February 12th, 2018 Instructional Design

A common trap for people getting into the online course space is to put too much value on the technology tools they use and too little attention on their content.

The reality is that any course worth taking is the result of the instructional design and not the technology being used. As a course creator your goal should be to create a course with well defined objectives and a clear path for meeting those objectives. The technology you use for delivering and enhancing the course experience should be a secondary consideration.

Courses that rely on the technology for their unique value proposition are missing the main reason why people choose to take a course. People are interested in courses because they want to learn something that they feel is valuable. The online course experience isn’t valuable. Sure, it can be pleasant but that’s really an added bonus.

Technology is meant as a content supplement, not a value driver.

It is easy to focus on the technology first. There are so many learning management systems and similar tools out there that are quite impressive. It is exciting to think about your own course being delivered in such an impressive manner, especially if there are competing course offerings using dated delivery methods. Your course will immediately stand-out.

But technology can only give you a fleeting market advantage. Your competitors can update their systems to match (perhaps exceed) your configuration. Then what?

If you are relying solely on your tech stack as your value driver then you will struggle to remain competitive. However, if the content of your course is effectively developed and structured then you won’t fall victim to the every changing technology trends. You will continue to land new customers.

Remember that before there were online courses and membership sites there were ebooks.

I would take a well-written and structured ebook over a poorly structured online course using the bells & whistles of technology for the sake of being trendy.

The point of an online course is to deliver your information in away that helps others. Keep the objectives clear and deliver upon those promises. Once that is in place then you can use technology to add the finishing touches on your entire course experience.

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


4 responses

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I’m agree with this .

Course content first , Technology 2nd .

Technology is used to realize course content.

Avatar kangland

Process first, technology is to support 🙂 That’s what we discussed yesterday at my University. Thanks.

Avatar Anna

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