Janelle Allen is a learning designer of online courses at Zen Courses and the host of the Zen Courses Show. In this episode, we discuss how to create significant value for your course. In the first segment, we explore the most important factor, learner success. During the next segment, she explains how to determine what success is for the learner. Then in the last segment, we review the most successful pricing strategy for online courses.
The Learner-Focused Approach
What is the most important thing you can share about pricing?
Pricing is based on contextual data. The more you know about your audience and why they buy from you, the easier it is to create options and set a price.
What is a learning or instructional designer?
A professional who studies how adults learn and then applies learning theory and principles to education mediums.
What is the value of working with a learning designer?
You create your course with a focus on learner success rather than content marketing. Everything starts with the goal for the learner. What tools do they need to be successful? How do they prefer to engage with the material?
Getting to Know Your Learner
How do you take a learner-focused approach when creating an online course?
- Ask the learner what they should be able to do after completing the course. Once you know the answer, work backward to design the material to achieve the result.
- Next, focus on the learner journey. Where will the learner start? What obstacles will the learner encounter during the course? How can you encourage the learner to complete it?
What is the most common mistake when creating an online course?
Think about your results first–your revenue, your profit–instead of thinking about the goal of the learner. Focus on the educational outcome and then create the sales and marketing strategy.
How can you get to know your learner better?
- Create an email list with regular content so you learner can interact with you.
- Survey your email list to gather information about their needs and wants.
- Conduct short Skype interviews with learners to get a deeper perspective.
What is the relationship between consulting and creating an online course?
Consulting allows you to get to know your customers intimately. You can understand opportunities, problems, and challenges from their point of view.
Pricing Your Online Course
What is the most important metric to measure the success of your students?
- What is the desired outcome for the learner to be able to achieve?
- What are the objectives necessary to reach the outcome?
- What activities do they need to complete those objectives?
How do you approach pricing an online course?
Tiered pricing is the key strategy. Offer your customers different value at different prices. Although three is the best number of options, it is helpful to start with two options and learn what your audience wants. Pricing is an iterative process.
What is a learning platform you like for creating online courses?
Thinkific provides great features for creating activities to measure and encourage learner success.
What is one of your best stories about creating value for a customer?
Janelle helped Pearson Education create a biology course for a nursing program. She designed a new learning model that increased student success by 25%.