Two first generation college students from Western Canada recently shared their learnings with BizEsquire.
“””koller, Daphne. \””what We’re Learning From Online Education”””
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I discovered online education a few years ago and got hooked on it. Over the course of a few years, I learned how to set up a website, upload pictures, make slideshows, and practice articles. All of this was supposed to be a part of my regular marketing program, but because it was so easy and I didn’t have to go to a large company to learn it, I thought online would help my business grow. A couple of years later, I still only have a couple of people sign up for my courses, but that hasn’t slowed my enthusiasm. However, instead of just showcasing an algorithm that profits people who read my posts, I want to show you what I’ve learned from online education and the people who’ve received education from me. View As: One Page Slides
Photography — I’ve realized that it’s really, really hard to create a well-designed website. I tried learning how to make slideshows for each class I teach, but I wasn’t convinced I was actually making any progress. The reason I was skeptical is because slideshows don’t feel right. Just because you were able to click them fast enough doesn’t make them look good. The world of online education helps you make a better website quickly, though. I use Google Images to save a big chunk of time, then browse through them to find the photos I need. I also have a simple rule of thumb with pictures — I’ll put three or four black and white photos together if they’re in my Photoshop library.
Customizing — Customer service is often important for online education. If people order from you directly, they want you to know their address and phone number. However, if they’re shopping via Amazon, Walmart, or any of the other major e-commerce companies, they may never see your return address or phone number, so it’s up to you to create one for them. A lot of online education involves crafting a custom website just for your class, which costs a small fortune to create. By the time you’ve finished your course, you need to be confident that a competitor wouldn’t just copy that design and offer it without breaking the bank. This is where a little intelligence comes in. I’ve learned the importance of designing your website to the smallest detail. Especially if you’re creating this for a large marketing class, you need to consider what visual form is going to appeal to your target audience.
Diagrams — People like to visualize the things they want to buy, so don’t be afraid to include images with explanatory captions. A slide outlining the concept is great for quick draw diagrams, but a visual that gives people an idea of how to implement the concept into their daily lives is much more effective. These kinds of diagrams, which you can find online, make people willing to understand and be passionate about the thing they’re learning about. The next time you’re brainstorming a marketing idea, don’t forget that your audience likes to visualize their purchases, too.
Creating content — Everyone loves to read. No one likes to watch the same thing over and over again. When I first started creating online education content, I found that making photos was really hard. The chances of me actually posting a bunch of that are low, but I would try to find more interesting photos from my daily life that my audience might enjoy. Instead of using a common layout that people would recognize and jump into, I experimented with some of my favorite patterns. Some of my custom photos just use one specific element (usually a photo of my dog or my cat). Sometimes, I’ll include multiple elements — a pretty object, a picture of a scary animal, a (often hilarious) quote, or a funny piece of visual shorthand. By including multiple elements, I reduce the chances that someone will feel bored when they start reading about my research. I’ve also found that I can more easily modify a piece of content into a podcast if I’m writing the blog post and not the video.