Category Archives for Support

Taking the stress out of online course design

stressed female executive thinking at her computer


One of my main goals in creating the Course Design Formula® has been to relieve the stress many experts and entrepreneurs feel when creating an online course.

Can you relate?

Why creating an online course can be stressful:

Young and timid woman with head in the cloud sitting on bench
  • You have so much expertise on the topic that it's hard to know where to start
  • You aren't sure what to put into your course and what to leave out
  • You want to make the course clear and engaging... but how?
  • You can't figure out where to begin, and how to structure the course
  • Everything is connected so you just end up going around and around in circles!

The way most people go about creating an online course only adds to the stress.

What most people do is jump in right away creating content, without a clear plan as to what content even needs to be in the course to begin with.

It's natural and intuitive to start that way.

You're an expert on a topic and you want to teach people about it, so you start creating content based on your subject matter expertise.

 What's wrong with that?

What's wrong with that is that it doesn't work.

In order to set up a course in a way that's effective, stress-free, and leads to the results you want 

you need to use LEARNING DESIGN EXPERTISE, 

NOT SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTISE.

If you use learning design expertise to set up the course structure, you'll then have an elegant, clear container you can use to share your subject matter expertise.

The container (course structure) will make it clear what needs to be in your course, what should be left out (or put into a different course you can create at another time), and in what order.

White puffy could in a transparent box on white pedestal, blue studio background

     


  And just like that, your stress is gone! Pouf!





When you use learning design expertise, rather than your subject matter expertise, to create the STRUCTURE of your course,

 you ensure that the course is going to engage your course participants

and help them achieve the transformation you want  to provide.


Suddenly it becomes clear:

  • What should be in your course
  • What to leave out
  • Where to start
  • What order to present the material
  • How to create a logical, smooth learning path
Garden with clear path through it

If you're feeling stressed about how to structure your online course, here are a few suggestions:


What if you've already created a course (either on or offline) and now want to revise it?

Circular Ribbons with RETHINK REVISE RESET Word - 3D Rendering


The same rules apply to revising a course as to creating a new one, but it's harder to see those rules at first. 

It's only logical, after all, to revise a course by starting from what you've already created (your existing content) and then thinking about how to make it better, in a kind of editing process.

This is like taking concrete that's already been poured out and hardened, 

and trying to chip away at it to change its shape and form.

It's much easier and less stressful to instead go back to the original intention and purpose behind the course, create the ideal mold for the shape you want the finished product to take, and pour the concrete  all over again.

In this metaphor, the mold represents the course structure and the concrete is your content.


Chipping away at hardened concrete in an attempt to reshape it:

  • takes a lot of work
  • makes it hard to remember what the original goal was
  • is not very successful


Pouring fresh concrete into a new, perfectly shaped mold:

  • is fast, easy, and fun
  • evolves naturally from what the original goal was
  • produces smooth and elegant results

Whether you're creating a new course or revising an existing one (either from online, or off),

 the Course Design Formula® helps you go with the flow

of how people can best achieve the transformation you want your course to provide.

If you want to master the formula so you can use it to create any course you envision, for the rest of your life, the best way to do that is to take the Course Design Formula® Master Course. Enrollment is limited and by private interview only. I'm interviewing now and taking reservations for the June 2021 cohort, so if you're interested, email me at Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com and we can schedule a time to talk starting in March.

If your focus is on setting up a specific course or online academy, from scratch (or revising an existing one using the "fresh-mold-pouring" method I wrote about above), you can schedule a free strategy session to discuss your project and set up a coaching schedule so you can work with me to get your course designed. Again, I have availability starting in March... this is a process that requires advance planning, so we can create a smooth, enjoyable and stress-free experience for you as a course creator and for your course participants as learners.

Workers at building site are pouring concrete in mold from mixer truck.

You are always welcome and invited to join us in the Course Design Formula® Community Facebook Group, and on Saturdays on Zoom at 9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern for the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting, where we talk about how to use our expertise and our online courses to help ourselves and others survive and thrive in these challenging times. I look forward to seeing you there!


