As online learning has grown, one of the biggest challenges has been completion rates.

If you’d like to know how to improve completion rates for your online course, then this blog will explore 3 ways you can do this. Let’s jump in…

Imagine you’ve seen a fabulous course, you want it with all your heart and before you know it you’re clicking buy! And then one of these three things happen:

  • You log-in once, watch module 1 but never look at it again (I can think of at least 3 courses I’ve done this with 😱)
  • You decide to come back to watch it tomorrow when you have more time (which never happens so it falls into the great-unwatched bone yard of online courses ☠)
  • You watch every module, complete all the actions and get the outcome promised (this is the unicorn of online courses 🦄)

Regardless where you sit on the spectrum, the numbers tell us that poor completion rates is the biggest challenge for online learning.

But…

As a business owner, once you’ve made the sale, does it matter?

In a word YES.

Making a course sale is the ‘easy’ part, it’s delivering on the promise that will leave your ideal client feeling amazing that will make a lasting difference to your online course business.

Why? Because it colours how your they feel about your brand forever.

Think of a course you’ve not completed…

  • Does it make you feel good?
  • Or do you feel all cringey inside, like you failed somehow?

I know I do. I’m thinking of the course on Charging Day Rates that cost me $470 US and it’s still unopened. Ouch.😫

I totally beat myself up about that, tell myself I’ll find those log-in details one day and watch it. But I’ve never bought anything from her again.

Because every time I see the purple and yellow of her brand I think of that guilty secret in my inbox and scroll past quickly!!

Maybe you do the same?

  • Do you beat yourself up about the money you wasted?
  • Or the opportunity you threw away?

Either way, it’s a yuck feeling that you want to move away from fast.

And as a business owner, when it comes to your brand, you want people to feel the exact opposite to this…

  • You want them to think of your products with excitement
  • To talk about them with enthusiasm and
  • To recommend them to everyone who will listen!

But if they’ve not completed your course and got the results they were hoping for, then you can kiss goodbye to all of the above.

So, how can you set your students up for success?

There are 3 magic ingredients to improve course completion rates:

  • Community
  • Accountability
  • Feedback

Let’s take a look at each in turn.

Community

We are social beings who learning through interaction with others. To learn in isolation is counter-intuitive to everything we’ve known. So to include communities that support, encourage and engage learners can help improve completion rates.

Accountability

Accountability is about more than setting a goal, and having someone check-up to see if you did what you said. True accountability is a sliding scale that runs from safe to accountable. Think about your school days, when you thought the teacher wasn’t watching, you could drift off into a daydream, or write a note and pas it to your friend in class, that’s safe (aka under the radar). The opposite of that is being asked to recite your times tables in front of the class, everyone is watching, there is nowhere to hide and you are highly accountable (aka bloody terrified)! For accountability to be effective, you need to be somewhere between these two extremes. To keep students accountable, they need to first feel safe and then you can add layers of accountability.

Feedback

As learners we stay motivated and engaged because we know we are on track, making progress and can see results. It’s very hard to do this without feedback. Why? Because you don’t know what you don’t know, and you can’t tell if you’re getting it right or going off track. Think of yourself as a learner, when you feel confused about your results it’s disheartening and reduces your enthusiasm to continue.

So when if you want your students to complete your online course, get results and become raving fans, you need to include these 3 things.

How do you do this?

Depending on the type of course you are creating and the price point you are selling at, will depend on how you add these ingredients.

Let’s look at the 3 levels…

Level 1: Add an online group

The simplest way to support your students is to add an online group where you can start conversations, field questions and support.

Consider using:

  • Private Facebook group
  • Slack channel
  • What’s App

Level 2: Add group coaching

This takes your support to the next level and adds significant value to your course. Adding weekly or fortnightly group coaching calls will create community, accountability and allows you the opportunity to give feedback in session.

Consider using:

  • Zoom
  • Facebook Rooms
  • Google Hangouts

Level 3: Add individual feedback

The gold standard of online course delivery is to add individualised feedback. Now before you think this means 1:1 coaching session, consider how you can add this benefit to students without over committing yourself and reducing your ability to scale.

For example:

  • Create activities that ask students to post in the group and give feedback in the comments
  • Use the walkie-talkie app Voxer to give individual feedback to students on learning tasks
  • Record individual video feedback on homework and share this as a learning opportunity within the group

 If you’re creating a signature program, then add all 3 levels for the ultimate wrap-around experience that will deliver the transformation your ideal clients wants. 💖

Want to learn more about creating and launching online courses?

Then come join me in the Course Creator’s Club on Facebook.