Joy Nicholson - Unleash Your Marketing
Joy Nicholson - Unleash Your Mareketing
Joy Nicholson Unleash Your Marketing
Joy Nicholson - Unleash Your Marketing
Joy Nicholson  Unleash Your Marketing

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Outlining Your Course - What Is The Best Approach?

July 05, 20236 min read

“Online education is like a rising tide, it’s going to lift all boats.” - Anant Agarwal


I remember back in 2019 when I created my first course, I was unsure about the best approach with outlining my course.

Let’s be real, this is a very important step, because if you outline your course incorrectly, your course learners will be confused and the outcome of that won’t be great. They will simply lose interest and not complete your course.

And yes, it is important for them to complete your course, not just for them to have something that they can implement in their business or life but also for you to get positive reviews and potentially upsell them to your next offer.

I digress… Let’s get back to outlining your course…

Sometimes our expertise gets a hold of us. Meaning, you are in your own head too much with your expert knowledge and you take what you know for granted. So, when you record your videos or put your workbook together, you sometimes miss crucial information. The simple stuff that puts the puzzle pieces together.

That is also why I go through each and everyone of my client’s videos when we upload them into their newly built membership.

I look at the videos as a first time user with a birds eye view; what is missing, what does not make sense, does the flow work etc.

A well-structured course outline helps you organise your content, maintain a logical flow, and ensure comprehensive coverage of the topic you teach.

Also on a side note, it is important to not say at the end of your videos “in the next video I am going to talk about abc…’ This gives you the flexibility to move your videos around inside your membership or add videos in between if your structure changes.

This will eliminate a lot of work long term, you will avoid having to re-record the videos or for your team to do extra editing.

When it comes to creating a comprehensive and effective course outline, there are essential steps you need to follow.

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Let's dive into a step-by-step strategy, to help you craft a course outline that will organise your content and create a smooth learning experience for your students:

1. Define your course objectives

Start by clearly outlining the overall goals and objectives you want to achieve with your course.

What do you want your students to learn, accomplish, or be capable of by the course's end? Make sure you establish the desired learning outcomes with clarity. The old school way of pen and paper works great. There is a magical link between your brain and your hand. Use it.

2. Identify the main topics

Break down your course into clear main topics or modules.

These topics should cover the key areas that support your course objectives. Consider the logical flow of information and arrange the topics in a sequence that makes sense for your learners.

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3. Outline subtopics and lessons

Dive deeper into each main topic and identify the sub topics and lessons that need to be covered.

These subtopics should provide more specific information and further support the main topic. Break them down into bite-sized lessons to ensure the content is easily digestible for your students.

4. Determine the content format

Decide on the most suitable content format for each lesson. Will it be a captivating video lecture, an engaging text-based article, an interactive activity, or a clever combination of different formats?

Consider the best way to deliver the content based on the topic and the preferred learning styles of your target audience.

Video format is very popular. If you choose video as your format you might need some practice to be on camera. Also, consider scripting your videos. It does help to keep you on track with your content and also engage your learners. Keep it short and sweet. With the exception of doing a show and tell video, I suggest to keep your videos under 5 minutes each.

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5. Set learning objectives for each lesson

For every individual lesson, establish specific learning objectives that outline what your students will achieve or learn from that particular session.

This will help you stay focused on delivering clear and measurable outcomes for each module.

Workbooks, worksheets, checklists and even gamify badges are great ways to help learners measure outcomes. Canva has hundreds of templates and is super affordable.

6. Create assessments and activities

Design assessments or activities that reinforce learning and enable students to apply the concepts they've learned.

These can include thought-provoking quizzes, insightful assignments, compelling case studies, group discussions, or practical exercises.

7. Organize the course timeline

Determine the duration and pacing of your course. Decide how many weeks or modules the course will span and allocate appropriate time for each topic and lesson. This will provide you with an overview of the course timeline and ensure that the content is evenly distributed.

To turn your course into a challenge is a popular option and it is a great way to keep learners motivated. A set number of days makes it exciting and also provides an end to your course that helps to move learners along with your lessons. 5, 7, 21 or 30-Day challenges are fabulous. A set amount of weeks is also an option.

Example of a course created in Canva and built out in GoHighLevel:

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8. Review and refine

Once you have created the initial course outline, carefully review it for coherence, logical progression, and alignment with your objectives.

When you pre-sell your course (best way to sell your course), then the learners can help you with the review and refine process.

Make sure there are no gaps in the content and that the lessons flow smoothly from one to another.

9. Seek feedback

Share your course outline with trusted colleagues, mentors, or potential learners to gather valuable feedback. input can offer unique insights and help you refine the outline to better meet the needs of your target audience.

Another hack I suggest to get valuable feedback is to speak to your learners face to face on video. A one on one conversation goes a long way, not just for them to feel valuable and potentially buy from you in future but for you to understand the user experience they received.

10. Iterate and finalise

Based on the feedback you receive, repeat and make necessary revisions to your course outline. it until you feel confident that it contain all the necessary content and meets your course objectives.

Once finalised, your course outline will serve as a dynamic roadmap for content creation and course delivery.


Check out my other posts and articles to create your first course:

The software my clients use and what I use to implement all of this and also to sell our courses is GoHighLevel: Here is a tutorial Video:


For any questions, or if you need help to create your course, reach out to us at:

courseselearning create a coursecourse creatorcourse creationmembership
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Joy Nicholson

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