Episode 1

The Common Mistake Course Creators Make

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About this episode:

In this episode, I share a tale about a course creator who made the mistake of creating 70 one-hour long videos. I discuss the challenges of long videos and how breaking down content into shorter lengths is for better for student engagement.


After listening to this episode, you will know:

  • Why lengthy videos are not the best for your course.
  • The importance of breaking down videos into digestible bites.
  • Some ideas for bringing interactivity into your course.

Stay in touch:


Please note: This transcript may be automatically generated and may contain errors. I appreciate your understanding.


Hey Course Creators, it's time to amplify your genius. Welcome to Course Creation Station where we talk about creatively sharing your expertise and designing the most awesome learning experiences. I'm Gwen Tanner, Career Course Creator, and in this episode, we're diving into a topic that sparked the inspiration for this podcast. It's a cautionary tale of a course creator who with all the best intentions, ended up making a common yet significant mistake. So stay tuned as we explore the legend of the 70 one-hour long videos.

Okay, so picture this, an enthusiastic course creator brimming with knowledge and passion about her topic, and I'm not going to mention it. Let's just say that it was alternative medication or alternative medicine. She decided to pour all of that wisdom, not into one, not 10, not 20, but 70 one-hour long videos for her online course. Now we can all appreciate the dedication, but it raises a crucial question. Can anyone realistically digest that amount of content?

If you watched one a day, it would take you over two months. And if you watched one a week, it's gonna take you over a year. If you watched one a month, it's gonna take you, I don't know, five years. I mean, nobody's gonna sit and listen to that, right? So it's kind of like serving a banquet when your audience might just want it a little bite-sized snack, right?

So let's talk about why this isn't the best idea. First of all, we wanna talk about attention span. So in the digital age, we all are distracted And our attention span is more precious than ever. Research consistently shows that shorter, focused content seems to resonate better with learners. Long videos risk losing your audience's interest. And let's face it, a one hour long lecture is not going to align with the rhythm of our busy lives.

So it's really not about the quantity. In her case, it was 70, but it's more about the quality of engagement. It's also not just about the clock ticking. Longer videos make it challenging for your students to locate specific information. Now let's say that within her video number eight at minute 38, there was some really, really crucial, interesting, engaging content, but her students may never find it because they would have to have to sit through seven hours of her other videos just to get to that point. And it's just not going to happen.

So imagine searching for a particular concept within this vast library of one hour long videos. It's gonna be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. So it's important that we break down our content into digestible thematic modules, which is gonna make it easier for your students to navigate and to revisit specific topics, which is what we want them to do. We want them to find our content interesting and we want them to go back, right? We wanna do that.

Another thing to consider is interactivity. Interactivity is what brings engagement into our courses. So instead of lengthy monologues or those talking head videos, try to involve your students, bring in some quizzes or discussions. A lot of course creators online now use Facebook groups and prompt for discussions and other types of activities. So this isn't only gonna keep them active and attentive, but it's gonna help to reinforce that they understand what you're teaching them. So it's not really about what you say, it's about how they engage with what you're saying and the materials that you're providing to them.

It's important for us to focus on delivering impactful content that resonates with the students. And it could be a 10 minute video or a 30 minute discussion. We have to make every minute count because we're competing with so much. We're competing with phones, we're competing with family, we're competing with work, we're competing with commuting, we're competing with so many different things. So when we begin to focus more on quality over quantity, then your students begin to thank you for respecting their time and attention. And it's very important. We want people to want to listen to every word we say, but we don't wanna go on and on and on, right?

I just wanna wrap up this episode to let you know that it was really the 70 one-hour long videos that prompted me to start this podcast. What I realized is that when someone says, "Hey, I wanna create an online course," often to sell online, they will Google how to create a course and you are gonna find hundreds, maybe even more of teachers, experts, gurus, offering you classes on how to create a course. But in those courses, They don't really get to the detail of how to create an impactful and engaging course. They're great courses, but they focus a lot on marketing and sales.

So on this podcast, I really wanna give you the opportunity to learn more about those little design details of course creation. I wanted to help and guide you to create effective courses and finding that sweet spot between depth and brevity. 70 one-hour long videos might seem like a comprehensive approach but consider the practicality for your learners. Keep it engaging, keep it interactive, and above all, keep it impactful.

Thank you for joining me today for this episode of Course Creation Station. Be sure to visit CourseCreationStation.com to view today's show notes and subscribe.

About the Podcast

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Course Creation Station
Course creators, level up and amplify your genius!

About your host

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Gwen Tanner

I'm a career course creator and I am passionate about designing amazing learning experiences! I love working with other course creators, coaches and experts to build their awesome student-focused courses and workshops.