't have to take a long time. By leveraging the latest tools and technologies, you can quickly compile the information into an engaging and effective digital experience.
Here are a few tips that can help speed up the course creation process:
- Begin with an effective outline
- Develop digital resources to fit the purpose of the course
- Leverage existing in-house materials
- Incorporate user-friendly technology
With some planning, research, and a few adapted tools, you'll soon have an easy-to-follow and comprehensive online course. By following these tips, you can create an engaging online course in a fraction of the time.
Online course creation is not a “one size fits all” process. It depends on the complexity of the content, graphics, and videos. With the right amount of effort and planning, you can create a compelling online course in a few days or weeks.
Why not get started today and see how quickly you can elevate your business with a great online course?