December 11th, 2014 E-Learning

drippingFor a long time, online course content followed a predictable pattern.

This usually involved the learner clicking “next” (or “Marking Complete”) until they reached the end of the course, and then they would attempt to guess on a quiz, knowing full-well that they could retake it if needed.

In other words, people started to game the system.

While there are some contexts where this is less harmful, there are other areas where this kind of online course interaction is detrimental.

For instance, in the education space, learning cannot really occur if the student is just trying to skip the content in an effort to get it over with.

In the event that a consultant or coach is selling elearning, this characteristic of online courses often results in more refund requests. People will purchase a course, take what the need, then request their money back.

Enter Drip-Feeding

To help combat this obvious drawback to elearning, learning management systems and online course creation tools have started to implement robust drip-feeding mechanisms.

Drip-feeding is just a fancy name for “scheduling” of course content, and it allows you to deliver your lessons in intervals or on specific dates.

As you can imagine, this has some pretty great benefits. First, if you happen to be selling an online course, then sequentially revealing content to a learner over time is a great way to help increase the chances that they actually review it.

For a classroom setting, drip-feeding makes it possible to align live classroom instruction with online course components in a structured manner. It prevents students from jumping too far ahead.

If you are selling a course, drip-feeding prevents someone from quickly downloading all of the content then requesting their money back.

Drip-feeding isn’t right for all situations. For example, if you have a one-hour compliance course, then it doesn’t make much sense to drip-feed the lessons.

However, if you have a course that is longer in duration, then you should certainly investigate if drip-feeding would be a good option for you and your learners.

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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

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I can definitely see the advantages of drip-feeding a course to reduce the chance of people ripping off the content and then requesting a refund.

However, in certain situations drip-feeding could also increase the demand for refunds.

In the case of the courses I sell, students ideally need approximately 12 weeks to complete a course with 24 topics. Many students who purchase the course don’t have the 12 weeks available before the exam. Therefore they then need to focus on particular topics in the course they need the most help with. With the course being drip-fed, they would not be able to quickly and easily navigate to the particular topics they need to study before their exam.

Ideally, I would love to be able to drip-feed my courses. However, due to the example above I worry that my customers would request a refund and go somewhere else.

Just a quick question for learning providers out there. Do you specify in the course description that the course will be drip-fed?



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