Online courses seem the rage right now with almost everybody producing one. Some exceptionally good but many really aweful. But online courses, as opposed to attending night school are certainly not new. There have always been postal courses, the most popular being on writing, languages and body building.
This is the last DVD copy of my first course I created back in 2006. Just to show that the new wave of online courses isn't new, except that we often couldn't download courses because of network speeds and other issues so in many cases we sent out DVDs. And here are 3 covers. I produced a range of 6 or 7 courses mainly based on basic Powerpoint with a speak over. This was the easiest as video was not as easy as it is today.
My courses included The Evacuation Chair Trainer which was very niche but popular with health and safety officers in large organisations. I used to do on-site training across the UK but it was expensive as travelling time was always high.
Other courses included The Marketing Professional. Running an Exhibition Masterclass, High Flier Sales Masterclass and The Health & Safety Adviser aimed at small to medium businesses.
I ran quickly through these courses and was surprised how relevant they were for today. Unfortunately the sound quality is really poor as we didn't have the benefit of the current range of good mics at accessible prices. The visual quality is poor too. It would have been impossible to imagine the vast improvements in video quality back then, Today we are really fortunate that anyone can make great video at little cost.
Just using a smartphone you can produce high definition video, plug a lapel mic into another smartphone for quality sound and use a third smartphone with torch app to get some light on the subject, or use natural light through a window and you can produce a course. Many people have home studios now with low cost lighting, quality mic and webcam such as the Logica 920c and they are in business.
The major issues in producing a course today are taking positive enthusiastic action in creating the course right up to getting it online and being fearless in working in front of the camera. You can read every book on making course, watch every video, listen to every podcast, but if you aren't prepared to take action you just wont get anywhere. The third issue is the fear of failure. Remember, its better to do something now than keep trying for perfection because life isn't long enough.
Get the strength, be creative and make some money. The world is full of people waiting to learn what you know. The saying was "we all have a book inside us". Now I think we all have a course. But because of technology its much easier to produce a course than a novel.