Why should I create a free course as an instructor/ Tutor? How can it help me be successful on ART with my paid courses?
Teaching a free course on ART is a great way for you to explore whether teaching on ART is right for you and what the demand for your topic is. It also helps you get feedback from students and gives those unfamiliar with you an idea of your teaching style and what they will learn. Free courses are intended to be shorter and introductory, so that you give students value while leaving them wanting more so that they may invest in your paid courses.
Limitations on free courses in length and features. What is different?
Free course experience. Free courses are one way for instructors/ Tutors to try teaching on ART, test demand for a topic, build a student audience, and get student feedback risk-free. This new experience emphasizes the video content in your free courses with a more prominent placement of your preview video on the course landing page to introduce students to you and your teaching style faster. Additional course features including instructor lead Q&A, assignments, direct message, and certificate of completion are now reserved for paid courses only. Additionally, all free courses published after Nov 10, 2020 must be under 3 hours in video length, for pre-recorded webinars and must be under 6 guided learning hours (GLH) for all other contents.
Why is ART putting limitations on the free course experience?
ART is updating the free course learning experience to help students better distinguish the value of both free and paid courses. Free courses are intended to help students get a taste of the online learning experience to determine if they want to invest more time and money into a topic, an instructor, and ART as a whole.
A free course is a great way to test whether teaching online and teaching on ART is right for you while giving students an introduction to you and your teaching style.
For students, we hope by putting a few limitations on free courses they would understand it’s a complementary experience that delivers its own unique value without taking away from the paid course experience. We also hope that the free course experience will help build student confidence in ART, specific instructors, and online learning as a whole.
I have a free course on ART that is above 3 hours in video length and or 6 GLH for other contents. What does that mean for me?
If your free course was published prior to Nov 10, 2020 and exceeds 3 hours in video length and or exceeds 6 GLH, it may remain published on ART with their current length and full course features for students who have already enrolled.
Please note: If you elect to keep an existing free course as free, and it exceeds the stipulated limits, you are not allowed to make modifications to the course content. If you add or change any content in the existing free course(s), you will be required to make your course paid.
I have heard from other instructors that I should offer my course for free when it first launches to get student enrollments and reviews. With these new restrictions, I can not offer my entire course for free anymore to get ratings, reviews, and enrollments. Won’t this impact my ability to successfully launch a new course?
Some instructors elect to offer their course(s) for free in the early stages of launch to gain social proof. While offering your course for free may result in a large number of enrollments, we have found that students consider the overall rating and number of ratings more carefully than the number of enrollments when deciding which course to purchase. We instead recommend that you leverage your allotment of free coupons to share your new course with trusted friends, colleagues, and peers who will take your course, provide you with honest feedback, and help you improve your course for future students.
You might choose to create a short course on ART, less than 3 hours in video length or under 6 guided learning hours (GLH) for all other contents, to determine whether teaching on ART is right for you and gain student feedback before creating a longer paid course.
Offering a free course isn’t the only way to build an audience from scratch. We would recommend joining the ART instructor community to learn what has worked for other instructors.
How can I gain social proof for my new course if I don’t offer it for free for a short period?
There are many ways to build social proof for your course other than offering it as free for a period. This includes:
1. Leveraging your allotment of free coupons with close contacts that have an interest in the course topic
2. Asking your fellow members of the instructor community to give you early feedback on your course and identify areas for improvement
3. Sharing coupons for your course with your network on social media, LinkedIn, and any blogs or websites that you have
4. Building your authority on the channels that your students are most likely to be on. Join communities relevant to your course topic and be helpful! Answer questions, brainstorm solutions with those in the channels, and begin to build yourself as an expert in your domain. Only after you have done that, ask the moderators if you can share a course coupon with the group.
Please note: We recommend always asking group and community moderators if you can share your course before doing so. Each group has a different set of rules and we want to make sure that you adhere to those rules.
Because free courses are shorter and offer fewer features than paid courses, why would a student enroll in a free course? What is the value that they receive?
Free courses allow students to find the right topic, course, and instructor for them before investing in a longer, paid course. The streamlined experience puts more emphasis on your course’s content so that students can focus more on getting an idea of your teaching style without distraction of additional features. It also makes certificates of completion more valuable for students, since they have invested their money in the course.