From education to employment

How to Build Your Own Online eLearning Course

people looking and pointing at laptop

There are many ways for tutors to educate and inform their students, and thanks to the rise of eLearning, it’s becoming increasingly commonplace for adults and children alike to learn from home. Although building your own online eLearning course may sound like a daunting prospect, there are plenty of ways in which you can share your expertise to educate and inform. 

For many tutors, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are many tools that can help to build courses online, but which one is right? And what route should you take to create the best platform? 

In this guide, we will explore some of the key steps that you’ll need to take in building a course of your own. Other essential considerations about how to populate your course and how you should approach its structure will also be explored.

Before you begin researching your specialist subject and commit to typing out the perfect learning path for your users, let’s consider some essential questions that need to be asked before the magic can happen:

Take a Moment to Consider your Audience and Subject Matter

Remember that only fools rush in, and this is particularly true when it comes to preparing educational content. One of the key mistakes that tutors can make in creating their own eLearning course is to fail to appropriately assess their audience or subject matter before getting down to the nitty gritty. 

Who are you making this course for? What will their age range be? What would their educational history look like? Once you have in mind an idea of your audience profile, it’s important to gather feedback from them in the form of surveys, interviews, or focus groups so that you have a comprehensive understanding of what they want to achieve from taking your course and the level of content that you’ll need to supply. 

It’s worth gaining the help of a subject matter expert to build your understanding of what content should be included and what could be left out of your course when it comes to writing it up. 

Set Clear Learning Objectives

Now you’re aware of who you’re creating your course for and the level of content that it should be populated with, it’s time to begin thinking about how to set your learning objectives. 

So, what should your learners be looking to achieve from your course? Answer this question by considering what you want your students to be capable of by the end of it. 

Here, it could be worth considering both the desirable and undesirable outcomes of your course, and base your learning objectives around these measures. Regardless of your subject matter, your course must avoid digressing from its core objectives in order to be a success. 

To help consider what these learning objectives can be, Shift eLearning has recommended that tutors consider the SMART criteria before getting started on the mechanics of their online course: 

Specific: Keep things focused on your learners and what you’re hoping to enable them to accomplish. 

Measurable: How can you measure the progress of the objective? If you find that your goals are impossible to measure, rethink your strategy. 

Achievable: Always make sure that your goals are achievable at all stages of the course, and in a realistic timeframe. 

Relevant: Even if your objective is good, it still needs to make sense for your target audience. Be sure to question what makes each objective necessary, and whether they really help you to achieve the right learning outcomes. 

Time-Sensitive: Are learners capable of achieving their intended learning goals by the end of the course? If you’re unable to answer this question, you should reconsider your approach. 

By dedicating enough time towards catering to the right learning objectives, you can ensure that your content is not only valuable, but relevant and well-thought out among your learners. 

Build Your eLearning Course

As eLearning continues to grow in popularity, the options at the disposal of tutors in creating courses are expanding exponentially. 

Today, it’s straightforward for tutors to utilize platforms like Udemy to craft and promote their own courses for a wide range of subjects. 


The beauty of Udemy is that the platform’s vast range of categories caters to just about any subject matter–even looking after pythons.

What’s more is that the platform enables tutors to offer incentives to users through its embedded custom coupon tool. This can pave the way for effective course marketing further down the line. 

Of course, there are many options beyond Udemy, and if you want full control of your content, it’s possible to tap into tools like Tutor LMS as a WordPress plugin that can be utilized on a personal website to create inspiring, content rich courses. 


Taking the role of a simple WordPress plugin, Tutor LMS is extremely simple to add to your website, and although pricing starts at $149 per year, it’s a great asset for tutors who can expect a steady flow of traffic over time. 

Once a WordPress user downloads the plugin’s .zip file, they must then go to Plugins -> Add New and click on Upload Plugin

Once this is done, Tutor LMS can be installed and activated. For full functionality, it’s important to also have the free version of the Tutor LMS plugin. This can be downloaded by running a plugin search for ‘Tutor LMS’ and by selecting ‘Tutor Free’ from the results. 

Remember to Cater to All Learning Styles

Another essential consideration to make is that tutors should bear in mind that all learners have different sets of learning styles and preferences. Whilst some may be visual learners, others can be more hands on, data-driven, or partial to audio-based learning. 

To help cater to all of your intended learners, aiming to strike a balance between visual, auditory, and kinesthetic content is the most effective way of keeping everyone engaged at all times. 

Although it may be damaging to shoehorn different types of content into a course, continually be on the lookout for opportunities to present different information in a variety of ways. Present skills, knowledge, and concepts through the medium of video, audio, graphics, physical activities, and traditional group scenarios wherever applicable. 

When you become more accustomed to the process of creating courses, you’re likely to find that each learning objective set out is best suited to a specific form of content. When learners have to observe, naturally visual content is essential, when the topic of comprehension arises, audio can be effective, for instance. 

Try to Avoid Oversharing

Many educators are guilty of falling into the trap of cramming too much knowledge into the subject that they’ve researched. This can be a natural occurrence, after all, you’re eager for your learners to get their money’s worth and learn something new. But here the rule of relevance is vital to keep in mind. 

Although many facts and topics can be acknowledged as essential for the objectives of your course, other information may be better categorized as ‘should know’, or ‘could know’. 

In the world of writing, professionals are taught to ‘kill your darlings’, and the same can be true in education. Separate your content into ‘essential’, ‘should know’ and ‘could know’ categories and make cuts where necessary to maintain the structure and time-efficiency of your course. 

Although creating an online eLearning course can be a daunting task for tutors who are yet to adopt the approach, it can be a truly rewarding exercise in building your own content in a way that you believe will help your students the most. 

By keeping your objectives and audience in mind, and with the use of the right platform to build from, you too can embrace the eLearning revolution and create impactful and rewarding remote courses. 

Related Articles