The only way to know if you like something is to try it. But some things require a lot of effort, even just to try. Creating a course can feel a bit like that.
There's a lot of work that goes into making a course. Planning, preparing its content, purchasing new equipment; recording, editing, uploading; designing a website, building it — and then you've got to sell it! All that work can take away from the fun of starting and trying something new.
But with the right approach creating a course can be simple.
This is a blog post, and a short video guide, to show that you can try course creation without much hassle, minimal preparation, and no new equipment. The goal of this post? Help you record and publish the first lesson in a course using only your web browser. The process will be split into four steps:
This guide is for anyone thinking about making a course, working on their first course, or just curious about the space. Here's what you'll need.
When you draw a picture it's best to sketch the main shapes then make sure they connect together before adding more detail.
With a lesson you write down its main topics then re-order them until they follow a logical order. Use your note-taking app to do this (or pen and paper). Under each topic write any subtopics that should be covered. This is where you add the detail of your lesson.
Next, turn your outline into a script. You can use your script to read from while recording, but you can also use it as an exercise to organise your ideas further or rehearse. When you're writing a script, make sure to keep it original. If you're unsure try running a plagiarism check. Before recording a video I'll often write a script just to help me memorise what to say — sometimes that's enough.
Now you can turn all this raw written content into something visual. Use whichever slides app you're most familiar with and build a deck of slides. The trick with slides is to keep them simple. Try to limit each slide to one or two pieces of information. If this means you need to make more slides then so be it. Your viewers will be happier with more memorable slides than a few slides overloaded with information.
If your lesson involves demonstrating something then you'll want to factor this into your plan too.
Decide where in the lesson screen recordings need to be added. If you're working on a coding course or design course then most of it will probably be showing your students how to do something.
But even your course is about writing, or maths, or analytics, or marketing, or anything you can do on a computer, there will lots of opportunities to show how something works rather than explain it. Keep this in mind when planning your topics and creating your slides.
It's time to take this plan of yours and turn it into a video. If you haven't already create an account on Tella.
For each topic record at least one clip. In Tella you can record different kinds of clips: just your camera, a screen recording, or a slides presentation. You can mix and match your clips to create a more dynamic video.
Once you've recorded all your clips, refine your video further by using Tella's re-record tool. Re-recording swaps an old clip with a new one. You don't need to do any editing, or re-arranging, the new clip will be added exactly where the previous one was. This will help you nail your delivery for each part of your course.
With all your clips recorded, you can customise your video. In Tella customisation and editing is easy — you don't need any previous video editing experience. With a few clicks you can trim and remove parts from your clips; and change layouts, frames, and backgrounds
When you're ready to publish your lesson to Teachable, just press "Finish".
In Teachable you need create a "school" and add a product to it. Your school's first product will be a course.
Once you've created a course you will be able to edit its curriculum. In Teachable new courses have a section and a lecture already added for you. You can use these as a starting point. Edit the first lecture and change its name to the lesson you just recorded on Tella.
Teachable lets you add different types of content to a lesson, like text, code snippets, quizzes, and videos. To add a video from Tella there are two options.
The first way is to export your video in Tella and then upload it to Teachable using the file upload option.
The second way is faster — it'll save you uploading and downloading — but it's less obvious. First add a text block and then choose the HTML option (make sure you've got the beta editor enabled). Then back in Tella copy the embed code to your clipboard and then paste it into Teachable's HTML text editor.
Once you've added your video click "Save" and then press "Preview" to see how it looks on your curriculum page. You've now got the first lesson of your course ready to go.
If you've already recorded other lessons, return to the curriculum editor and repeat this process.
Finally you can add the finishing touches to our course and its website.
Customise the course sales page — this is the web page where people can learn about the course and its content. You can add different content blocks which preview the lessons, display information about the course, show related content, and so on.
Your course page will be part of your school's website. Like the course page you can customise your own website with different content blocks and pages.
Teachable has a theme setting where you can manage styles, fonts, and colours that are used throughout your website and curriculum.
Before you publish your site you'll want to add pricing too. If you're just starting out try the free option — your students won't need to pay for the course. If you're already ready to charge for your course, choose one of Teachable's paid options.
There's heaps more to discover in both Tella and Teachable. But the four steps covered in this post should get you started. Before long you'll be a legit course creator.
Good luck with your first lesson!