Behind the Scenes of Course Creation (Part 1)

27.08.21 11:19 AM By The Stella Way

Behind the Scenes of Course Creation - An Overview

There was a day that I felt gross inside. A day when I felt I was just talking at you, rather than providing you with the value you need.

It is so easy to tell you to design, create and launch your online course, however, there is much more value in showing you the exact steps that go into creating an online course. 

“Saying is one thing and doing is another.” 

I am sure you have heard this quote from the French writer Michel de Montaigne. Or at least one of its many variations since it was first heard in the 1500s.

Like this variation: “Actions speak louder than words”.

This is what drove me to build the Behind the Scenes of Course Creation series.

What is Behind the Scenes of Course Creation?

This was an opportunity for me to demonstrate to you (a course creator) what I do each day when I am building an online course for my business - from scratch.

Each Wednesday I go live in my Facebook Group to share tips with you on all aspects of course design, creation and launching. 

The Behind the Scenes (BTS) series provided you with more than just tips, rather, it was an opportunity to share my screen with you. 

I wanted the BTS to be like a virtual reality experience. Almost as though you were watching over my shoulder and can interrupt me at any moment to ask clarifying questions.

Why did I go Behind the Scenes of Course Creation?

I want you to get as much value as you can from the live sessions I host.

After as little as 2 months of going live, I asked myself: “What can I do to provide you with a bigger impact?” That is, how can the live sessions I host actually support you in creating a successful online course.

The answer was not immediately there but became clear over time.

As I was exploring new ideas for the live sessions, I was also continuing work in my business as usual. 

I was building my own course to help you design, create and launch your online course, while I was helping my clients in the planning stages of their own online courses. 

As I was physically doing the work, there were multiple times where I shared anecdotes with you of experiences I had or that of my clients. 

One day, I recorded a Loom video explaining how to best use my online course planning template with a real example. Click here to download the free template.

Oh My God!

Just like that, my new idea to improve the live sessions came to me. 

What if I do a behind the scenes as I build my course? Regardless I will need to invest time in designing, creating and launching - what if I bring you along the journey with me. 

I had found a way to give you more value than just talking the talk for 30 minutes. The Behind the Scenes of Course Creation make for a much bigger impact through the demonstration of course creation.

What was the purpose? 

It was all about you. 

Providing you with much more value than just another Facebook Live session.

This was not about providing you with steps of course creation. This was about showing you the actions you need to take to effectively implement and execute course creation processes. 

How was the Behind the Scenes conducted?

While it was impossible to have you stand over my shoulder and watch, both because of lockdowns and my personal space, I needed to find a way to create that experience for you. 

The easiest and quickest way was to share my screen via a Facebook Live session, so you could follow along with the demonstration.

What I did not like about that was I could not see you and you could not see me.

So I switched to Zoom sessions. 

I continued to go live on Facebook from Zoom, however, now I had the opportunity to share my face and my screen. 

You will be surprised how much I could guide you through course creation with my hands alone! I am a very visual and descriptive person, I cannot have a conversation without my hands moving everywhere.

For me, it is important that you see that. My body language may tell you something important that I forget to actually say. 

Plus, you feel more comfortable interrupting me by reading body language cues, rather than only listening to my voice, for your opportunity to ask a question. Basically, it creates an environment of an actual conversation.

What’s more, you could come onto the zoom session if you wanted and become part of my live session. The choice was yours.

How did I decide on the topics to be covered?

    This was the easy part. 

    I conducted research, a vital task for any course creator.

    This does not need to be difficult, you simply need to ask questions. Part of understanding your audience is to learn how to ask them the right questions.

    I started with this post:

    I posted the above question on my personal Facebook profile the night I had the Behind The Scenes of Course Creation idea.

    This was the perfect opportunity to do two things:

    1. Validate if you liked the idea

    2. Identify the topics I would demonstrate

    Many of the comments simply said ‘Yes!’ Which was my opportunity to ask the question “What would you like demonstrated?”

    Your response helped me to build the Behind the Scenes of Course Creation series. 

    Thank you!

    What is more, this is market research for my course. 

    Yourself and others watching behind the scenes are all interested in learning how to design, create and launch an online course, which is what my courses teach. See courses available here.

    I ensured I converted this research into knowledge-based lessons, demonstrative sessions and actionable activities to support you in your success. 

What have I learnt from the experience so far?

At the time of writing this blog, I have completed four (4) Behind The Scenes sessions which focused on the design phase of course creation. 

I have the creating and launching phases of course creation still to demonstrate.

Really, I am still at the beginning of this journey, yet I have learnt so much already. 

I have learnt:

  • You loved this idea just like I did
  • I need to do more sessions like this 
  • I want to take it to next level where you can demonstrate back to me (in a workshop setting - apply for your seat here)
  • Zoom only allows you to stream to one platform at a time
  • OBS Studio (Open Broadcasting Software) also has this restriction
  • You cannot share your screen and camera on Facebook Live, you need to use a streaming platform
  • Restream and StreamYard have the options to stream to a Facebook Group and LinkedIn at the same time (note: only in their paid accounts)
  • Demonstrations were not as appealing if I was not prepared with some examples

This last one was a tough one. I want you to experience the thinking processes and decisions I make as a build a course plan. So I want you to see me almost talking to myself, and I have no problem with that, but I found that it consumed too much of your time and was not engaging.

When I had small examples of what I wanted to demonstrate, almost like a “here is what I prepared earlier”, it was easier to demonstrate while maintaining your attention.

I also learnt:

  • How to ask you proper questions
  • That I need to improve my course creation templates

This was also an intention of the Behind The Scenes, an opportunity to audit the templates I provide you for their usability.

What do I hope you will learn from my experience?

It is obvious that I want you to learn how to launch a successful online course, however the main takeaways I want to provide you are:

  • Courses are not easy to launch 
  • Launching an overnight success is rare
  • It is ok to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them
  • Demonstrations on how to use the in-depth templates I provide you
  • Design, Create and Launch phases are cohesive and holistic 
  • An overall guide on how to launch an online course

What would I do next time?

Write about my learnings more often. 

This article proved difficult to write after 4 weeks of delivery. Many times during the sessions I would catch myself saying “that would have been nice to do” without actually documenting what would have been nice.

I feel I have missed learnings and as a consequence, I have lost the opportunity to learn from them; this time around.

Additionally, I am not able to share those ideas with you.

For the remainder of the Behind The Scenes series, I will write more about my experiences so you can effectively learn from them too.

Want to be part of the Behind The Scenes Series of Course Creation?

The Behind The Scenese sessions are conducted each Wednesday in the Design, Create and Launch your Online Course group on Facebook.

Join Here

The Stella Way