As a course creator, a lot of energy and attention goes into market research, writing the curriculum, and putting on the marketing hat for when it’s time to launch your course. Once your course is live and you have students enrolled, the next question is about how you can support your students and ensure they’re getting the most value from your course.
The strategies for supporting students will vary by creator. And you will likely employ a few different strategies at a time to do so. We’ve compiled a list of some strategies so that you can pick your favorites that would work best for you and your students.
Here’s your guide to creating one.
Beyond wanting to make sure that they’re getting everything they need while enrolled in your school, this is also a time to think about how you can tailor your curriculum in a way that keeps your students coming back for other courses you’ve created as well. The more you can build trust in your community, the more you can serve the people within it, and the more value they receive from enrolling in your course. It’s a win-win! Read on to find out exactly how you can do this.
20 ways to support your students
1. Show your appreciation right away.
As part of the introduction module, include a short welcome video or message. (Video is ideal because this can foster a deeper sense of connection!) Before diving into the content, acknowledge the fact that your student chose to spend their time and money in your course. Let them know how grateful you are! You can also set up an automated “thank you” email that goes out to your students right after they sign up for a course or purchase a product.
2. Prompt students to connect with their “why” at the beginning of your course.
Be prepared for students to get stuck or slow down at some point. This is normal for self-paced courses, and encouraging students to get clear on why they signed up in the first place can be helpful to get things flowing again if they do slow down. This could look like asking students to write, illustrate, or record a video of their vision for where they will be after taking the course. With anything from learning to make sourdough bread to interior design, having a clear “why” creates motivation to keep going.
3. Ask for feedback.
Make it clear that you value your student’s feedback and perspective, and include multiple opportunities for them to tell you about their experience, besides just an end-of-course survey. This could be as easy as including your email address, social media handle, or inviting them to leave a comment after a certain module or activity.
4. Include checks for understanding throughout your course.
Your course likely includes a lot of juicy information, so having a check-in question at the end of each module or lecture can be helpful for students. It’s a good way to make sure they understand all the most pivotal information. You can also include a one to two sentence summary for them to refresh on before moving to the next module.
5. Use the built-in emailer feature to send positive messages.
Luckily Teachable has a convenient feature where you can integrate your email list and send messages directly to your students’ inboxes. Sending a quick and friendly note of encouragement can go a long way in terms of motivation for your students!
6. Be open to connection.
This could be something as simple as a call to action to say hi and introduce themselves in the comments, or ask them to share what inspired them to enroll in your course. (Teachable has an easy-to-use feature where you can turn the comments on or off for each module!) Carve out time to engage with students in the comments.
7. Address any common challenges or snags.
Be upfront about material that might be challenging, or elements of the learning process that you or previous students might have struggled with. This normalizes the process and can prevent students from falling out of the course out of discouragement or frustration.
8. Give homework! (or something like it)
This isn’t the boring ol’ homework you were assigned in school. Instead, this is a structure for students to apply and practice concepts that you share in your course. Get intentional with it—for any new concept you’re teaching, ask yourself how students will practice it so that the concepts land with them.
9. Leave space for assessment.
Whether it’s through the Quiz feature on Teachable, or a self-assessment (like an inventory, checklist, or reflection questions), including structures for students to measure their progress is key. This is especially true if you have a longer course, because it helps students get clear on certain material they may need to revisit, instead of just going through all the modules while feeling lost in the sauce, or missing a foundational concept.
10. Give positive encouragement.
This could be something as simple as having a message congratulating students for each module they finish, weaving in positive affirmations throughout your lecture, or inviting students to reflect on the progress they’ve made.
11. Accommodate different learning styles.
People learn in different ways and usually have one area that they’re strongest in regarding how they learn. Learning styles are typically broken into audio, visual, and tactile. Ensuring that your course has content that is accessible for every type of learner means that students will be able to get the most possible from each module.
12. Include a suggested timeline for the pacing of your course.
Unless you’re doing a cohort-based course, this is highly useful for people to stay on track and have some self-accountability when it comes to completing the course. This is especially the case if your course takes longer than a few weeks to complete.
13. Have clear objectives for the overall course and for each module.
You can ask yourself, what should the student be able to do or understand after completing this module? Share these objectives with students by mentioning them during a video lecture or including some text. This allows your students to feel more in control of their learning because they know where the lessons are headed.
14. Be consistent with how content is delivered.
If your course includes video lectures and a homework component, try to include that with each module. This is another way to help students feel more in control of their learning and know what to expect as they continue on with the course.
15. Use the “drip” feature and or “enforce lecture order” feature.
This allows students to see certain modules at certain times, or not move on until they’re completed a lecture. This allows them to focus on one step at a time, instead of seeing the whole staircase and getting overwhelmed (and potentially giving up!)
16. Pay attention to where students are getting stuck or stopping the course.
Use the student dashboard to take note of student progress, and which lectures aren’t getting as many completion rates. This is a great time to revisit that content with fresh eyes to see what needs to be tweaked or broken down further.
17. Give out student awards.
This could be a certification of completion, but make it fun! For example, if your course focuses on how to use a loom, perhaps the certificate is titled: “Loom Expert Extraordinaire.” You can use Zapier to automate sending out these certificates once a student completes your course. You can also include a graphic that they can post on social media to share their achievement as well.
18. Overdeliver what you’re offering.
Giving more than what you promised is a generous way to make students feel like they’re getting the most from your course. You can create an extra element for your course (like a bonus meditation or practice), or include a workshop or masterclass that you’ve already recorded. This can be a fun surprise for students to enroll and see that there’s some extra value they didn’t even know they were getting.
19. Offer a discount for returning students.
Let your current and past students know how much you value them by having special discounts for future courses that only they have access to. This helps build trust and loyalty between you and your students.
20. Have a trajectory for the next steps after they complete your course.
As your course comes to a close, it’s helpful to support students by giving resources for continued learning or providing an outline for them to complete about how they take their newfound knowledge and continue to grow their skills. This is a generous way to show students how much you value their overall growth!
Supporting your students in the best way
While prioritizing curriculum and marketing is important, students are the heart of any course. Making sure that your students feel supported, seen, and appreciated is a surefire way to keep the sales (and satisfied former pupils) flowing! Remember, some of these strategies might work better for you and your courses than others. That makes sense and you can use multiple strategies at once to help your students be successful.