Our district started crowdsourcing online content almost a decade ago. The content was teacher-facing, imagine an electronic Teacher’s Edition. Three years ago the goal was changed to student-facing content. Content items addressed standards, but with little continuity, no module/unit feel. And so teachers treated single items from the available content as the smallest unit of instruction.
Everyone Needed Courses This Year
Only after this pandemic, after the demand was for courses could I articulate what was needed and missing in our offerings. The backbone of the course, the flow of the content, the alignment between content and assessments make the module/unit the smallest part of instruction. Even though we had content from years, we purchased FLVS content and aligned it to our standards, identified gaps, and supplemented it from our digital collection. For next school year, we are creating courses finally. We have many which are FLVS-based course to be converted, some Georgia Virtual courses share with us from our state which needs assessments and alignments, and some courses which we have committed to creating on our own.
How Can This Work for Me?
The idea of growing an online course can work for any educator with a digital collection. The focus of the content drives the quality of the course. The addition of aligned materials (content-formatives assignments-summative assessments) in a transferable platform is the recipe for success.
In other words, find the next one topic you can instruct in based on your digital collections and start finding the wrap-around materials:
- align standards (pick based on your audience)
- identify expanded instruction on your topic
- create H5P interactives to embed in an LMS page
- add some practice assignments or formative assessments (& answer keys)
- include a project based on standards
- create a summative assessment (& answer keys)
Craft a full course, or a sample module, in free instances of popular learning management systems (LMS) like Canvas or Schoology and export the packages.
Will People Buy That?
Maybe. But please consider your audience and don’t overprice or attempt to control what buyers do with your content.
If you think you are not making enough money, consider making more courses!