An Online Course is Not Just a Taped Lecture

I’ve taken quite a few online courses from sites like Lynda, Udemy, and Treehouse. Nothing frustrates me more than when a course is just a videotaped lecture. That is so much potential being squandered away.

Right now, I’m enrolled in a Udemy course that my friend Steve produced, on creating amazing talks. Something that really stuck out to me about how his course is designed is that he gives you two options. You can either watch the course, take in the information, and move on; or, by the end of the course, you can have created your talk.

The first few videos in each section walk you through the new concepts and teach you how to do the attached exercises. Then you can either move on to the next section (if you just want to keep being exposed to the new ideas) or you can stick around for the last video where he walks you through the exercise, giving you prompts and hints along the way.

It sounds simple but it makes a HUGE difference. Online courses, when done with thoughtful intention, can be incredibly engaging and effective. They should feel more like a 1-on-1 session than a lecture.