Improve Completion Rates for Your Online Courses With These 3 Steps

So you have authored a book or a course, and have it out in the world for people to learn from and put some new practice into their lives. But are you a herald that beckons readers onto the journey? Are you the horse that people want to hitch their wagon to?

I want you to be a great teacher and facilitate an engaging group experience for members of your courses. Here are three things that distinguish someone from more than just an author, but as a leader that inspires people to grow.

1. State a clear roadmap for what’s ahead.

This might sound obvious that you want to outline what’s in your course, but a great teacher always addresses the map. The map includes “my part” and “your part.” My part is to inform and inspire you into action. Your part is to take action. At the beginning of Triggers, by Marshall Goldsmith, he writes “If I do my job properly here and you do your part, two things will happen : 1) you will move closer to becoming the person you want to be and 2) you’ll have less regret. Shall we get started?”

2. Make a specific request for participation which implies agreement before continuing on teaching.

At the beginning of a Skillshare course on marketing by Seth Godin he says,

“So before we get into this I want to talk about this class. I want to talk about what you are going to get out of it, and I want to talk about you are going to get the most out of it.… If you are here to watch the video to see if I’m going to be humorous as usual… you will not get the most out of it… where you will really learn something is by doing the exercises…. The second thing I’m going to encourage you to do is find someone to do this with. Instead of doing this on your own, find someone, whether its online or offline, who will look at what you are doing, you will look at what they are doing. Reach out to somebody, bring them in.”

Seth Godin does a great job of making the specific request to participate, and that you need to find someone to work with to galvanize your participation.

3. Make subgroups easy to join with clear agendas.

By contrast, in the Seth Godin example above, he doesn’t make it easy for students to get started finding someone. There’s no structure and it’s up to the student to make one up. Getting started on the journey shouldn’t be a massive undertaking in and of itself. If you are creating a program with specific exercise for your readers or members, they are probably really intelligent, have full lives, and want to be as efficient as possible implementing your core teaching into their lives. So give them a framework to start with.