Esther Marie Creative / How to Create Your First eCourse  / Curriculum Planning  / Creating Your First Online Course- Step 2: Curriculum Plan

Creating Your First Online Course- Step 2: Curriculum Plan

Starting a course can be super overwhelming. When I first started doing these for clients I just had pages of notes and stickies everywhere for what content went with what module. If I was doing slides, image ideas, logo drawings, websites with resources we could use…a mess. Does that sound familiar? We get it. It’s a lot.

Thats why we have templates now to make it easy to get the content out of your brain and into a consumable and organized format. It can be a little intimidating to start, but once you get going I promise you find it just flows out of you.

There is a course and program inside of you that your customers NEED.

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They need your expertise.

Organize Your Brainstorm of Content

The best way to organize the content for your course is to do a full brainstorm. Kind of like the mess I outlined above, but try to keep it all to one big piece of paper or whiteboard. Blank is ideal because you’ll be drawing arrows, images, etc and need all of the creative space. Start with the minimum amount of information the customer needs to know in order to see results. Break it down step by step, idea by idea. You need to be able to teach each step in 10 minutes or less so you may need to keep breaking things down.

e.g.

Step 1: Preparing To Create Your Course

1.1 What is a course and why create one?

-Online class you can always be selling (include examples)

-Allows you to stop teaching 1 on 1, more revenue, another source of income without having to give more of your time (create it once)

1.2 What should you create a course about?

-How to find your ideal customers biggest problems you can solve

-Turning those problems into modules for your course

NOW notice how I don’t have fancy titles, I don’t have fancy wording anywhere. I have little parenthesis with extra notes for myself so I don’t forgot to include things. Each point (e.g. 1.1) could be discussed in 10 minutes or less. This is the epitome of a brainstorm. Getting it all out in a semi organized way.

Formalize Your Brainstorm on a Spreadsheet

Once the brainstorm is complete you want to transfer it over to an Excel, Numbers, or Google sheets spreadsheet. We recommend having columns as follows:

Module Number // Estimated Time // Main Goal // Lessons // Tools // Resources

Ok lets break this down.

Module Number

The module number is basically your step number. Usually the first one is NOT 1, it’s actually a welcome video! So sometimes we just put 0 or W there. Then the next would be 1.

Estimated Time

The estimated time is how long ALL lessons within that module are going to take for the customer to complete. Each LESSON needs to be 10min or less. Each module should be no more then an hour total. If this is confusing, keep reading. I explain more about lessons below.

Main Goal

The main goal is REALLY important and I used to always skip it. Not anymore, and this is where my credentialed teacher life comes to the surface! This is where you put what the big takeaway for that module is. For teachers it’s called the learning goal. Here’s why these are important:

Often we get distracted once we start creating the lessons. We want to add more, we get excited, we find supporting tools or something that’ll “enhance” it. Then we overwhelm our customers (and ourselves) and have way too much content. Sometimes the content really is needed and you just need to add another separate module, but usually it just needs to be cut for a future product. By having the main goal for each module outlined front and center, it always keep you focused. You can not add anything if its not directly enhancing that original learning goal. PLUS if you are hiring a team to support you in creating the content, they can always go back to that learning goal too. “Is what I am creating directly meeting this requirement?” Prepare your contractors for success as much as possible!

Lessons

The lessons is simply where you do the breakdown within each step. So in my example from above:

(module) Step 1: Preparing To Create Your Course

(lesson) 1.1 What is a course and why create one?

-Online class you can always be selling (include examples)

-Allows you to stop teaching 1 on 1, more revenue, another source of income without having to give more of your time (create it once)

(lesson) 1.2 What should you create a course about?

-How to find your ideal customers biggest problems you can solve

-Turning those problems into modules for your course

The lessons are those sub points. Now you can do more fancy names for them if you like, but don’t get stuck there. My team knows the curriculum plan is always just “working titles”. Once we are ready to put the modules onto the actual course hosting site, then we firm up all our names and make them more enticing for learners if needed.

Tools

The tools section is pretty easy, its just how you plan to deliver the content and any additional resources you plan to include. A tools section for us would maybe look like this “Scripts, light slides, workbook for entire module, downloadable template for 1.2”

Resources

Finally the resource section. This is VERY important when working with a team, but for yourself as well if you are doing it all yourself. This is where you put any links to content you want to pull from for that lesson. It could be your own content from another course, others you like, tools, affiliate links you need to include, content you have on a drive somewhere- anything!

So there you have it! A complete guide to getting your course curriculum outlined for your program.

Get Started Right Away

I encourage you to do a couple things right now…

  1. Grab the complimentary curriculum planner below

  2. Set up a complimentary consultation >>HERE so we can answer any questions you have about this step, we are happy to help!

 

And pin this so your friends can enjoy this planner too!

 

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