If you’re a solopreneur like me (a business owner who doesn’t have any employees and handles every aspect of the business themself), most of what you do for your business comes from a Do-it-Yourself (DIY) mentality. And one of your top concerns is time management. That is why many in our position are concerned about how long it takes to create an online course.
Although the ultimate answer is – it depends – in my experience, there are some common timelines to creating an online course. Check out these timelines for creating online courses in higher education, in government agencies, and in online entrepreneurship.
In Higher Education
As an instructional designer, it generally takes me about 3 months to plan, design, and launch an online course in higher education while working with the instructor. That timeline applies to courses that have already been taught face-to-face, and so the content already exists. The planning usually takes about 2 weeks, at which point, there is a course blueprint that outlines all the units of the course and the activities that learners will need to complete. The remaining 2 1/2 months is used to write all the content and script the narration and any videos that will be included.
I am currently working on an online course for a government agency and it has been over a year. There are about 4 levels of clearance that the course needs to go through, including a lot of back and forth communication and changes to be made. Not to mention making sure that the course is accessible to people with hearing or vision impairment. The timeline of online course design, or eLearning, is greatly affected by the amount of people that need to be involved in the process.
In Online Entrepreneurship
In the entrepreneurial space, I think a course can be completed in less time, closer to the 1-2 month mark if the right tools are used. That is because there are not many levels of bureaucracy to go through, it’s just you and your customers. However, there are other things that need to be considered that are not usually a concern in other spaces – such as how to host your course, how to accept payments, how to track student progress, how to market your course, etc.
I think many entrepreneurs tend to get stuck at this phase of choosing the technology and have “platform dilemmas”, so I have something in the pipeline to help in this area – something that will help online entrepreneurs get over the fear of better options, and choose a tech path that will work.