CONCEIVING YOUR OWN LITTLE GENIUS
I have created an online course called Little Genius for young children. It teaches children from an early age how to extract key information and take it to their long-term memory. Throughout this article, I will use Little Genius as an example.
HAVE A GOOD IDEA
Many people ‘think’ they have a good idea. The question is does the world think you have a good idea? Analysing your idea is an extremely critical step and if it is not seriously considered, it could get you into a lot of trouble. I was a Speech Therapist by profession and I competed in the World Memory Championships in 2011. I sat next to the youngest memory competitor, a 9-year-old girl. She thoroughly enjoyed the competition and beat most of the adults. It was at this point where the Little Genius idea was conceived. Here are a few questions you could ask to help you conquer this step:
- Does your idea solve the problems of the people in your town? I asked many fellow parents if this was something that interested them for their children. Firstly, they could not believe that a 9 year old could memorise a deck of cards in under 1minute. Secondly they could not believe that their child had the potential to do the same.
- Is there a need for your product? From the above I established that there was a need for such a course.
- Survey and question your target audience. My target audience were mainly homeschooling mums. Fortunately in our town there is a big group of homeschoolers. I organised a tea and presented my ‘idea’. I also presented them with a survey. This helped me immensely when creating the course outline.
CREATE A COURSE OUTLINE
Once you have established that your idea can add great value to society, it is helpful to see the ‘big picture’ first. Many are tempted to dive into the detail first. This is a dangerous method and could lead to confusion and one being overwhelmed and giving up. I, in fact, did this with Little Genius.
I started scripting before looking at the big picture. This was a pointless exercise and I had to start the process again. A course outline is basically a map of your entire online course. It shows the beginning of the journey, the actual journey (the steps in between) and the end of the journey. Here are a few tips to help you when creating your course outline:
- Establish your learning goals and objectives of your online course. e.g. Teach young children how to extract key information and take it to their long term memory.
- Module or term creation: these are the MAIN TOPICS that you can then break down into smaller lessons. E.g. keyword extraction, listening skills, comprehension, memory techniques
- Add more detail to your outline:
TERM 1: Listening Skills and Critical/Non-critical Information Identification
Week 1: Goals for You Life
Week 2: Listening: An Introduction
Week 3: Listening Application
Once you have a detailed course outline and are now clear of your beginning, middle and end, you need to decide through what medium are you going to present your online course content. Little Genius was a very long process and there were MANY failures in between. I first taught the course to a live audience. This was a success, however my reach was tiny. Then I placed the content online. I created videos of me teaching the parents. I filmed these videos in our garage!
Needless to say, this was a dismal failure. Firstly the videos were horrific. Secondly, parents do not have time to watch horrific videos. I then decided to teach the kids directly. I realised from previous attempts that a video of me teaching the kids would put them to sleep instantly and this was not a course on narcolepsy. I then researched online puppeteers and found a gem of a puppeteer on Fiverr.com. He was affordable and he was brilliant. What medium would best suit your online course? Some examples of mediums are as follows:
- Audible Files
If you conquer the above, you have made great progress.