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How to Make Your Course More Actionable

Know what sets online courses apart from, say, ebooks? Action. When people sign up for your course, they expect to do something.

Intuitively, we know this, right? We know that it's our job to do more than present information; we've got to help our students get results. And that only happens through action.

So what can you do to make your course more actionable? 

If you have a self-paced course, you know one of their major challenges: Self-paced courses are notorious for drop-offs in engagement.

The solution is to make action part of your course design.  

Three Tactics For Actionable Content

Here are three of my favorite action-based learning tactics for your online course:


Quizzes are indirect action-based tactics. They aren't a way to have your students take apply complex concepts. Instead, what they are is an excellent way to help your students check their knowledge or comprehension of a topic.

This helps them know where they're struggling so they can take action in that area. It also helps you know where your students are struggling. In other words, quizzes are a great indicator for where you need to direct action.

Let's recap. Quizzes:

  • Work well in courses that present a lot of information or complex concepts

  • Help your students check their knowledge in a certain area

  • Help you identify challenging topics that would benefit from more activities


Assignments are a more direct action-based tactic. There are a ton of options that fall under the general term "assignment." The main idea is that you have an activity that your students must complete in a module/lesson/week. 

When it comes to assignments, feedback is key. If you know you don't have time to review each assignment, consider having mentors who manage small groups of your students and their work. Or, you could have students review each other's work.

Think about it: would you want to work on something and never get any feedback?

Recap - Assignments:

  • Work for just about every type of course

  • Can be graded or ungraded

  • Require feedback in order to be effective learning tools


Course Projects work great in courses that focus on transformation or learning a complex skill (or set of skills). The idea is to have your students complete a course-long project that shows they can apply the concepts or skills they've learned.

The best way to approach projects is to break them into smaller assignments that are due throughout your course. That way it’s not one big chunk of work due at the end. No one likes a bunch of work at the end. (Because, procrastination, motivation and a bunch of other "ations".)

Recap - Course Projects:

  • Works great for showing transformation or application of skills

  • Break projects into smaller assignments that are due in different modules of your course

  • There are a million ways to go about projects, so have fun with it!

The Spectrum Of Learning

All this action-based talk really comes down to this: Learning doesn't happen by accident. There is a spectrum of learning, from knowledge to application. And there are specific activities or actions you can use to move your students from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Want more?

Know what the hardest part about creating a course is? Keeping your students engaged. 

Teaching isn't complicated. But if you don’t know which strategies are effective and test new things, you'll miss out on opportunities to change lives and grow your business. 

That’s why I'm here.

I've put together a list of Action Strategies that you can use in your online course.

Click the button below to grab your copy.

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