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The Internet has changed the way we learn. It's like being able to tap into not only every library in the world, but every newsstand and home bookshelf too. Whether we're looking to tie a tie or to re-tile a bathroom, we always look online to see what we can learn. Oftentimes, however, the answers we find just aren’t sufficient. YouTube videos and FAQs can only tell us so much. They might be able to answer a few questions, but rarely do they have the ability to actually teach. Providing an online course with a linear learning structure that is easy-to-navigate, intuitive, and organized can make a tremendous difference in your customers' learning experience. Being well-organized and having effective educational content can revitalize your brand and develop your customers' trust.
Online courses take the ease of the Internet and couple it with the effective teaching strategies of classrooms in the real world to bring a fully-fledged learning experience to lifelong learners like you and me. Say you just bought a new camera; with an online course you could investigate all of the features, move forward at your own pace, quiz yourself to test your knowledge, and learn all of the ins and outs through structured lesson plans, rather than simply fiddling around until something clicks or fumbling around with an instructional manual.
Here are three reasons why creating an online school provides a much better option than FAQs and how-to videos for companies that care about their customers' product adoption.
Throughout grade school, teachers always said the same thing, "Reading CliffNotes isn't the same as reading the actual book," and they were right. A book is more fulfilling — you get the subplots and the feel of how scenes flow into one another, whereas CliffNotes just answer basic questions, a shell of an experience.
The same sort of divide exists between taking an Online Course versus consulting a how-to video. The former offers a more well-rounded, complete education. Learners are presented with information in multiple ways and they are given the opportunity to quiz themselves to test that knowledge and make sure that their comprehension improves as they move along. An online course presents a learner with all of the information necessary to take on a task, or to become familiar with an activity, whereas FAQ sheets and how-to videos often leave much to be desired, forcing the customer to consult other sources.
Online courses, especially those created with the Thought Industries platform, can be easily edited, altered, and re-designed, literally within seconds. When there's a flaw in a lesson plan or an instructor has an epiphany of how to improve a course online, they can fix it instantly. How-to videos, because of the high price and time commitment required for production, aren't nearly as adaptable. Editing and re-producing videos can take weeks, in the meantime leaving customers with a subpar product. eLearning also provides data about the ways in which customers interact with your online courses, empowering you to adjust them as necessary to optimize their effectiveness.
By creating an online school, you can appeal to a variety of learning styles through a mix of different mediums and teaching strategies. As Edudemic describes, there are 7 different learning styles: Visual, Aural, Verbal, Physical, Logical, Social, and Solitary. With text, videos, diagrams, quizzes, class notes boards, informational slides, and access to an instructor, online courses can appeal to any type of learner. Videos and FAQ sheets lose the interactive component that can be so crucial for many learners, and they also prevent you from presenting information from a variety of angles. When you engage all of the different learning styles, you broaden your possible reach to engage both learners and potential clientele. An audio clip can help an aural learner, while a social learner can benefit from being able to message back and forth with an instructor. When customers know that you can help provide them with the skills and information they want, they'll turn to you for their other purchasing needs as well. Creating an online school is an important step towards creating longterm relationships with customers who know that you can meet their needs and exceed their expectations.