This guide covers the business, educational, and technical aspects of turning your book into an online course using VirversitY online course software. For a much more detailed how to, enroll in the course, “How to Create a Course Using VirversitY”
This guide is divided in the following sections:
Creating an online course with the VirversitY course software takes the same skillset as creating a very basic website using any of the popular webhosting provider's online creation software. Once you become familiar with it, it is easy. Here is what you need:
The more skills you have, the better. If you have the following, you will be very good at creating courses:
An online course is a combination of Internet-based software and content organized in such a way to facilitate learning. There are some really weak "courses" out there which are essentially word documents that "students" download. Then, there are advanced systems such as ours created using modern pedagogical standards for adult learning. We provide the delivery system for your content. Together, we comprise the online course.
(For BooksToCourses.com Instructors) As a general rule-of-thumb, "how to" books and most non-fiction books will work very well as an online course. Non-fiction books such as biographies will not work unless they are of historical figures that people would want to learn all about. For example, nobody wants to take a course of "Bill Smith from Ohio," but they might if the course was "Abe Lincoln: From Lawyer to President." Fictional books generally don't make good courses unless the topic has a strong following, and some aspect of the book can be adapted into a course. One of the greatest examples is taking "Star Trek" (book or movie, it is a work of fiction) and creating a course "Learn Klingon in 21 days." The greater the following the book has, the more leeway you will have in being creative with some ways to turn your book into a course. We will discuss this more in the next section.
There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of online courses, and many of them are free. So you need to ask yourself why someone would want to take your course? Keep this question in the back of your head because it will be helpful when you start creating the content for the course, choosing the options, and writing the marketing information.
This is a unique role that is usually filled by the instructor—it is the person who designs and creates the course. However, it can be a third party. Course architects could work "on spec," that is, design your course for an agreed upon share in the enrollment fees. Our system is set up to accommodate this arrangement. Once the architect does his or her job, he or she turns over the metaphorical keys to the instructor, who just works with the students.
Imagine learning an entire college course in just minutes a day by e-mail. This is the passive microlearning course option. "Passive" refers to the fact that the student is not required to interact with the course software, the instructor, or other students. Like reading a book, in a passive course the student simply ingests the content on his or her own. The lesson content is sent directly to the user via e-mail, and is limited to HTML e-mail and a single (optional) video. The e-mail links to the course page where the students can watch the video and discuss the lesson in the discussion area (again, this discussion is optional for the student). The "microlearning" refers to the amount of information that is sent each day. It is suggested that no more than a few minutes of reading for each lesson. This is a very easy option for the instructor when it comes to course creation, and easy for the student to make the commitment to take the course. On the downside, it is not interactive—and this is where many people find the most value in online courses. With that in mind, some courses work best as passive microlearning courses.