It’s an all too familiar feeling.
You have an idea in your head but when it comes to the execution, it doesn’t quite turn out right. It’s like trying to get dressed in the dark. You’re going in blind and hoping for the best.
To get the result you want, you need to clearly see what you are doing — and when it comes to online courses, that’s making sure you deliver on your promise. Satisfaction, for both you and your students, comes from getting what you expect.
Which is why, with Thrive Apprentice, we have an online course template design. It allows you to deliver content consistently and fast while having room to make customizations at any time without compromising on what your students expect.
Today, we’re going to break down all of the ingredients you’ll need for your online course design template to create a knock-out course for your students.
What is an Online Course Design Template?
An online course design template is a framework to help you build not one, but many courses.
A template brings together your branding, color choices, and navigation features to create a consistent and professional learning experience for your students.
You can customize individual lesson pages, which enables (and encourages) you to create lessons in audio, video and written formats.
Templates offer a consistent, fill-in-the-blanks framework for your course, with all the design features waiting for you to fill in the details later. This is the foundation with which you can create your amazing course content.
To give you as many options as possible with page creation, Thrive Apprentice allows you to create your design template from a series of pre-built templates that you can mix, match and customize completely to fit the needs of your course.
Why Should You Work With an Online Course Design Template?
An online course design template can be a huge help as you build your online course.
It helps to:
- Visualize and customize your student experience
- Save hours of fiddly design time
- Select pre-designed pages for different types of lessons to appeal to a variety of learning styles
- Organize, edit and reorganize your content quickly
- Make more courses without compromising quality
What’s more, your online course design templates can be used again and again. You’ll be able to save your design template and make adjustments at any time.
How to Customize Your Own Online Course Template Design with Thrive Apprentice
We don’t limit your design flexibility.
As soon as you open Thrive Apprentice, you have full control to customize every aspect of your online course design template. But full control can be overwhelming without guidance. That's why you'll also find a helpful Setup Wizard in Thrive Apprentice to help you every step of the way.
This will automatically guide you through your template-making process. Starting with...
Step 1: On-Page Setup
The on-page setup for your online course design template covers the basics that no course should be without like your color selection and logo. So, it’s the first thing that the Setup Wizard will guide you to do.
Your selections for the on-page setup should reflect your brand so that your course is instantly recognizable no matter what the topic is.
Step 2: Your School
Once you open your school's doors, students need to see what’s on offer. This is your school homepage where all of your courses will be shown.
Your school homepage templates let you choose the best way to showcase your courses in one place. Of course, you’re free to make adjustments, customize your fonts and color selections to match your brand (in fact, with Thrive Apprentice you can set these to be automatically applied from the start).
First impressions are everything.
Which is why Thrive Apprentice’s overview templates give your content room to do the talking and really sell your product. This is an opportunity to lay it all out for your students and hook them in to invest in you.
Step 3: Your Course Pages
This is the meat and potatoes of the template for online course design. It’s where the good stuff is going to live — a.k.a. your course content.
The template options for your course content set the mood. The designs frame your classroom and all the content that you’re about to put into it. This includes templates for audio, video and written lesson formats.
Remember, these course templates are just a starting point to help save you time and make your course look professional – but you can still customize every single element to fit your brand and audience’s needs.
To help students access your course content easily, you also have a choice of navigation bars that you can customize too.
Now click save — and a month’s worth of design work has been completed in about 10 minutes… phew!
Your course template will be sitting, waiting patiently to be duplicated any time you want to create another course. You can create as many templates for online course design as you want, and edit them at any time too.
Visual Content Ideas for Your Online Course
You don't need to be a graphic designer to create great-looking online courses.
Visual design is a chance to connect with your students on a personal level. It helps to communicate your course intentions to your students in a way that everyone can understand.
This is the golden ticket to engaging with your students and holding their attention. So they not only complete your course having learned something valuable but come back for more.
The most popular form of video content (and one you should include in your course) are recordings of you, the teacher.
