Students have zero reason that they need to listen to their teachers. Learning has become so accessible to everyone that there is no way you could say as an educator that students have to listen to what you have to say and they have no other way to learn what you’re teaching. Hi, I’m Cory Johnson, and this is “How to Make E-learning That Doesn’t Suck.” The most important tip I can give you, my number one piece of advice, is that you should not take your learners’ attention for granted. Things are not the way that they used to be. Imagine before, attending a school where this was the only school that you had access to and the teacher was the only educated person in the room. That’s just not how things are anymore. I want you to name any single piece of information that you could teach someone that they couldn’t get some other way. Even if you’re an author and you’ve come up with the information that you’re trying to teach, it’s likely that you compiled that information and modified it from existing information. And so in theory, someone could teach themselves the things that, you know, without your help. But don’t get discouraged. It’s all right. All it means is that you have to find a different way to prove your value to the learner. Educators everywhere need to be able to answer “Why should anyone listen to you?” and the answer can’t contain the fact that you have information that they don’t have. That’s no longer an advantage. See, there’s nothing you could teach anyone that they couldn’t find out on their own. So you need to come up with a different value, a different benefit that you can offer them. And you need to be selling that value constantly. And I know some of you are like, “I got into education because I didn’t want to get into sales.” But tough. Here, go away. As an educator in the 21st century, before you can even open your mouth to spout knowledge you intend to teach someone, you need to be able to prove to them that they should listen to you. And I see this problem rampant everywhere. “Hi, I’m Doug. This is my graphic design course, where a I teach you Doug’s graphic design.” Educators of all types and at all levels say “This is what I think you should learn, and you should learn it because I think you should learn it.” But why? Because you say so, because you need a better reason than that. So what do we do? Well, the obvious answer is we need to find what value it is we offer our students. And that value cannot be just the information that we have. Sure, we have information and we need to convey that, but we also need to give them something else. And so, once again, this comes down to you as the author of your course, being willing to invest the best effort of what you have to make it as good as possible. So let’s talk about some of the benefits you could offer as part of your course. In addition to the information, the first big one is, is your course an experience? Because sometimes that’s enough. Right? I mean, this one’s huge for kids. A lot of kids don’t understand the benefit that we’re trying to give them by educating them at a young age. But they can really appreciate fun and interesting experiences. And they very quickly latch on to how interesting and fun it is to learn, because in essence, learning is being presented with a challenge and eventually overcoming it. Right. Changing who you are to overcome something. And so in that way, presenting some kind of experience that’s interesting and presents more than just information. But something that’s entertaining or interesting to go through is an extra value you could add. Another way to make something an experience would be to add humor or entertainment value. Right. You could learn woodworking any other way, but here on my online course this will be the most fun you’ll have learning this topic. Right. So this is the value of experience. Another thing you could potentially do is convenience. I mean, let’s be honest. We just talked about how people could go out on the Internet and they could find all of this information and they could compile it themselves. But sometimes it’s nice to just say, hey, this is a comprehensive resource, one that’s difficult to put together on your own. You could not get this kind of education on your own in such a short timeframe because I’ve spent the time to compile this information. But understand that if you’re talking about the convenience of access to that information now, the value of your course. Right. Solely on the content of your course. Right. It’s not an entertaining experience and it’s fun to just learn. Now, it’s very important and vital information presented in a convenient package. And truthfully, there’s nothing wrong with mixing in a little bit of experience, right? There’s nothing wrong with making your courses a little more humorous or a little more entertaining. The last one and probably the biggest one, the one that I almost always jump to first is talking about outcomes. Right. What will your course allow your students to do? This is great because learning should in itself be valuable. But if you’re presenting information that’s not valuable. Sometimes those people can have a hard time keeping their learners interested and motivated. But on the flip side, if the information is valuable and the learners know how we can help them and they’re interested in the outcome that you’re selling them, they will endure all kinds of bad experiences or lack of convenience in order to get those outcomes. Think about your college experience. It’s likely that you had some really terrible teachers, but you didn’t stop going to college because you were just there for an experience. You were there probably for the piece of paper. And as long as you could get that piece of paper, you were going to sit through a bad experience. So if you can tie your course strongly to some outcome or value something that people will get when they’re done, that goes a long way to motivate your learners. And like I said, if you can’t do one of these or some other thing that will make your learner understand that your method for delivering this content is valuable to them. As far as I’m concerned, you shouldn’t be allowed to speak because at the end of the day, that’s what we’re hoping learning will do for people, right? We don’t just want to provide information. We need to let these people know that having this information will improve their lives. And a lot of educators take that for granted. But we can’t anymore because our learners have options. They have lots of options.