When creating content for an online course, your primary goal is to help your audience do something that they have not been able to do before. They might desire to connect with nature, cook like a boss, learn a new language, or move to a new country. And in order for them to do that new thing, they will need to take some action. So, how do you make your content persuasive enough to make your audience take action?
It begins by having clear in your mind what those action steps are that you want your audience to take and making sure that everything you teach gets them closer to those steps. Here is a strategy for maximizing the chances of your audience taking action.
Create Actionable Learning Outcomes
In the business world, this is often referred to as S.M.A.R.T. Goals, but in the world of education, we create learning outcomes using action verbs. One common strategy for doing that is to use “Bloom’s Taxonomy”.
- Determine the level of learning that you are aiming for.
- REMEMBER: recall information that they’ve previously learned
- UNDERSTAND: determine the meaning behind something
- APPLY: use the procedure or concept in a new situation
- ANALYZE: break the information into parts and know how everything fits together
- EVALUATE: make judgments based on values or standards
- CREATE: make an original product
- Choose an action verb that applies to that level of learning. I have a few examples in the infographic below, but you can choose whatever action applies for your course. For example, if you are creating a course on cooking, ANALYSIS is generally a major part of the process. One learning goal could be written this way “Differentiate between rare, medium, and well done steak using the 3 touch method“
- Create a practice activity based on the action verb. Now that you have an action verb in mind, you will be able to come up with an appropriate activity to help your audience differentiate between various levels of steak doneness. Looking at the infographic below, which activity in the ANALYZE list do you think would be the best one to teach this skill?
This strategy has been tried and tested for years since it was first established in 1956 by educational psychologist, Dr. Benjamin Bloom. Once you have your Actionable Outcomes written down for your course, you will be able to use these as a way to “sell” your course. Your audience will know what they are going to be able to do by the time they are finished. Remember, you are not just selling your knowledge, you are selling results. That’s what people are willing to pay for.
Now that you have your course actions, get out there and create courses that work!