We are seeing a change in the way students like to receive education. Students are used to on-demand everything. Their new philosophy is, “I want training where and how I want it,” and that culture is becoming the norm. We’ve got TiVo and Netflix and Hulu and Kindle — and these things give people complete control over access to what they want in their lives: whenever they want it and wherever they want it.
Why Create Self-Study Programs?
I had been teaching Designing Effective Workshops as a live webinar series for seven years. I was finding that my students would sign up for the class but they wouldn’t always attend live because of busy schedules. They would simply pick up the recordings and watch the videos when it suited them.
These students were very clearly voting for self-study by saying, “I’m just as happy to do it via recording versus doing it live.”
Should you convert some of your live classes to self-study programs?
Here are some thoughts to consider when making the decision for your business:
- You may find your customers are demanding it.
- It will make you rise above your competitors because creating an effective self-study product is not easy. Many of your competitors won’t even attempt it.
- You want to add passive-income products to your business model.
Things to Consider When Doing the Conversion
- Start with your lesson plan. You need to have a written outline of what you’re going to teach and the order you’re going to teach it in. If you’ve taught the class before, use the same lesson plan that you have already created and tested because you know it works.
- Edit the exercises. If you already have a lesson plan for a live class, you’ll need to modify the exercises or the homework assignments, changing them into ones that an individual student can do on their own.
- Decide if the students will have access to you for questions. Typically you will do this through some sort of online message forum, email, or a weekly teleclass. I thought it was important that students be able to ask questions, so I decided to add a message forum to my Designing Effective Workshops self-study online learning program.
- Decide which media types you will be using for delivering your self-study material. You can deliver your self-study program through video, audio, ebooks, and transcripts. You can choose just one of these delivery media types or a combination. For Designing Effective Workshops, I chose all three: video, audio and transcripts. That way, whichever media type the students preferred, it would be available for them.
Creating self-study programs can be fun and rewarding for you on many levels. And converting your live classes into self-study programs is a smart move to better serve your students and increase your revenue stream.