Course Creation

3 simple course design hacks

October 17, 2022

I can't believe it took me 10 years to read this book. I feel so seen! Yay to harnessing the quiet power of the introvert.

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I'm Sarah, The Learning Strategist and Catalyst. I'm here to help you create high quality workshops, courses, and programmes that get results.  

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Your course design is not something to be rushed.

It can be a challenge as you work out how to balance your needs as subject expert, with the needs of your learners.

It’s a common trap for subject experts to fall into the trap of presenting things the way that suits their own particular learning needs, and failing to consider the experience from a learner perspective.

Here’s 3 quick tips to help you!

1. Use a Distraction-Free Template 

Course design is not an opportunity to “decorate”.  Clear, simple design allows your learners to focus on the essentials.  Too many fancy fonts and pointless images just distract.

Stick to the essential elements and arrange them carefully.

Too many additions and your learner has to strip away the “fluff” to find the gold.  Once distracted from your content, engagement will drop and your learner is less likely to feel motivated to complete your course.

2. Use of Colour

Colour is important as it can initiate emotions and effectively deliver a reaction that you expect.  Blue, for example, represents calm and soothing.

However, a white slide is often too glaring, especially if accompanied by bright, colourful text. Some learners will struggle to differentiate between colours and may have a colour vision deficiency.

To support all learners, opt for soft cream or pale pastel backgrounds and dark grey or muted black text.  Avoid making screens too busy and remember, SIMPLE is best.

Try and avoid using more than 3 colours throughout your course as this will reduce visual clutter.

3. Keep Your Lists Short

A bullet list or number list should ideally have no more than 5-7 items.  Any more and your learners will struggle to process the information.

Try breaking your points up into smaller groups or use an alphabetical system to bring simple clarity and order.

You want your learners to go on an exciting learning journey with you and keep track of your ideas. 

Another essential tip is to place white space around the points.  This is effective in order to help users see what’s important and what to focus on. This paves the way to better understanding.

Finally, remember that any course should provide content and activity to support learners to do something with the content.

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