Nov 14, 2012 — Online Training Software
8: Student Support is Vital to the Longevity of Online Courses
This is the eighth of 10 Steps to Build and Sell Your Courses Online.
Once you’ve gained students through effective marketing of your courses, it is essential that you stay focused on meeting their needs. The success of your course depends on student support! When students have completed one of your online courses, ensure that all of their expectations were met, and that they walk away feeling they received value from the course. If they had a positive experience, they will not only look to you for future courses, but will also recommend your courses to other potential students.
Positive word-of-mouth has always been one of the most effective marketing tools. Negative word-of-mouth can also be one of the quickest ways to sabotage a company. With the advent of social media, word-of-mouth marketing has reached entirely new levels. One comment on a Facebook wall can reach thousands of people in an instant. With this type of power in word-of-mouth marketing, you should be doing everything in your power to make sure that it is positive!
Here are some ways you can provide student support:
It goes without saying that during the course of your online class, it’s imperative that you answer each of your students’ questions in a timely fashion. Common sense also dictates that you make yourself available for one on one time for students who are struggling.
Once they have completed your course, the feedback students provide can be very valuable in helping you improve and refine your course delivery methods and content.
Consider incorporating a survey for students to complete after they have finished a course. This provides an easy way for students to give feedback on the material, while it is still fresh in their mind.
Nothing is more frustrating to people than taking the time to provide in-depth feedback, then seeing no changes, or even worse, no response to their feedback. If you have requested feedback from your students, ensure that you take the time to respond to them, either individually or as a group. Let them know that you have heard their concerns, and are continually making efforts to improve courses and better meet their needs.
Although reaching potential new students is important, do not neglect your most captive audience…your existing students. Ensure that you have a marketing plan in place for existing students who may need or want to take additional courses in the future.
Do your students need to take annual continuing education courses to maintain a license? Perhaps they can increase their income with an additional course or certification? Maybe the training course you provide needs to be continually updated to ensure your company’s employees are meeting their requirements?
By implementing student support systems, asking for feedback, continually improving courses, and marketing to your existing students, you are building a base that will be a wonderful source of referrals for you.