Producing a BuildUp course is quick and easy when you prepare ahead of time by drafting a course outline. Outlining your course is one of the best ways to ensure your lessons are well-organised and engaging.
Use our outline template to map out your lessons. The most popular courses on BuildUp include 15-30 minutes of total content, broken down into a series of short 5 minute lessons.
While constructing your outline, you'll need to think about the format you’ll use for each course. Courses are typically online interactive text based courses or video based courses on our platform.
Interactive lessons - Here are some content formats to consider (many teachers use a combination):
- Text and images
- Process workflow and timeline
- Checklists/bullet points
- Hot graphics
Video Lessons - Here are some video formats to consider (many teachers use a combination):
- Slide presentation
- Screencast workflow
- Talking head
- Physical demonstration
Next, sketch out your main points for each lesson. Some teachers prefer to write out a full script for each video, while others are comfortable with detailed bullet points. For non-video based courses this is essential.
Whichever method you choose, follow these best practices to ensure your courses are organised and engaging:
- Set the right expectations. In the first lessons of your course, start with a quick 10-20 second overview of what your course will cover so that users know what to expect. Establish credibility by giving users a taste of your style and what they will learn to do or create in the course. Share examples of your work or stories from your experience.
- Keep it simple and direct. Stick to one major concept per lesson so that users aren’t overwhelmed with too much information, and reinforce key points by repeating them throughout your lessons.
- Vary your visuals. Find a balance with your visual style. For example, if you’re using a talking-head format in your video, cut to an image every so often to demonstrate your points. Especially with your first video - which serves as the trailer for your course - aim to refresh what users are seeing at least every 20-30 seconds. As you outline your course, think about where you’ll cut away to example images or slides to illustrate your points. Looking for a great tool for creating visuals in your course? Canva is easy to use, and you can even check out this BuildUp course on how to use Canva!
- Fill the gaps. The goal of your video lessons is to give users all the skills they need to successfully complete the course task. As you go through your task demonstration, be sure to cover all the necessary steps in the process so that users are fully equipped to get started. Set users up for success by offering multiple ways to access the content. Consider including on-screen text, images, physical demonstrations of materials, and supplemental resources in the course.
- Keep it real. Users prefer teachers who appear natural and conversational. Reference examples and anecdotes wherever possible to avoid overly dry content and keep users engaged. For example, tell users how you got into your field or about a favourite subject you’ve done. Don’t be afraid to show your personality! Head here for more tips on teacher presentation.
- Explain the ‘why’. Anticipate user’s misconceptions by asking yourself, “what is the most challenging part?” and narrate your creative decisions along the way. Tell users why you make particular choices with your project or use certain techniques so that they can get to know your process and style.
Once you’ve drafted your outline, feel free to email it to our Teacher Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or share it with our teacher community in the BuildUp Teacher Centre to get helpful feedback before you launch into filming.