Because you’re delivering lessons in a way that engages both major senses: sight and sound.
Recording yourself in your video content is a chance for your students to put a face to the name. It adds a personal element that’ll attract students and help you form a more personal relationship with them.
Video content is more likely to create a lasting impression on your students too. It taps into all of the learning styles, and therefore, captures the attention of each member of your audience.
Quality videos also increase the perceived value of your course. To learn more about that, check out How to Instantly Raise the Perceived Value of Your Online Course.
Teaching something technical?
Forget trying to explain a complicated process by just talking — it’s show and tell time.
If you’ve spent any time in and around Thrive Themes, you’ll notice that screen sharing is one of our favorite ways of communicating.
Screen sharing speaks to a wider learning audience because it walks people through a process in real-time. Even if you aren’t in on the tech lingo or have used a certain software before, you’ll quickly understand what’s going on when you watch someone else do it.
You can record your screen using Quicktime or use Filmora, a super cool recording software that’ll combine both your webcam and screen share into a single video automatically.
Camtasia is also a great screen recording tool that makes editing your videos easy.
A screenshot helps you add context to lessons when video or text alone doesn't hit the mark.
Compared to video editing, screenshots take hours less time to prepare.
Screenshots also help break up walls of text making your lesson content more engaging.
While all computers have a screenshot function built into them, use Snagit if you want to take screenshots like a pro.
Gone are the days of needing to be a Photoshop wiz to create beautiful custom illustrations.
Now, there are intuitive online services for that — the most popular platform out there being Canva.
You can create graphics easily with Canva’s pre-built templates and visual asset library.
You can even build your own logos with Canva's impressive bank of illustrations that can be customized to fit your branding.
The free version has all the functions you need to create fantastic images. However, the downside is a limit on the level of customization you can do.
Nevertheless, if design is not your strong suit, Canva is a super useful tool to make your online course graphics look professional without too much effort.
How to Add Content to Your Online Course Design Template
You can’t expect everything to slot perfectly into place straight away. But, not to worry — there’s another feature Thrive Apprentice gives you to make mapping out your course structure easy...
The drag and drop course mapping feature within Thrive Apprentice allows you to fully visualize the curriculum you plan out for your students.
In your course mapping phase, you’ll organize your course content into:
Modules - the cornerstone topics you'll cover (made up of Lessons and Chapters)
Chapters - Lesson groupings that combine to form Modules
Lessons - the individual teaching units your students will complete to achieve your Chapter and Module learning objectives
Course mapping breaks up your course content into easily digestible chunks. And with Thrive Apprentice's backend, drag and drop course mapping feature, you can rearrange your lessons, chapters and modules until you’re happy you have a course structure that optimizes student learning.
Cash In on Value
A successful course is one that delivers promised outcomes.
To do that, you need to clearly define what your students will take away from your course.
Your online course's learning outcomes should be front and center on the sales page, as well as included throughout the modules, chapters and lessons of the actual course. By making the promised goals easily identifiable and achievable, you’ll instill a sense of achievement as your students realize each.
Learning outcomes also add an extra layer of structure to your course that highlights progress and builds anticipation for the learning steps that follow.
Delivering on your course's promised outcome leads to student satisfaction, which means returning customers for future courses.
Course Resources and Bonuses
Individuals who purchase online courses are usually motivated and eager to learn.
To help support their enthusiasm, you can give them PDFs, quizzes, lesson activities and other digital resources so they can put what they’ve learned to practice. Such extras and bonuses not only further their learning, but also increase the perceived value of your course.
Thrive Apprentice makes adding digital resources to each of your course lessons easy with the Lesson Resources Element.
To add other bonuses to your lesson content, use the Content Box Templates We Designed Specifically for Building Online Courses.
Build Your Own Online Course Design Template with Thrive Apprentice
Now that you know what online course design templates are and how to use them to create successful outcome oriented courses, take your course building to the next level by learning how to use our latest Online Course Template Sets in Thrive Apprentice!