Use An Online Course To Market Your Brand, And Use These Tools To Get Started
If you have established yourself as a leader in your field, and you have achieved a degree of success as an educator, you are probably ready to build a course that can be scaled and automated so that you can reach a wider audience. The good news is that there are so many free and affordable tools to help you achieve this goal.
Ready to get started?
Let’s dive in!
(1) Screencasting Made Easy
No matter who your students are, you’ll want an audio and video component to your online course, and a common way to do this is by screencasting. When screencasting on a budget, Screencast-O-Matic is a great tool. It’s light software that won’t slow down your computer, and you can use it for free if you don’t mind having their logo on your video. If you want to go pro, you can do that for only $1.50 per month.
(2) Embedded Audio In A Presentation
If you decide that you don’t want to screencast, there other options available. Nearpod is a versatile software that will allow you to upload a slide deck, and embed audio on the slide. See the below video for an explanation of how this feature works when embedding audio in quizzes.
(3) Linkable Web-Based Audio
You may want to consider smashing apps together to give you more versatility for your given situation. Vocaroo is a free online voice recorder that will give you a link to share in a quiz, presentation, or any activity to give an audio component to your content. If you want students to turn in spoken work, Vocaroo can also be used in this way. Students record themselves speaking, and share a link with you.
(4) Presenting Synchronously
Having a human element to your course will increase the likelihood that someone will enjoy the process, finish the course, and be successful in their application of the knowledge.
Above I discussed Nearpod as a self-paced presentation, but it’s also undoubtedly the best software to use for synchronous content delivery. When an instructor launches a Nearpod lesson, the students only see the slide that the instructor is on.
This means that synchronous teaching is possible with students anywhere in the world, and the instructor will be able to control what slide the student is on. What is more, as students follow along with the lesson pace, they can have 7 different types of activities to engage with the learning content: open-ended questions, polls, draw-its, quizzes, collaborate, fill-in-the-blank, and memory.
(5) Website Builder Options
For any online course design, you’ll need the option of unlocking content only once certain tasks are accomplished. You’ll need a website to do this. Popular building block sites are Google Sites, Weebly, Wix, and Wordpress. The key benefit to Google sites is the collaboration that is possible.
If you are interested in a drag and drop model, and want to have hundreds of template designs available, consider Wix or Weebly. If you want a site that has potential to be more robust, and can integrate with nearly any technology application, check out Wordpress.
(6) Autoresponders for Unlocking Content
To simulate time-released lessons, you will need to build private pages that are not linked to any part of your website. Once a student finishes one step of a lesson, they can submit their information in a Google form, and have an automatic response emailed using the Form Notifications add on.
The response can contain the link to the next lesson, which is a private page on your website. The private delivery of this page makes it possible to simulate the unlocking of content in a robust learning management system.
(7) Logic-Based Autoresponders
You can use yet another free tool if you want the next step of the lesson unlocked for students only if they achieve a certain score on an assessment.
To do this, have students complete an assessment in Google forms, and grade it using Flubaroo or the Quiz feature of forms (see this article for a short description and helpful links). Then use the logic based Google sheets add-on called Autocrat to trigger emails based on certain criteria.
Summing It Up
I hope you are as excited as I am about all of the possibilities that these free tools make available. By using some of the best tools in the edtech industry, you’ll be able to build an online course that will have your students cheering, and will establish you as leader in your field. You’ll be happy with both the quality of your course, and the success that you can lead your students to achieve.