When I launched Courseography in the spring of 2018, I knew it was imperfect (and it still is a work in progress).
Even so, I wanted to take it to market last year so I could let a small group of users tell me what it needed to become.
As we head deeper into the new year, I’ve made a number of modest, yet important changes I think will make Courseography far more useful for both sides of our marketplace: instructors and learning providers.
So let’s discuss some of them:
Addressing the Silence of a Two-Sided Marketplace
The ideal marketplace should be a space bustling with energy and include an exchange of goods, services, and/or ideas. Courseography was not this space when I launched, nor did I expect it to be...yet.
What side to engage in a two-sided marketplace is reminiscent of the what comes first debate between the chicken or the egg.
In our case, if there are no proposed course ideas, there’s nothing for learning providers to view. And…
If there are no schools and learning providers, there’s no opportunity for instructors to offer their courses.
How do I then engage both sets of users and create a platform where everyone has a successful experience?
In this latest rendering of Courseography, my intention is to make it more personal and I’ve sought to build in opportunities to connect with every user who signs up.
How will I expect to achieve this?
New Instructor Onboarding Flow
In the last version of Courseography, I saw a nearly 40% drop off rate from instructors who created an account, but never followed through in publishing their course idea. To put it mildly, that’s not good.
We also surveyed instructors who successfully published their course ideas and they consistently offered this feedback:
“I’ve published my course idea, so what can I do now?”
The answer up to this point was to wait for a learning provider to find you. The wait-and-see approach is fine if you’ve got a user base who is consistently using the platform, but not so much if engagement is low.
In the new onboarding flow, I’ve created a series of steps for instructors to follow. They look like this:
1. Set up your profile
2. Create and publish your course ideas
3. Get verified
4. Submit your courses to schools and learning providers
While steps one and two existed in the previous version of Courseography, steps three and four promise to offer a deeper level of engagement for instructors.
Course verification is a multi-step review process borne out of feedback from schools and learning providers who sought a mechanism to assess the background of an instructor and quality of their course idea.
The course verification process is set up inside an online course and requires a short 1:1 phone consultation with a real person. I’ve sought to make this step an instructive one because it provides an opportunity to better connect with and educate instructors. In this format, I’ll work with instructors one-on-one, share insights, and deliver tangible resources designed to enhance their credibility in the eyes of a school or learning provider.
Once a course is verified, it’ll receive a visible verification icon all users on Courseography will see. Additionally, it unlocks the next step of the platform: the ability for instructors to share their course ideas directly with hundreds of schools and learning providers.
These additional steps accomplish a few key objectives for us, especially on the instructor side.
• Course verification allows us to personalize the process for every instructor. I’ll get the opportunity to assist instructors in developing their course ideas and in helping them apply it to the broader lifelong learning marketplace. Whether there is one instructor or 1,000, there will be a level of engagement for the user that did not exist previously.
• Rather than wait to be discovered, verified instructors now have greater control in partnering with learning providers and connecting with a new audience of learners.
Personalized Instructor/Course Recruitment
When a school or learning provider who comes to Courseography in need of a new course, I want to make sure they’re able to locate one.
Now, any learning provider subscribed to the annual plan will be able to request personalized assistance in sourcing a new instructor or course.
Much like for instructors, I want to alleviate any frustrations for learning providers who aren’t able to find an instructor or course offering on Courseography.
If I can assist a learning provider in widening the parameters of their search and help them locate a specialized instructor in their area, I welcome the opportunity to do so.
In this iteration of Courseography, I’m not worried about doing things that will “scale,” rather I want to meaningfully connect with users to help them build their learning programs and course businesses.
If you have any questions about these updates or our services, please contact us by using the chat tab on our site, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.