Sharing your knowledge through an online course is more popular now than ever thanks to massive open online courses (MOOCs). These courses allow anyone to hold a class through the Internet, and they also allow anyone in the world to attend.

Before you hold your own online course, here are a few things you must do first.

1. Choose the right host.

There are plenty of programs out there dedicated to helping you start an online course, but it’s very important that you do your research and choose the best one—not just the first one you find. Udemy is a popular option because it provides both free and paid-for options, and it allows anyone to use it no matter the subject of the course. Udemy will also provide you with tips and tutorials on creating your online class.
There are certain factors you need to look for when choosing a host. If budget is an issue, you want to choose an option that will be free (or almost free). If you’ll be sharing confidential information, you will want to choose a host that puts security as one of its top priorities. Be sure to do your research before randomly choosing a host.

2. Try to know your audience.

When online, it will be hard for you to truly get to know your audience, but it’s important for you to try to get to know them. For example, if you’ll be teaching a class labeled as a 101, then you know that your audience will not have a strong understanding of the topic, so you’ll have to be sure to cover all the basics. If you’re teaching an upper level course, then you know you won’t have to waste time with the basics and can instead start covering the harder topics. Knowing your audience will help you to create the best possible curriculum or lesson.

3. Have a lesson plan.

You may think that winging it will be perfectly acceptable, but it’s not. If you want to be successful with your online class, you need to have a lesson plan in place. This will help you to stay on track and have some type of structure to your course. If you don’t have a lesson plan, you could end up bouncing around from topic to topic and ultimately confusing your audience.

4. Provide transcripts.

Maximize your effectiveness with a professional transcription. Having a transcription of your lessons will greatly improve your attendees’ understanding of your subject matter. First, if your course takes place over multiple days, it’s possible that not every attendee will be able to physically listen to every course as it happens. By providing transcripts, you’re giving these individuals the ability to still take part in the class and understand what was being taught, which will help them catch up in time for the next course.
Providing transcriptions also helps to clarify any confusion. You may have students from all over the world, and English may not be their first language. By providing a transcript, you’re allowing them to read what was said during the course instead of having to listen to you. Plus, they can use the transcript and have it translated for better comprehension.

5. Be attainable.

Some of your students are going to have questions about your lectures and courses, which is why it’s very important for you to be attainable. If your students need more clarification on a subject or if they have questions, it’s a good idea for them to have a way to reach you, whether through email or online discussion boards. Make yourself attainable in some way for your students in order to find success.
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Cameron Ellis is an internet marketing consultant and freelance writer. Cameron has chosen guest blogging as a means to share his knowledge and help others with online marketing.

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