E-Learning is perhaps one of the most interesting sectors in the online world right now. Aside from earning more than $150 billion by the end of 2015, it is posed to earn more than a quarter of a trillion before the end of 2030.
With that in mind, it is easy to assume if you are half a mind about entering into this sector as soon as possible. Of course, you might want to draw helpful information from any source that you can find. Fortunately for you, there are quite a lot of books out there that can give you an idea on the best current practices in online course creation and marketing. Here are some of them:
1. Leading the Learning Revolution
Penned by Jeff Cobb, this book gives a rather detailed look on the secrets on how to make your online course business successful and long-living. The author draws from personal experience which is, for the lack of a better word, vast and focuses on how to use technology to your advantage when selling your ideas online.
Content creation makes up a huge presence here with strategies on how to make any topic (especially the boring ones) sound appealing to would-be students. Other topics will include how to develop content quickly, building connections, and establishing a bottom line for your lifelong learning business model. It’s also written for trainers, veteran educators, entrepreneurs, and authorities of complex subject matters in mind.
2. Michael Allen’s Guide to E-Learning
Considered to be the father of modern interactive learning, Dr. Michael Allen has created this book with the sole purpose of helping authorities in their own field get oriented in the rather unpredictable field of e-learning while also converting their ideas and expertise into tangible and easy-to-digest lessons. Allen makes it a point here that the e-learning industry is not to be underestimated and it is easy to lose money here if you are uninformed or, worse, reckless.
The book’s rather pragmatic tone can be jarring for the uninitiated but it does provide a deep insight for those who understand that e-learning does have its own set of pros and cons that should never be disregarded. The book comes with a free CD-ROM for some sample applications and some other helpful materials for a comprehensive learning experience.
3. Design for How People Learn
Written by Julie Dirksen, this book instructs readers on how to integrate the time-old tenets of memory, attention, and other learning techniques when creating online courses. This book covers some insights on the way the modern brain works in regards to learning new information as well as cover the fundamentals of instructional design so as to improve your engagement with students.
This book currently has its second edition which covers even more advanced topics that the first one did not as well as some recent developments in the industry. It also offers a more visual style in narration as well as some new methods and examples to counter more current problems in e-learning.
4. Telling Ain’t Training
Considered a must-have for trainers, Telling Ain’t Training is essentially a learning and development book which has first published in 2002 and is now on its second edition which deals with even more recent issues and developments in the world of e-learning. This book effectively calls out some myths on instruction and e-learning nowadays and then eviscerates them one by one.
The new version offers even more lessons to counter recent problems in course design as well as managing the expectations of students. Like the first edition, this new version preserves the book’s user-friendly, tongue in cheek tone which should keep readers engaged from cover to cover.
5. Essentials of Online Course Design
This book penned by Marjorie Vai and Kristen Sosulski takes on a fresh and step by step look at the basics of course creation based on the best practices in the field of teaching and learning. As a matter of fact, the book teaches you the basics of creating a course as if you are creating a syllabus for a real-world, college-level subject. Once the basics are done, the book then teaches you how to integrate this into a working, optimized online course.
After reading the book, you are expected to understand two truths: 1. Contrary to popular belief, e-learning is a rather satisfying and engaging experience for course creators as well and that 2. Good online course design is hinged on being visual, organizational, and pedagogical.
6. Product Creation Process
Written by a man who effectively went through the motions of trying (and sometimes failing) to sell his own courses online, this book covers the essentials of proper course creation from the perspective of someone who has actually thrown himself into the process. The book is separated into 7 modules which provides you with a step-by-step process on how your course should be conceptualized, created, improved, marketed, and then managed.
7. Creative Content 101 for Passive Income Information Products
This book was created especially for those who want to jump in on the e-Learning bandwagon but have no idea where to start. It provides a step-by-step approach to helping you creatively translate your ideas into sellable products while also laying out the groundwork for what is effectively your e-learning online business front. Some of the topics included here are tips on how to avoid creating an unsellable course, reinventing old courses, and simplifying your content so that it is easier to digest for your would-be students.
The book also understands that launching an e-learning business is not the expensive. You need not become a 6-figure commanding authority on some field in order to produce content that sells. All you need to do, as the book implies, is to present your ideas into something that is easy to understand and ultimately helpful to be something of value to your students.
8. How to Sell Video Courses Online
Written by Rob Cubbon, this book homes in one the point that e-learning, while being the hottest new thing in the online world right now, still follows the same principles that govern conventional classroom learning today. It also understand that it can also be a highly lucrative business to venture into and you can earn more than 4 digits here without even being a legit authority on some field; provided that you have the right skills and tools.
This book explains the basics on how to create and market online courses, specifically those in video format, and ensure that they remain highly-sellable products for months or years on end. There are also tricks on how to market your course, especially the more complicated subjects, while also adapting to the ever-unpredictable online learning field.
9. Awaken Your Course Creation Mojo
Written by Sarah Cordiner, this book tackles one of the biggest issues that plagued course creation ever since e-learning was in its infancy phases: the lack of creativity. Sure, it can be hard to create a course that sells and many course creators are stuck on the analysis limbo when conceptualizing their subjects.
This book covers the basics of course creation and provides tips on how to hone that creativity or “mojo”, as the book likes to call it, of yours and allow it to help you create some of the most engaging content online. It also provides tips on how to deal with creativity stoppers like procrastination to keep your creative juices flowing. This way, you can deliver highly unique courses on time and earn more than enough money on your part.
10. 7 Myths and 7 Tricks in Nine Steps
A joint creation of Paul Benson and Glen Ford, this book tackles the more pervasive myths in online learning and course creation in the hopes of finally putting them down. It understands that falsely believing these myths as truths can be financially risky for a course creator and, as such, counters them with the cold, hard truth. It also provides readers with tips on how to make their courses all the more appealing as well as marketing them to the public.
This second edition comes with a bonus chapter which covers some myths and tricks that specifically talk about the Kindle and other similar platforms. Due to its rather comprehensive approach to online course creation, this book is widely considered to be an essential read for first-time e-learning course creators. If you are one, then this book should definitely be on top of your must-read list.