The Importance of Evolving Your Course Material

If you have created an online course and it is now “live”, then you have probably have quickly realized that your job is actually just beginning.

Courses and training programs are not meant to be stagnant. It isn’t something that you create and then never have to touch again.

Material has to be updated based on changes in the content (naturally), but also because of changes in learner expectations.

Consider a course created in 2010. Would you expect that it be presented in exactly the same manner today as it was on Day 1 of its release?

No, neither would I.

First, the material is probably dated as will be the case with your course if you don’t keep it current. However, sometimes content stays relevant for a long time. What is actually more pressing is that you update the material to reflect the fast-paced changes in learner expectations.

What Needs to Change?

If your course lacks any form of video then you should update it immediately.

You don’t have to make your entire course into video but it really is showing its age if all you have is text.

Video is often more entertaining and keeps people’s attention longer – but only when done the correct way. Don’t make 20 minutes videos. Those days are gone. It’s all about micro-content now.

Another thing to change is to substitute out the endless bullet point lists and replace them with simple infographics. This is a small thing that you can do to immediately freshen-up your content.

What else? Consider breaking out long lessons into two (perhaps three) separate lessons. People like to consume bite-size content these days and long lessons are tedious.

Incorporate automation where possible. Be it automated course progression, check-points, or communication – this adds just a little bit of flare to your offering that will help prevent it from looking stale.

Some of these tips are easier to do than others. Start with the low-hanging fruit and work your way to the bigger changes. You put in a lot of time to create your course – don’t let all that work go to waste by neglecting to do the necessary “housekeeping” tasks.


Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Let's Talk! | Twitter

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