Jetpack is a popular pick for WordPress users because it offers enhanced functionalities and can be used for most purposes, ranging from blogging to e-commerce. One thing that you may not have considered, however, is creating and offering online courses through your site.
Let’s explore how to offer online courses through your Jetpack site so that you can share valuable lessons while profiting from your expertise.
What to consider before getting started
At bare minimum, you’ll need a few hours of video content to get started with creating an online course. If you’re camera shy, don’t worry, you can use lecture slides as well.
It’s also important to consider the layout of your course. How many parts will you offer? Will you include written content to supplement your videos? How will you grade your students on course completion?
After you’ve given the logistics behind your course some thought, consider going a step further by integrating a forum where students can answer each other’s questions and give each other feedback. This can save you from having to address each issue personally. Other helpful features to include are a “FAQ” page and a “Contact” page complete with a form so that students can contact you directly.
Plugins to support your online course
What’s a teacher without resources? Here are a few tools that can help you deliver a curriculum.
1. Learning management: Sensei
Plugins are what gives WordPress its amazing versatility, as you can download tools that will enable you to add virtually any feature to your site. There are a few plugins that are specifically designed to help you create an online course. These are called learning management systems (LMS), and they make laying out your content much easier. One LMS that’s gotten a lot of attention is Sensei.
Sensei helps to make your courses attractive, easy to navigate, and user-friendly. Once installed, you can create online courses, write detailed lessons, and add quizzes. Its reporting feature lets you see how many people are enrolled in your course, and you can recognize those who complete your curriculum with personalized certificates.
The features don’t stop there, though. If you offer multiple courses and you’re looking for more advanced functionalities, Sensei even allows you to set lesson and course pre-requisites. This means that users will need to take and pass a certain lesson or course in order to advance to the next one.
2. Tuition: WooCommerce
Sensei is an extension of the WooCommerce plugin, a popular e-commerce option that’s known for being well-supported and easy to use. If you decide to charge a fee for your course, you can create a paid membership option with WooCommerce to integrate popular payment gateways, like PayPal.
3. Video lectures: Jetpack’s Video Storage
You’ll need a way to manage and organize your videos, especially if your course features many hours of content. Use Jetpack’s video storage functionality to upload videos from your computer directly to Jetpack’s servers, instead of storing the videos on your host’s server. This saves you storage space, and allows your site to load a lot faster. Those with Premium or Professional plans can upload an unlimited amount of video content and deliver it quickly and seamlessly to viewers with Jetpack’s video content delivery network (CDN).
Attract long-time learners
Once your course is live and ready to be taken, you’ll need to attract students. It’s important to promote your course so that it reaches a wide audience. Send out an email reminder (if you have a mailing list), and post about it on social media. If you have a budget, consider using paid ads, as they’re impactful ways to bring in the exact type of traffic you’re looking for.
You should also consider providing written transcripts of your videos, as an alternative content type may improve your search engine optimization and will certainly add to the quality of your curriculum. Additionally, it offers an alternative to an audio course. Those who are hearing-impaired, or prefer to read lesson plans instead of viewing video content, might use this content type instead.
Offer courses with ease
You don’t need to become a WordPress expert to sell your expertise — all you need is Sensei, WooCommerce, and Jetpack to help you create online courses that will deliver your passion and knowledge to the world.
Do you offer online courses through your website? How do you promote them? Share with our readers in the comments below!