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How Long Does It Take to Develop an Online Course?

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Online learning is steadily rising in popularity, with millions of students participating in one class or another. Developing an online learning course is an intricate exercise that comprises several processes, but it’s very doable. The key to launching a successful online class lies in providing relevant information that’ll not only resonate but stimulate the minds of your target audience. 

With e-learning becoming increasingly popular, it’s understandable that businesses want to hire online course developers. We’ll quickly point out that developing an online course is more than simply loading paperwork onto an online platform. It takes considerable time and expertise, not to mention the cost of the online course development. You need to conduct research, map out the class with an outline, create the course content, and set it up online.

So, exactly how long does it take to develop an online course? How long it takes you will depend on several factors, including the length and complexity of the coursework and your know-how. To dedicate yourself to a project of this magnitude, you’ll need to spare between twenty-five and five hundred hours of your time. Bear in mind that these are ballpark figures. 

Initial Research

Before you start wondering how to sell online courses, you need to create one. And the first step to creating an online class is researching your niche. Remember that the goal is to create an e-learning course that speaks to your target audience. 

What is the target audience interested in learning? What are their learning characteristics? Do they have prior knowledge about the course in question? Once you answer these questions, you can decide on the course topic and platform to use. 

At the bare minimum, this should take you three hours for a short course covering the primary ideas of the main topic. Naturally, you’ll need to spend more hours (approximately five) for longer and more detailed coursework.

Map Out the Course With an Outline

After conducting your research, the next step is to create your course outline. During this stage, you identify the information you need to include in the course. The information you outline here should form a coherent structure and be relatable to your students. Will you be structuring a step-by-step, weekly, or reference course? 

As you can imagine, a lot of information will be required here. A more accessible approach would be to break down the coursework into segments that’ll form the basis of the main module. This step should take you two to ten hours, depending on if you’re structuring a short or detailed course. Also, the time significantly cuts down if you employ other people to help you instead of doing everything yourself.

Create the Course Content

Once you have the information that makes up your course outline, the next step is to focus on content creation. You’ll need to create videos based on your course outline. Content creation also involves written text, spreadsheets, and PDFs to complement the video lesson. This stage is where you do the bulk of the work and requires a lot of time. Depending on the length and detail of the course, you can spend between fifteen and two hundred and fifty hours doing this.

Are you familiar with filming and editing videos? How long the process takes will depend on your skills. If you have some graphic designing skills up your sleeve, the job will go a lot quicker. Alternatively, you can source a professional to do the job. If you go this route, you have to factor in the back and forth of providing feedback before fine-tuning the final product.

Set Up Your Course Online

Once all your videos are in place, it’s time to set up the final product online. The process should take you between five and fifty hours. Again, the exact time depends on whether you’re putting together a short or long course. Also, are you a self-acclaimed web designer of note, or will you be outsourcing a professional to handle the task? Setting up your online learning course is only half the task. You also have to market and sell it actively. 

Final Thoughts

Developing an online course can be a demanding task. How long it takes depends on the length and complexity of the subject and coursework. It can take you anywhere from just over a day to more than five hundred hours to complete. 

It’ll also depend on whether you’ll be doing the job yourself or outsourcing different parts to experts in each area. Plus, there’s the depth of your know-how and how much time you have to do or oversee the project to consider. But once you have a grasp on these crucial concepts and develop a plan, you’ll be ready to share your knowledge with the world!

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