My assumptions back then:
- 🖥️ Existing Motivation: People are driven and consume educational materials at their own schedule
- ✅ Guaranteed Completion: If people spend money on a course they will complete it
- 💪 Proactive Students: If people find something interesting or confusing they will go out of their way to get in touch with the instructor and let them know
Oh man… did I get schooled.
Turns out real life looks a bit different:
- 🤝 Pressure Needed: No action without peer, cost, or time pressure
- ❌ Completion Is the Exception: Completion rates in self-paced online courses are <5% on average
- 💤 Passive Students: People bought the course but remain dead silent
Since launching my self-paced online course I had a couple of sales but no real data points to improve my product. In reality, people have good intentions but life gets in the way.
No feedback. No completions. No testimonials.
Lesson learned: Start hands-on with live workshops and office hours to test the material. Once you have enough feedback and content validation, turn it into an evergreen product.
It is similar to building a business: First, provide a service to generate cash flow and learnings. Then, productize it.
A great model that some of my ODCC peers are doing is ‘Hybrid Delivery’ 👇