Come to the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting... Saturdays at 9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern on Zoom

We're focusing on how to  use our online teaching practices and online businesses to help ourselves and others survive and thrive during these challenging times. 

Click here to register for the meeting

many people online in a conference call

Getting the Support You Need

staircase of wooden blocks upheld by various types of supports

Looking at your life as a whole, as an educator and entrepreneur…. where is your zone of genius? 

And what areas of your life and work need strengthening to support that? 

What areas of life feel unbalanced for you now, especially in light of the restrictions and changes imposed by the pandemic?

And, most interestingly, how has the pandemic actually helped you to bring more structure, balance, and order into your life… if it has?


How, in other words, have the challenges posed by the pandemic helped you grow?

We’re all acutely aware of the negative pressures exerted on everyone globally (though not on everyone equally), this past year. From ecologic upheaval to political uncertainty, this year has really been a doozy.

None of us, personally, has control over the pandemic, the economy, or the environment.

But what about the areas of life you DO have control over?

How are you using this time…which may be a very extended period of time indeed… how are you using this time of forced seclusion, inward-turning, and retreat from the types of interactions we have all taken for granted our entire lives?

Woman organizes clothes in living room of her home


What are you focusing on now that you didn’t have time, energy, or interest in focusing on before?


I hope that committing to your course design and development process will be one of those things. 

There has never been a more appropriate time to develop online learning.

People all over the world need to learn how to do things, right now… on all levels of life ranging from physical survival to spiritual enlightenment.

Maslow's pyramid of needs

Maslow's hierarchy of needs represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom.



What do you teach online… or plan to? 

Where does your teaching fit on the continuum of Maslow’s hierarchy?

How will your course(s), once finished and up and running, help make life better for the people you serve, in these challenging times?

What is the IMPACT that your course will make in the world?

Here's mine:

 If everyone designing online courses applied the principles I teach in the Course Design Formula® Master Course,

illuminated mind

we could light up the planet, one mind at a time.

 That’s my mission. That’s what I’m here to do.

At the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting on Saturday, October 3rd (yes, the meeting is BACK…), we talked about the shockwaves that can form when you put yourself out there on the public stage.

A man watching a 3-D television with waves startling him by surging forward out of the TV screen

When you do something that makes a difference, things start to shift. Things start to change.

While creating transformation is our goal, it’s not all sweetness and light when that happens. 

Some of the shifts and changes we make reverberate, making waves that can blow back on US.


Part of becoming a changemaker involves learning to strengthen and hold our center

 so we can withstand the impact of the changes that we, ourselves, create.

We also need to build capacity into our businesses (and our lives) to enable us to DELIVER on what we’re offering.

Some ways of increasing capacity that we discussed last Saturday include:

  • Working on ourselves (to correct any areas of imbalance, and strengthen any areas that need it)
  • Valuing what we do (appreciating the value of our mission and life’s work)
  • Creating relationships (with prospects, clients, customers, and peers)

What’s your unique process, method, insight, procedure, attitude shift, or way of understanding the world?

 How will the world be different when your course is up and running at capacity?

And how can you increase the capacity of your course and business, so you can serve more people?


One way to increase capacity is to optimize the SYSTEMS that make your business work.

At the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting on Saturday, October 10th ,2020, we'll be treated to a presentation by Mary Williams,  Chief Technology Therapist at Sensible Woo.

Mary  teaches people how to be their own best tech guru.

(And isn't that just what we need, especially after our collective discovery the other week  that technology itself is often the main thing that gets in the way of  technology-based businesses?!)

Mary is an accredited librarian with her Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan School of Information, and started her career as the digital archivist for Disney Animation Studios.

She has developed a system she calls Digital Feng Shui, to help her clients master milestones in their business so they have more time, energy, and revenue. 


Next Saturday, Mary will  help us understand and identify business bottlenecks

 as we explore how to gain clarity and ease in understanding

 business workflows and optimizing tech-based backend systems.

If you crave greater flow and organization in your business -- and more supportive tech-based systems to help you get your message out there into the world -- you won't want to miss this meeting! I hope you can join us!

Come to the community meeting

Saturday, October 10th,  2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call