The Magical Question (And it’s not, does this make my butt look big?)
You’re moving along with tons of ideas floating in your head about your first online course.
You may even be overwhelmed with all of the pieces you have to put together.
But, then a thought pops into your mind: Oh crap! How much information do I REALLY need to include in my course?
Do I need to include everything so that everyone and their mama has everything they ever wanted to learn about this topic? Or, do I just give them the basics?
Wouldn’t it be nice to ask the question, shake the Magic 8 Ball, and get an answer? Life would be peachy!
Unfortunately, there’s no set in stone magical number. Although, it has been suggested that 7, give or take 2 is pretty darn nice. And, even four might be a great suggestion.
I hate Math. Adding. Subtracting. Multiplying. And, exponent-ing. I hate it all. (Gosh! You must think I hate a lot of stuff!)
So, when it comes to organizing your content, figuring out how many modules to create, or the number of lessons in each module, use numbers as a guide.
But, there’s another way you should look at it…
Road Tripping and Online Coursing – A Match Made in Heaven
Deciding on how much course content is like going on a road trip. It’s best done in parts.
I recently went on a 1,087 mile road trip up the Coast of California. It was amazing! But, before going topless and heading north, I was worried. Worried that the trip would suck.
I’ve done many a road trip in the past, criss-crossing the country 3 1/2 times. Some have been good, others not so good.
But, what made this Cali trip amazing?
We broke it up into parts. Instead of heading up the coast in one let’s-see-how-far-we-can-get-before-I-hurt-my-boyfriend trip, we took our time and drove in 2-3 hour parts each day.
This gave us time to relax, enjoy the scenery, and get off the beaten road whenever we wanted to.
It made the trip enjoyable.
Make Your Course Like a Road Trip
Knowing how much content to include is more a matter of keeping what’s important AND grouping (rather than numbering). There are a gazillion different ways to organize content.
But, just like a road trip, you’ll need to eventually break that bad boy into easily deliverable parts.
Why break your content into modules and lessons?
It makes it easier for your learners to digest the information. It ensures your content is logical so your participants aren’t confused and overwhelmed. It’s easier for you to organize. It creates consistency in your online course. Need I continue on?
Bottom line: It makes for an amazing journey through your content!
Down and Dirty Guide to Chunking Your Content
Click on the image above to download your FREE worksheet to help you brainstorm!
1.) Brain Dump
Literally, dump your mind. Grab a sheet of paper and brainstorm all of the information you’d like to cover and that your participants want to learn in your course. Be bold and free. Set a timer and go for it, without distraction, without evaluating what you’re writing. The idea here is to get all of the information out of your head.
2.) Select your Main Modules/Topics
From your brainstorm, you should see some common themes. Group those similar topics together and figure out the main Modules you’d like to present for your course. If you’re into numbers, 4-7 modules seems to be a great target. But, again, use as many or as little as you need for your learners to get value and learn!
3.) Organize Your Topics Into Mini-Chunks
Let’s take our big chunks and break them down. Seriously, let’s make it easy for our participants and give them smaller bits of information. Under each module, list the sub-topics that relate to the major module. (3-5 are a good start). These sub-topics are the smaller digestible pieces of information. I’m sure you’re aware we live in 140 character, hurried, I need information now society. So, make it easy on your participants and deliver smaller chunks of info.
So, by now you’ve got some some general figures. But, it really doesn’t come down to a number, but instead quality over quantity. Always. It comes down to you making great content that makes sense.
And, don’t forget, you’re taking your peeps on a trip. And, your trip will always be more enjoyable when it’s divided into smaller, no-headache, easy to learn parts.
It’s your turn! In the comments, let me know:
1- What main modules you think your course will include?
2- What has been your favorite trip?
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