Mini Travel Course in Teachable
I have a couple of passions and one is travelling. After over a decade of travelling, either solo, with kids or with the family, travel planning has become second nature to me. For many years I have been active in many travel forums and one of many frequently asked questions has been: How do I get started on planning for my trip?
That question was the inspiration to create this mini-course. The other reason I wanted to create this course was to try one of the many popular LMS out there, i.e. Teachable, Thinkific, LearnPress, and keep my Camtasia skills sharp.
I used a simplistic ADDIE model to help me start the process.
The audience of prospective travellers I want to reach is people who either follow my blog, found me via a search engine, or those in the many travel forums I am in. Based on Google Analytics, my blog visitors are females who range in age from age 25 – 44. This is about equivalent to those I interact with in the travel forums.
I chose Teachable after comparing it with Thinkific and LearnPress. The features I needed were: free, integration with Google and Dropbox, and a simple sign-up process. Teachable ticked all those boxes.
Goal: Create a mini-course to help new travellers learn how to plan a trip using Teachable as the LMS.
The next step, and one of the most fun steps in the design process, is the storyboard. For this course, I used Miro. This app is free and it has a plethora of templates to choose from. Whilst this course was a personal project, with Miro, I can easily collaborate with others.
Once the storyboard was complete, I created images using Canva. Photoshop is very nice and I use it on a regular basis. However, it can be a bit time-consuming. With Canva, especially the pro version and resizing feature, one can easily create beautiful digital content very quickly.
The development of the course was predominantly done in Camtasia. Since this is a topic very familiar to me and I have also presented this material face-to-face, I didn’t create a script. I did have to redo or delete and stitch together a few segments but, overall, it was a quick process. If the subject is not a topic I am familiar with or I need to have the recording done with minimal edits, I would create a script first.
After my travel mini-course was setup, I shared it on my Instagram and personal blog. I created a few digital fliers, the below being one of them, and hope that at least one person found the info beneficial.
There was a short questionnaire at the end of the course for feedback.
It was a fun project that gave me an opportunity to share information and to learn a few new learning management tools. The only inconvenience of using the Teachable free account is that it is limited to a max of 10 students per class. Due to this, each month I need to boot one or two people out. A small issue since I have a small number of visitors.
Finance Course in Facebook Group
The other passion I have is personal finance. I enjoy managing our family’s budget and also investing in our retirement. Two of the most valuable lessons from being in the military and having access to one of the best retirement funds out there are time and the power of compound interest.
The majority of people joining the military are young; usually late teens or early 20s. While these younger members may not have the salary of ones with more time and rank, they have what the older ones do not: youth. Combine this with the power of compound interest and a young Airman can save just a small portion of their salary whilst having the capability of earning significant gains by the time they are of retirement age.
Unfortunately, while TSP is mentioned early on in their careers and military members and their families have many free resources to help them budgeting and saving, many are still not as knowledgeable as they should be in regards to personal finance and investing.
My finance course was initially a face-to-face one-hour session at my husband’s squadron but due to Covid restrictions, I had to move it online. I chose Facebook group (social learning type) for my LMS since many of the Airmen are already on the squadron’s Facebook group. Via this method, and linking it to the squadron group, those interested in the course can be automatically added.
The design of this face-to-face course was sketched on paper, which I have unfortunately lost. During the design process, I knew that I didn’t want a dull Powerpoint and just facts to be transferred over. I wanted their attention. I wanted their excitement! I also wanted to give them hope. Hope that, yes, they can one day retire comfortably even if their salary isn’t that high at the moment. For the reasons above, this first slide below was created.
The online version of this presentation was created in Camtasia. To deepen the understanding of certain topics, I also used external YouTube videos and websites. The online course was divided into six sections or ‘guides’:
- Intro and Compound Interest (intro sample is below)
- Debt and the Average American
- Financial Independence and Saving for the Future
- Eliminating Debt
- Reaching Financial Independence
- SCRA & MLA
For external videos and websites, I chose videos that are short and concise. I didn’t want to lose their interest by giving to much and too long of information. One video used was:
Once the course was completed, the squadron was notified via email and Facebook group. I also set up a simple password verification to manage who could access the course.
The Working Towards Financial Independence course is currently set to private. If you are interested in viewing this, please reach out. You are more than welcome to view the pdf file of the Powerpoint presentation.
Feedback was requested at the end of the course and both the face-to-face and online courses were very well received.
As an instructional technologist or anybody who’s ever used a decent LMS, there are many reasons to not like Facebook group social learning platform. But, for conveniences purposes, this method was the best choice to reach my goals.