Build a Community in Your Online Course Running Challenges4 minute read
One of the top priorities for online course creators and coaches is to build an online community around their business.
There are many ways to build and grow a thriving online community for your eLearning business, and it is a long-term process that takes time and consistent dedication.
In this article from our blog, we talk about many different ways creators can use to build their online community: Why You Should Build an Online Community of Engaged Customers and How to Do it.
Today we will talk about online challenges and how this digital product can help you to grow your audience and create a feeling of community among your students.
What is an Online Challenge?
An online challenge is a type of online course where lessons are delivered on set calendar days and students are guided to a specific goal.
Challenges are a very popular way for online course creators to gain new leads (challenges used as lead magnets) and grow their audience base.
Online challenges are a fantastic tool for boosting engagement levels in your program, generating a feeling of community among participants, and even upselling your more expensive product offerings.
In our blog, we talk a lot about online challenges, so if you want to learn more about how challenges work and how to build one, check out this article: Introducing Challenges in Heights Platform (How to Increase Engagement and Boost Online Course Sales)
How Can Online Challenges Help You Build a Community?
What is an online community, and how can it help your business?
Nowadays, people who go online are looking for a connection, feeling part of a community, and interacting with like-minded people.
An online community can be defined as a group of people who have common interests and gather in a virtual space to share opinions, learn new ideas, and interact with each other.
Building an online community around your brand can be highly beneficial to you and your customers.
So what do online challenges have to do with community?
#1. Students Go Through the Challenge Together
One of the most powerful traits of online challenges is the fact that students go through the content at the same time.
The main purpose of a challenge is to guide students from point A to B and help them accomplish a specific result in a relatively short time. The lessons in an online challenge are delivered on specific calendar days.
This ensures that students enrolled in a challenge get access to the content at the same time, and therefore consume its lessons together.
If you are using Heights Platform to sell online challenges, you know that lessons in a challenge also have the option to expire after a set amount of time. You can select a release date but also an expiration date for your challenge lessons.
If you want a new lesson to release on a set calendar date, you can choose to have the lesson expire after 24 hours, for example.
This is an excellent tool because it creates a feeling of urgency in your challenge's participants. Students who enroll in your challenge will know that if they want to get access to the lesson, they need to do it within a specific time frame; otherwise the content will expire.
Of course, if you do not want this feature, you can choose not to set an expiration date and leave your lessons available until the end of the challenge. However, in a longer challenge, we recommend using this feature if you wish to create a feeling of urgency and further engage your students with the content.
So the release and expiration dates make sure that students will go through the challenge at the same time. Combining this with more interaction and discussion tools (which we'll see below) creates an excellent opportunity for you to build an online community around your program.
#2. Challenges Keep Students Accountable
One of the biggest problems with online courses and self-study is accountability. Students who enroll in an online course generally do not have an expiration date before which they have to complete the lessons: they can go through the course at their own time and pace.
While this is actually a great benefit of online courses, it can also be a problem in terms of motivation and accountability.
Online challenges offer a solution to this problem. Since students know that the challenge will start on a specific date and be available for a short time only, they will be more incentivized to complete the course and engage with the content.
#3. Students Can Interact With Each Other
Another great feature that makes challenges the perfect tool to create an online community is the interaction between students.
We established that students who take an online challenge go through the content and lessons at the same time, together as a group.
This incentivizes them to interact with each other since they are all at the same learning level. Students can share their accomplishments, ask questions, discuss the latest lesson and so on.
This becomes especially true if you are using a tool designed to build a feeling of community. Heights Platform allows students to chat and post comments under each lesson within a challenge.
Plus, you can create discussion boards inside your programs to keep students engaged and run your online community.
#4. Challenges are Results Oriented
Last but definitely not least, an online challenge is based on a specific result. Generally, challenges are shorter online courses that aim to guide participants towards a clear end goal.
Online courses should be result-oriented as well. Most of the time the difference between a challenge and an online course is that the result of the challenge is an easier and faster one to achieve.
The fact that students are going through the course together to reach the same common goal can be extremely powerful in creating a community and helping people interact with each other.
Online challenges are a great way for creators to build an online community and foster engagement in their online courses.
Challenges are short-term, result oriented online courses that deliver new content on a set schedule. For these reasons, online challenges are the perfect tool to kickstart engagement in your content - where students can interact with each other, share their progress, consume content together and feel more accountable to keep learning.
Heights Platform offers online course creators the tool to run, sell, and relaunch challenges easily, without the hassle of manual uploads and lesson release.
Learn how to create an online challenge using Heights Platform.Create Your Online Course Today