Hey, so we at RDC are in the very beginning stages of making our very first E-Course. Now, I can’t tell you what it is about, but I guarantee that if your follow along with Rountree Design Co. long enough, you’ll be sure to find out soon! But enough about that, I thought that it would be valuable to show you a list of tools that will be handy to use to create your very own E-Course!
1. Pen, Pencil, And Paper -
Always valuable to use the classics. When I come up with stuff, I always need to brainstorm and sketch before I go digital. So, I will write everything out by hand, and draw ideas for graphics and what not before I even start typing or creating the course digitally. This is my process, if your process is to go straight to the computer first, then the next tool on the list will be perfect.
2. Evernote -
I have mentioned this tool before in one of my previous blogs, here, but I think it is highly valuable for making an E-Course. You can write out all the content of your courses, bring in pictures, inspiration from the internet, or whatever else you need and have it all in one place. You can stay super organized by using Evernote for creating your E-Course.
3. Camera -
This is a super important part to the online course making process. E-courses are completely video based, so you are likely going to need to record yourself somehow. You can get a super nice DSLR camera with a tripod and maybe get a friend to run it for you or maybe even hire a professional to film it, but don’t underestimate the power of the smart phone. I’m fairly certain that plenty of E-Course creators before us have used their iPhone or even a nice webcam to film themselves. Don’t be afraid to get creative to get the shots you want. Also, don’t feel like you have to have the camera filming you the whole time or even at all. Tons of E-Courses are just screen recordings of slides or programs on your computer, which brings me to the next item on the list…
4. Screen Recording Software -
This is a very useful tool if you are going to go the route of using slides for your course or if you have a more tutorial based course on a digital platform. For example, I am a graphic designer, so I could do a course on “The In’s and Out’s of Adobe Illustrator” which would require me to show my class how to use that program while I'm using it. Cool, so some free options are: if you have a Mac you can actually use Quicktime Player to do a screen recording. It’s fairly limited, but it definitely gets the job done. Another common one is called Screen Flow. You can just google Screen Recording Software and tons will come up, both free and not so free, and you can figure out what your needs are and what will work best for you. The two options above have worked just fine for me.
5. Audio Recording Equipment -
Now, this is vitally important for your E-Course in order to make your audio sound professional. You will want to think about three things to make your course audio the best that it can be. One: An audio interface. You don’t have to go out and buy the most expensive one, because then you might be looking at spending $1000-$1500 just on the interface, but I found a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Interface with microphone bundle for about $250 on Amazon, and it works great. That brings me to number two: the microphone. Because I did buy mine in a bundle, it isn’t the best microphone in the world, but I’ll tell you right now that it is miles better than using the internal mic on my computer, so I’ll take what I got. Like the interface, don’t go looking for the best mic out there, just find a $100 condenser microphone that will get the job done (a pop filter could be a good addition; it cuts out the “S” sounds in your voice). And three: audio recording software. If you are a Mac user you can just use Garageband and it’s Free, also for both Mac and Windows you can use Audacity which i’ve heard a lot of people use. Ultimately, look for something simple and on the cheap side and I’m sure you can’t go wrong. As freelancers or business owners we have to be able to understand a little bit of everything, so do your research, read other blog posts about these tools, and learn as much as you can to make a great sounding voice recording. (On a side note, it will also be good to have headphones. iPhone earbuds should work just great, you’ll just want to make sure you have something so you avoid getting feedback while recording).
6. Video Editing Software -
Because making an E-Course probably isn’t going to make you the next Steven Spielberg, you don’t need to get the best of the best editing software. For most the stuff that I do, I just use iMovie. I used to do a lot of video projects back in the day, so I know how to use software like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier, but because it’s only simple recording and transitions, I just stick with something like iMovie. I believe a common one and equivalent to iMovie for Windows is Windows Movie Maker. There are lots of free-cheap editing softwares out there, just look it up and see what will to work for you.
7. Course Launch Site -
Lastly, you are going to need a platform where you can put up your course. I am going to use Teachable. From what I have read and heard from others, they seem to have to best platform out there right now and they ultimately want you to be successful (and that’s where you can earn the most money, and that’s always a plus). There are a couple other major platforms out there besides Teachable. Skillshare is one of them. I don’t think that you get paid for your course really, but it’s more of a community teaching community type site. It might be a great place to start, to see if teaching a course is even for you. Side note, Skillshare is an amazing place to learn, don’t miss out on that part of it and go and check out what you can get for your first 3 months at only $0.99 here. The other E-Course platform is Udemy. I have heard some not so great things about it, but it’s probably worth researching.
So there you have it, 7 awesome tools to get you on your way to completing your next E-Course. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.
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