Blended Learning & Scheduled Class Activities

MirandaOnline Course Features, Online Course Success SeriesLeave a Comment

community-online-classes

Online learning doesn’t have to be a solo activity! Online education can deliver highly social and collaborative student experiences. With some attention towards shared activities, you can set the stage for a strong community for your students.

community-online-classesStronger student communities result in improved learning outcomes as students are more engaged and more likely to complete each lesson, and engaged students are happier students!

Long term friendships often form as a result of taking classes together, and the same can absolutely be accomplished in online groups when instructors build in the opportunity for students to interact.

Blended Learning Platform

Ideas for scheduled group activities for your class:

  • Set up a private live chat with up to 150 people or a video call for up to 10 people using Google Hangouts
  • Host a Twitter live chat with your audience. Pick a hashtag, ask starter questions, and chat away! This one gets bonus points for making it easy for students to connect 1v1.
  • Schedule a live teleseminar. Calls are a great way to meet your students, and to literally give students a voice with some open discussion time. Tara’s got a great primer on setting up your calls here.
  • Plan a webinar. Webinars are a way to combine live chat with visual slides or a screenshare. We are fans of GoToMeeting and Easy Webinar, and we’ve heard good things about AnyMeeting to get you started. Make it social with community chat during the call.
  • Meet face to face. When setting up a blended classroom, you can combine face to face classes and meetings with online content for an integrated student experience. Schedule formal classes or even social activities.
  • Take a virtual field trip. There are so many valuable learning resources online, you can get REALLY creative with online learning activities. Combine a google hangouts live chat with another online activity, like a virtual walk through an art gallery. In this example, you could post a link to an image of a painting and prompt the group to discuss for 5 minutes before moving on to the next painting. The sky is the limit!

Setting Up Your Thinkific Scheduled Class

Scheduled classes allow a cohort of students to all start and go through the course at the same time. These classes are well suited to coordinated marketing launches to maximize the number of students in the group.

From a technical perspective, scheduled classes are best setup with the use of Drip Content. Drip Content lets you set your course lessons to be released on a certain day. You can choose to either release all of the content on day one, or to release individual lessons on specific days. This encourages your students to work through the course material together, which improves discussion and keeps everyone on the same page.

Have you used online group activities with your courses?

How did it go? I’d love to hear what you did, and if you have any great ideas to share with other instructors for real-time ways to interact with your students online. Leave a comment!

7 Tricks You’re Probably Not Using to Maximize Engagement

MirandaMarketing, Online Course Success Series1 Comment

maximize-student-engagement

You’ve got your course up, and you’re starting to get people signing up. Wahoo! Now – how do you maximize student engagement?

maximize-student-engagement

Students who are engaged:

– Are more likely to make a purchase (or an additional purchase)
– Are more likely to complete your course
– Are more likely to tell their friends

There are lots of ways to fully engage with your students, but there are a few fun ways that you can maximize your relationship with the default email options right within your Thinkific site. Here are my favourites.

Engaging-&-Personal-Welcome-Emails

Every student that creates an account for your Thinkific site gets an automatic welcome email. This is your first opportunity to wow them! Remember: this welcome email isn’t tied to a specific class, so this includes folks that have just signed up and bought their first course, and others who have signed up for a free trial or even those who are just checking you out. Don’t miss this chance to engage with each of them.

My top tips for your welcome email:

  1. Draft a compelling, personal hello. Tell them a little about you, and share a favourite recent testimonial or two that might help solidify their purchase decision (or tip the tables if they’re considering a purchase).
  2. Invite your student to visit your social media channels, like twitter or Facebook. This is also a way for them to get to know you a little more.
  3. Offer a sweet sign-up bonus. Sending them free access to a small bonus course, a free guide, or an exclusive download are great ways to confirm they’ve made the right choice by checking you out.

Completion Emails That Signal the Beginning, Not the End

You can create a unique email that will go out to your students when they complete each of your courses. When students complete a course, they are at a crucial time in your relationship with them: their satisfaction is at a peak as they’ve just finished learning, but they’re also about to stop logging in for new course content.

This is an ideal time to:

  1. Thank them and congratulate them! Nothing is better than a well-timed congrats note on a job well done.
  2. Get feedback. You can always build a feedback form for student feedback right into your course itself, but asking via email for student experience and testimonials is another great way to learn how you can improve your program, and also to earn valuable student comments that you can share.
  3. Upsell them on your next course. You can include a coupon code to give them a deal on their next course, as a thank-you for completing your program. As you know which course they just completed, you can choose to suggest a good course to follow the one they’ve completed, or you can give a coupon that can be applied to any course in your catalogue.
  4. Offer a bring-a-friend deal. I’m a big fan of giving a gift for you and a gift to give away! Rather than giving one coupon towards a next course, why not offer two?

Learn more about creating notification emails for your Thinkific courses.


I’d love to hear what’s working for you, and if anyone has something that has worked especially well with your automated student emails!

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Earning $20,000/month with Webinars

MirandaMarketing4 Comments

sell-course

One really effective way to accelerate course sales is using webinars. This week, rather than just telling you how this can work, I wanted to share the detailed case study of one of our instructors who has used webinars almost exclusively to drive sales. Even better, we’re going to dive right into his story with all the details of exactly how he did it.

sell-course

Read More

New Feature: Voice Over PowerPoint

MirandaMarketing1 Comment

Startup Stock Photos

Are you looking to add audio, narration or voice-overs to your Powerpoint or Keynote slide presentations? This can now be done directly within Thinkific, and you can deliver it as part of your online course!

voice-over-powerpointOften, simple is key. We’ve heard from many of you that you’d love to create your course by simply adding audio to your Powerpoint and Keynote slide presentations, without having to fight with technology in the process. So, we built it for you.

Read More

5 Ways to Make Your First Course Sale

MirandaMarketing, Online Course Success Series1 Comment

first course sales

Having your course ready to go is step one… but then what? Building is only half the battle; getting your course in front of people so they’ll purchase is the other half, and deserves a lot of time and attention.

first salesThere are many ways to get your first course sale, but there are a few common tips and tricks that we’ve seen work well time and time again. Let’s dive in!

Read More

Introducing: Certificates

MirandaOnline Course Features1 Comment

certificates-online-courses

Receiving a certificate upon completion of a course is an important part of learning culture. Whether it’s the certificate earned to mark a childhood milestone or the one you are handed when you walk across a university stage, certificates in education are universal.

And now, we’ve brought certificates to the online world for Thinkific courses!

Certificates allow course creators to automatically deliver an official, secure, and verifiable certificate of completion to students who have completed their course.

online-course-certificates

Read More

Top 5 Free Photo Sites to Customize your Online Courses

MirandaOnline Course Success Series7 Comments

Free_StockSites_Feature

A few weeks ago, we shared our 115+ FREE Stock Images Download (which you should grab if you don’t have it already!), and it’s been EXTREMELY popular. One of the challenges of creating and marketing online courses can be sourcing GORGEOUS images to go along with your courses, so we’ve done the work for you!

We had so many people ask us for more that we’re revealing our sources. We are so pleased to share our top 5 free stock image sites where you can find stunning images to use in your online courses today.

free stock image sites list for online courses

Read More