Friday, October 15, 2021

Creating an Online No-Code Course

What does it take to create an online course that has something to do with the no-code movement? It takes time, patience, and several other things: 

  • Do some research. Explore the popular online course websites like Udemy,  Skillshare, Thinkific, Simplilearn, and Teachable and look for areas of no-code development that aren't well represented (or represented at all). For example, Kintone is a highly-rated no-code/low-code app development platform, but currently there are no English-language courses on Udemy dealing with Kintone. You may also come up with a twist on the usual tutorial courses. There are a number of courses on Mendix on Udemy, but there's also a course that's simple a set of 3 practice tests to help you pass Mendix's "Rapid Developer" certification test.
  • Find out what subjects are the most popular before you decide on exactly what your course will cover. Of course you'll want to check on the number of people signing up for similar courses on platforms that host online courses, but don't stop there. Look at books on Amazon related to your course content and see how many reviews those books are getting and how high they rank. Do the same thing with no-code blogs and forums, as well as any no-code Facebook groups.
  • Find a niche. Once you have a general idea of what type of course material you want to cover, consider narrowing it down to a more specific area and still attract students. It's somewhat similar to publishing a book on Amazon - if your subject is too general it can get lost in among a lot of other books (or courses in this case) that are covering the same material.
  • Make sure what each platform provides. You're going to want a platform that:
    • Allows users to access your course on the web, by phone or on their tablet.
    • Provides a forum for the people enrolled in your course.
    • Offers polls and surveys to provide feedback on how people rate your course, both the content and the presentation.
    • The ability to have students upload course materials.
    • A built-in mechanism to handle payments and refunds.
  • Build the course. Don't be concerned about making the perfect version of your course right way, follow the same procedure that you would when creating a no-code app and start out with a Minimum Viable Product. You can add all the extras once you get some feedback on what your students like and don't like about the course. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:
    • Micro-learning is a popular concept now for a reason. People tend to learn more easily when information is dished out in small bites. Do the same thing with each lesson in your course - keep the lessons short and focused on one specific topic.
    • To some extent use the method of "say it, then say it again" (or "show it", then "say it again") to try to emphasize main points in your presentation.
    • The majority of people who sign up for an online course never complete the course. Try to gamify things in some way to keep students engaged, maybe offer some special tips or advice for those who reach certain points in the course or points that can be used to purchase additional material.
    • Make sure you have a discussion group for students who have questions or feedback or just want to talk about things that sparked their interest.
  • Don't let inexperience stop you. If you're not sure how to put together an online course there is (somewhat ironically) a course on Udemy on creating online courses, plus there are a number of websites like Snapcourse that can help you build your presentation (or build it for you for a fee).

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