Online course and online program websites and landing pages often have fancy sales copy, pretty graphics, and an outcome that is depicted EXACTLY like what you’ve be wanting. The online course looks good; it feels good; you really want to do it…. BUT WAIT!!!
Before you jump in boots and all, you must read and do the following background checks BEFORE you click the buy button.
Tip: If you are thinking of hosting an online course or program, all of these questions should be covered in your online course or program Terms and Conditions.
5 things to consider BEFORE you sign up for an online course
1. Stalk the course creator
Not in a creepy way, but just do a basic background check to know more about who they are, what they do, and how they teach. Examine their website, Facebook business page, social media accounts, check testimonials, google search the creator and the program.
What you are looking for is an indication of how experienced and qualified the course creator is.
Are they selling?
Or are they educating?
It’s ok if they are doing both so long as you can tell the difference, that the online course still meets your expectations, and you are ok with how the course is expected to be taught.
2. Look at the online course content
Look at the content in the context of your business or your current life challenge or interest.
Where does this course fit in with your challenge or interest and where does your life fit in with the course?
Is the course content directly solving a problem you have?
How much time is this course going to take?
Do you even have any time spare to invest in learning or implementing right now?
Is it something you can do with ease and grace or are you going to burst a blood vessel to fit it in OR worse, get the guilts for buying the course and not even get past the first week or module EVEN if it is self-paced?
3. Does this online course support your personal learning style?
Some people learn with videos, or require interaction within a group, and others learn better on their own with written exercises.
Will a self-paced course work for you, or do you need the accountability of a live aspect to a course?
4. Does the online course require self-discipline?
Most online courses are self-paced, even many courses with a live aspect require effort on your part to achieve the goal of the course. Without self-discipline in group programs or live challenges you can very quickly be left behind and lose out on getting the most from the program. So be clear on the expectations for your own time and energy investment, not just financial.
As the saying goes, you get out of it what you put in.
Self-paced online courses or group training programs can sound lovely and easy, but think again. For any course to be successful, you also need to be self-disciplined in your learning and implementation to make the investment worthwhile.
5. What are the Terms and Conditions?
If there are not any terms and conditions for the online course, ask for them before you buy, OR, buy at your own RISK!
Reading the online course terms and conditions is your final background check and a non-negotiable prior to signing up.
The Online Course Terms and Conditions should tell you:
- who the course creator and provider is,
- describes the course content fully without the sales blurb,
- is clear on the payment terms,
- addresses legal requirements and fairness in its cancellation and refund policy,
- tells you clearly how the course will be delivered,
- clearly outlines what you are expected to do to make the course work for you,
- and provides for a clear feedback process to manage issues and disputes.
Do your background checks and it will give you a pretty good indication of the quality of the online course and the true value of the training provided.
If you tick all the boxes with are happy with what you have found, then you have done your due diligence to the best of your knowledge and can have peace of mind that you will complete the course and get the value and knowledge you were seeking.
PS – If you need assistance drafting terms and conditions for your own online course, I can help. Get in touch.
Lawyer, Contract Specialist, Speaker & Advocate for Women in Business.
Drawing on more than 15 years’ experience as a lawyer and a woman in business, Shalini Nandan-Singh helps Australian service-based entrepreneurs protect their businesses and their bottom lines with empowered legal advice and contracts.
Encouraging listeners to #loveyourlegals, Shalini firmly believes that business legals should be an authentic extension of your business. Her goal is to educate audiences that, rather than confusing legalese, business legals should be an authentic extension of your business, creating positive business boundaries that support you in working with your clients with compassion and understanding.
Disclaimer: This blog is written to support business owners to consider legal requirements and issues that may arise in business. The information provided is for general and educational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice for your individual circumstances. Please consult your lawyer for advice specific to you and your business.