We have made some observations that can help you create better courses. Here are my top tips for creating high-quality online courses. Let’s dive in!
A great course starts with great content
Your course is only as good as the content it contains. If your idea of a lecture is to read word for word from your notes or slides, UDEMY is not the best platform to sell your course on because people simply don’t pay for that kind of “content.” Your ideal customers are looking for unique content that they can listen to instead of watching a video passively. They expect you to walk them through the process thoughtfully and masterfully so they can take away a great deal of value. If you would also check out other ways to monetize your content you can check out PeachPay.
This means you have to spend a lot of time creating your content – writing scripts, recording video and audio files – the works! Even if you’re using slides or transcripts, people still expect you to be talking throughout most of the lecture because that’s how they will remember it best. It may look easier from the outside looking in, but trust me – it’s not as easy as it looks.
Record screencasts instead of PowerPoint presentations
In our experience, people learn better by watching others do things rather than simply listening to them talk about doing those things. To make your courses more engaging and captivating for your students, consider recording videos of yourself through step-by-step processes rather than reading through slides.
If you are planning to use PowerPoint to give your presentation, it’s best not to record the videos with PowerPoint presentations for your students because they might find themselves distracted by all the moving animations on screen. Use Camtasia or Jing instead because these allow you to record both voice and action on screen without any distractions.
Use the right video codecs
Make sure you use MP4 as your video file format, especially if you’re using Camtasia or other screen capture recording software. This is important because MP4 files tend to have smaller sizes than most other video formats, which makes them easy for students to download since bandwidth can be an issue in parts of the world where internet speeds are slow, unreliable, or too expensive.
Moreover, MP4 files are universally compatible with most video players and mobile devices for viewing later on when students might not have access to the internet.
When recording yourself or your screen, use a high bitrate (at least 4 Mbps) unless you’re planning to upload long videos. People tend to drop off when they can’t focus on what’s happening in the video because of bad-quality audio and images. The higher your bitrate is, the better experience your students will have when watching and listening to your course media content.
Don’t stop at just audio and video – add in some slides too
If you think reading from slides is boring, why do you think it won’t boring for your students? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that slides are only good for simple presentations to an audience. Slides can be very engaging if you think of them as visual cues for what you’re teaching at any given time, not just a replacement for your voice.
For example, you could show an animation of how a process works, then explain step by step with slides on what’s next while recording video and audio simultaneously to explain it. You could also include additional information in the notes section so students can download and keep their own copy for reference later on when they need to go back and review specific portions again.
Create your course structure before creating courses
One of the things we see most often is people simply throwing up all their recorded lectures in one long unorganized video, both audio and visual. This is one of the most unhelpful things you can do for your students because they won’t know what to focus on first, or even where to start.
To avoid this mistake yourself, try breaking down your courses into 10-minute chunks, then record all of them with scripts before uploading them onto Udemy. Pay close attention to how much material you’re covering in each chunk so that you don’t feel compelled to speed through some parts just to get through them quickly.
Once everything’s recorded, edit out all the pauses and filler words (usually “um”s and “ah”s) until it feels like a smooth continuous speech. You can upload these videos later on as separate lectures/lessons within each course, or just include all of them as part of your main course.
Give value consistently
If you want to attract more students into your courses and keep them engaged until the end, then give them a preview of what they’ll learn from taking your course right from the start. Make sure the first video you upload is an engaging video that captures their attention immediately by introducing yourself and explaining why it’s important for students to join your course.
Upload a playlist – make it easy for students to rewind or skip ahead
We’ve given out this advice countless times already, but we can’t stress enough how important a good playlist is when creating a video lecture series on Udemy. Your students don’t have time to watch or listen to hours and hours of video just to understand the gist of what you’re teaching.
So try keeping your playlist short, with each lecture/lesson being 5 minutes or less in length where students can easily watch one per sitting without feeling pressured or overwhelmed. This way, they’ll retain more information from each video because it’s easier for them to focus on one thing at a time instead of juggling multiple lectures within one course.
When included as part of a course, make sure each lesson has its own separate outline and notes section so that students can download and save them separately outside of Udemy if they wish to later on. That way they don’t have to rewatch everything all over again by referring back to the playlist (if they even remember that you had one in the first place.)
Add captions to your videos for accessibility
Adding closed captioning subtitles to your video lectures benefits both you and your students. For students who are hearing impaired, it will allow them to enjoy what you’re teaching just like other students do. It also benefits students with long commutes or other situations where they can’t listen to your videos while driving or working out.