You may remember I interviewed Reuven Lerner a little while back about his Python and Data Science online courses.
You can watch that interview here if you haven't already.
Reuven mentioned in the interview that he does an email newsletter for corporate trainers so I signed up (in all honesty, more out of politeness than anything since I don't really do courses for corporates any more).
Well, it turns out that Reuven's newsletter is excellent. Very thoughtful and full of experience-based tips on marketing and running live courses for corporates. But also lots of stuff that's very applicable to online courses too.
In this week's issue Reuven talked about how, over the years, he's learned to reduce the amount of content he teaches in his courses to get better results for his students.
Previously he was cramming them with material in order to make them as “valuable” as possible. But the effect was that his students didn't have the time to properly take on what he was teaching.
By reducing the amount of content he taught he was able to add more exercises and Q&A so that students learned what he was teaching much more deeply.
The end result was that they learned more and gave better feedback on his courses. While he had to prepare less material for each course (but think about it more deeply to structure it right for learning).
Reuven listed a number of benefits of the “less content” approach in his newsletter but I'm going to add one here that particularly applies to online courses.
Less content = more momentum.
One of the biggest problems I see with people trying to create online courses is getting bogged down creating the content.
So they either end up never releasing their course, or they finally finish it but are so worn out they have no energy to market it properly.
After that experience they never attempt to create another one. And, of course, it's rarely your first course that makes you the real money. It's your second or third or fourth.
But if instead you really whittle down the content for your course to what's absolutely necessary you can get it created quickly, get it on the market, plug any gaps, then move on to the next one.
It becomes an invigorating virtuous circle rather than a cycle of despair :)
And it actually helps your students learn faster and better.
Anyhoo – if you do training for corporates (or want to get some useful tips you can apply to online courses too) I thoroughly recommend signing up for Reuven's newsletter.