WordPress Powered Online Courses

March 6, 2016

Chris Badgett: Co-Creator,LifterLMS

Chris Badgett of LifterMLSDid you know that membership sites are slowly fading out of style and platforms for online courses, also known as learning management systems, are on the rise?

The primary reason for this is that the end user who purchases private content is evolving along with the complexity and distracting environment in which we live.

Membership sites are often about putting information behind a paywall.

The membership site owner traditionally cares about protecting their content and getting the sale. There’s nothing wrong with that approach, but the customer, the consumer of private content, or the learner of today is having more advanced needs.

They don’t just want access, they want you to help them learn quickly, they expect some personal attention, and they want more than just content. The online consumer of premium content wants you to guide them on a learning journey. So how do you create an actual learning journey? There are 3 main blueprints you can follow …

The Behavior Change Course Blueprint

The behavior change blueprint is all about installing new habits or removing problematic ones. An example online course in this genre would be an online course on how to change your diet or increase your productivity. The format is less linear and more focused on the student creating positive change. This happens through teaching the following:

  • Why is this change needed?
  • What exactly is the change?
  • How does the student actually make the change?
  • What happens if the student ignores the material?

Well done behavior change courses are extremely high impact and can literally change lives and make the world a better place.

The Process Course Blueprint

Process blueprint courses are more linear in nature. These online courses are step-by-step. An example online course that is process driven would be How to Train For Your First Marathon in 90 Days. Another course would be How to Build Your First WordPress Website in a Weekend. The most important things to consider with process driven courses are:

  • Define a clear starting point and ending point for your process
  • Make it absolutely clear who this course is for
  • Let people know how long the process will take!

When you build a best in breed process course, you become the go-to expert for that process. Great courses in this genre can propel their creators to celebrity status in their niches.

The Reference Course Blueprint

Reference course blueprints are about providing a comprehensive knowledge base around a particular topic. They are not necessarily linear. They are more encyclopedic or as needed. Think about a medical reference book for dog owners geared towards consumers. Now let’s turn that book into an online course called The Ultimate Sick or Hurt Dog Owner’s Course. If your dog starts limping, you could go to the lessons on muscle or joint injury. Or if you want to be proactive and want to learn everything you can about dog issues, you would go through the entire course. The most important things to consider with reference courses:

  • Provide comprehensive lessons
  • Be clear which level this course is for (beginner, advanced, intermediate)
  • Make sure your reference material has a unique or differentiating angle

Well done reference courses can become valuable in the marketplace, because if the training is valuable, your learners can then leverage their mastery of this knowledge and parlay that knowledge base into how they use or apply your material. For example, web developers that complete certain web development courses online can raise their hourly rates and advertise your course as part of their credentials.

The Hybrid Course Blueprint

This hybrid method is my favorite blueprint, because it leverages all the strengths of the previously mentioned blueprints. Sometimes a learner needs to change their behavior first, then go through a process, and then master a library of reference material before they truly become or fulfill the promise that you offer. So if it makes sense for your online training material, combine all 3 blueprints into one course or create a separate course that serves each blueprint. Discover More About How to Put the Course Blueprints to Work For You … To learn more about the 3 course blueprints and how you can use them to your advantage, click here: [https://lifterlms.com/free-lifterlms-course]

About the Author

Chris Badgett is the co-founder of LifterLMS [https://lifterlms.com], a powerful, FREE WordPress plugin that makes it easy to create, sell, and protect engaging online courses. The ,LifterLMS mission is to help education entrepreneurs create more impact and income for themselves and to democratize education in the digital classroom.    

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