How to Become a Better Educator: 8 Tips for Success in Your Online CourseJan 03, 2022
They say those who can’t do, teach. Well, I hate to break it to them, but if there is one thing that’s hard in this world, it’s teaching someone new things. Seriously.
But before we dive right in, welcome! You’ve now entered into The Dreamer’s Lounge! I’m Ariel Schiffer, and I have made it my mission to take out the digital trash one bad course at a time. I am the creator of The Course Alchemist, Industrial Organizational Psychologist, and Curriculum and course design expert.
This podcast is for entrepreneurs who are looking to elevate their digital product suite so their offers speak for themselves. Nothing is worse than being oversold into something that under-delivers just like an overpriced bottle of wine. So, if you’re ready to develop high-quality offers, bring in consistent revenue, and have a business with long-term results for you AND your clients, grab your drink and join us inside…
I’ve worked with clients across the map; those who know their stuff, but have yet to translate that into instruction, and those who have taught for a while but might need a refresher. Either way, all you really need is a solid grasp of your subject matter. Anything else is, well, ironically, teachable.
No matter where you’re at in terms of course creation and mentoring, there is always room for improvement.
8 Ways to Improve Your Teaching Methods
I now present… 8 tips to become a better educator, and in turn, connect more with those you seek to help.
1. Stay a student of your craft
Imagine if you went for a surfing lesson, and the instructor was using a board from 1975. You’d either hightail it out of there (or drown out of politeness). Boards have changed; they’re sleeker and thinner.
A very dramatic boss once told me, “evolve or die." But actually, that’s true in all life. It’s also true in your realm of expertise. To teach something expertly, you need to be good at it, yes, but to surpass the competition, you need to have one eye always on the future. Be prepared for now and for tomorrow.
2. Be more in tune with your students - focus more on them vs. you
Pay attention to your current students to inform future ones. Ask important questions about what is/is not working. What lights your clients up, and what makes their eyes glaze over? What are their most common questions? Consistent uniform questions could point to a possible pain point within your course. Are they really getting what you advertise? Are you truly in it to change lives, or are you bored and going through the motions?
Analyzing your clientele and motivations can really help you boil down and refine your process. A refresh is always helpful and brings a valuable perspective.
3. Reflect on your favorite teachers / professors from college / high school - treat your course like college
I’m sure we all remember that one professor who somehow made Philosophy not only palatable but interesting. BE that professor to your clients. Make content that is interesting and helps to engage your students and connect with you. Breath new life into what you teach, and be authentic. Authenticity will make you that much more memorable, and help you have a more immersive and emotional impact.
4. Learn more about educational and instructional design
Again, you should always be learning and growing within your area of expertise. This includes branching out on new vantage points and seeing what else is out there. There are always many ways to go at things, and seeking out more information and perspective will help you find new ways to appeal and connect to a wider audience.
5. Get your head out of the industry & out of your competitors' butts
Looking at the (heavily curated) success of others will make you doubt yourself, and could paralyze you. Don’t focus or compare yourself to what others are doing; instead, focus on your own path to success. We are most creative when we are free and relaxed, so when you stress out in comparison hell, you are literally killing the flow of your own creative potential.
6. Test new concepts, strategies & ideas
Innovate, test, learn, try, fail or succeed, repeat. No one ever got anywhere new by playing it safe. I’m not saying go guns blazing headfirst into a business explosion, but every once in a while, if you have a good or intriguing idea, go for it. Shake things up. Make sure to document your process so you can teach it one day should you succeed. At worst you fail. But hey, what if you don’t?
7. Become a better storyteller
If you really want to connect with people, tell them a story. It makes things easier to remember, and it helps you connect with others human to human. It’s a chance to share unifying experiences and relate on the terms of others.
8. Being a better public speaker
I hate to break it to you, but you could have all the knowledge in the world, but if you can’t speak about it, no one will take you seriously. I’m not saying you have to get out there and work the room like a comedian, but if you can’t present your course clearly, people aren’t going to be able to learn from it. And that’s the whole point of what you’re doing.
Go Forth and Teach: The Bottomline
The best thing you can do for yourself, your audience, and your course, is to remember why you do it.
You’re in this to change lives, make them better for the people who want to work with you. Honestly just bringing that energy along with you as you implement any of the above steps will change everything for the better.
If you try to incorporate all these tips into your courses going forward, imagine the impact you’ll be able to have in 2022!
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See you next week!
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