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:Mindset / Success and goal setting

8 pieces of supplemental course material to help improve your cohort-based course

supplemental course material supplemental course material

Adding supplemental course material to your school is one of the best ways to improve the student experience and attract more students. It can help students learn the course material better, motivate them to reach their goals, and help them utilize what they learned after they complete the course.

So, let’s look at eight supplemental course material examples that you can implement for your cohort-based course with a little effort and time investment. This should help increase your online student success and help your students get the most out of your course. 

Supplemental course material to help students learn

While working with you directly during your live lectures is the most important part of a cohort-based course, some students might need a bit of extra help. That’s where great supplemental content pieces you can provide your students to help them better understand and take in the content of your course can help.

1. Quizzes

For each lecture, you can create a short quiz with three to five questions to help students check their understanding. It’s a very effective way to learn new material, and your students will appreciate the help it offers for absorbing the new information. 

All Teachable plans come with the option for creators to make basic quizzes for their students, and some plans also allow for quiz grading. Using this feature can help your students see what they’ve retained. This means they also know what they didn’t retain so they can go back and review it.  

If you have shy students, seeing quiz results after each lecture will allow you to see which part of the lecture material your students didn’t understand. This will allow you to find a way to create better, easier-to-understand course material. So, adding quizzes can be beneficial for your students and you as a lecturer.

2. Workbooks

You can create downloadable and printable workbooks for each lecture that allow students to make notes as they go along the lecture you’re teaching. Include questions that force students to think deeper and dig into the new material they learned. 

For example: Let’s say you teach a personal finance cohort-based course teaching people to manage their personal finance better. You could create a workbook with budget spreadsheets and ask your students to fill them in while you’re teaching them how to budget. It will help them better understand how budgeting works and how to create a budget that works best for them, improving student success

3. Checklists

A checklist is another great piece of supplemental course material you can include in your cohort-based course. Checklists work well for most online course niches. And the great thing about checklists is that they are always easy to create yet can be very effective in helping your students be organized.

For example: If you’re running a course on mastering a capsule wardrobe, then the checklist is your best friend. As supplemental course material, create a PDF checklist for your students that lists every essential piece of clothing that makes a timeless capsule wardrobe. Your students will have that checklist to help them when it’s time to clear out their closet and create a new one.

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4. Slides

Well done slides can help your students learn better and absorb information quicker. For each lecture, prepare slides that include key points you’re teaching, include images and infographics to illustrate any crucial information. You can also include links and videos that supplement your lecture material.

After the lecture is over, give your students access to the slides. Then, when they’re working on their homework, they can refer to them along with their notes to maximize their learning potential. 

Tools to help you create slides:

  • Google Slides: Free and accessible to everyone.
  • Powerpoint: Perfect for Microsoft Office users.
  • Keynote: An alternative for Apple users.
  • Canva: They offer the Presentation feature that allows you to create interactive slides easily.

5. Resource list

You might want to make a list of free and paid resources or tools that can help your students reach their goals better. Plus, this can help get more eyes on your blog, newsletter, social media channels, or help bolster any communities you’ve created online

For example: If you’re teaching a course on graphic design, you’ll want to compile a list of various tools that your students can use to master the skill they’re learning. That could include links to different fonts, gradients, software tools like Illustrator or Canva, places to get images from, etc.

You can build a whole resource library to help beginner graphic designers hone their skills and build their knowledge base around the subject. Your students will appreciate the effort. 

Supplemental course material to inspire students

Another type of supplemental course material you want to consider is something that inspires your students. You want your students to feel like they can accomplish their goals and overcome any struggles they’re facing. So, here are examples of supplemental content that can help you do that.

6. Reading list

Compile a reading list of magazine articles, books, and blog posts that compliment your course material and inspire your students to reach their goals. It could be anything that has uplifting stories or offer additional tactics for reaching a specific goal. 

For example: Let’s say you’re running a course on transitioning to being a vegan. Find stories of influential people who have made this switch in their life and how it positively affected their lives. Then, compile a list of books that go over the impact of going vegan on people and the planet. All this material will surely inspire your students to make the lifestyle switch your course is trying to help them achieve. 

7. PDF case studies

The best way to motivate students to learn and take action is case studies of your previous students. You probably already have testimonials and case studies on your sales page to entice new students to enroll, so adapting them into PDF case studies is going to be easy. 

For example: Imagine you’re running a cohort to help people set up and run their Etsy shops. Interview one or two of your past students who have successfully started their small Etsy businesses and create a case study about them. Ask them questions that would show how they implemented the material they learned from your course, what worked and what didn’t, and ask them to advise any current students aspiring to open their own Etsy store. 

Show your current students what they can accomplish after graduating from your course. 

Supplemental course material to prepare students for life after the course

Another type of supplemental content is providing your students with materials to take what they learned in your cohort and use it to reach their goals. 

8: Job market opportunities

This type of supplemental course material will work only for specific types of online courses. But creating an overview of the industry and the job market for people in the field you’re teaching can be very valuable for your students. 

For example: If you run a web development cohort creating an analysis of the web development job market and what jobs are available to your students can be very beneficial. Go above and beyond and compile a list of job opportunities and salary information to motivate your students to reach their goals and learn a new skill so they can go and start their careers in a new field. 

Mastering the art of supplemental material

While this list isn’t the end all be all of supplemental course material, it’s a great place to start. All of these pieces of supplemental course material can be used to help your students be successful and make them want to sign up for another course, increasing your student retention.



Author: Karolina Wilde, Karolina Wilde is a freelance writer. Her work has been published on Better Marketing, The Ascent, and Sexography reaching over 25,000+ readers. In her free time, you can find her podcasting, reading, or creating TikTok videos.

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