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Course or workshop? Discover the difference and which format is the best for your classes

Creating an online course or a virtual workshop is a great option for those who want to undertake online and share knowledge. But which format is the best for you? Keep reading and find out.

Course or workshop

Distance education – or DE – has been gaining a lot of space in schools, universities and other educational institutions. That’s why the number of available online courses keeps growing.

And, in recent years, online teaching has surpassed the borders of educational institutions, drawing the attention of people who have a skill or knowledge that can be taught.

Cooking, sewing, car mechanics, illustration, and handicrafts are some of the segments entrepreneurs are entering to share their knowledge online and, of course, generate income.

But one question keeps lingering, “Which is better, to create a course or a workshop?” Aren’t they the same thing? If not, what is the difference between them, and which one is the best format for those who want to get started in this area?

All of these questions will be answered now!

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What is an online course? 

As the name suggests, an online course is educational content created to be accessed on the Internet.

During an online course, as well as in the case of content taught in-person, students have contact with theoretical and practical content.

So, when creating an online course, it’s necessary to go deeper into the theoretical part. Without forgetting, of course, the practice – even if this kind of approach isn’t the focus.

These courses always have an emphasis on professional training for a certain area of knowledge.

And like in-person learning, the content is taught by a teacher or lecturer, who explains the proposed topic to the students. This can be done through video lessons, slide shows, podcasts, or livestreams.

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What’s the purpose of an online course?

Online courses allow students to be trained in a certain area, profession, or even a specific job position.

They’re aimed at those who seek professional improvement and theoretical knowledge that is more complex.

Although they’re focused on theory, the practical side isn’t forgotten, always being combined with the conceptual part.

You can find online courses on all kinds of subjects, such as cooking, handcrafts, illustration, computer science, programming, car mechanics, among others.

What’s the duration of an online course? 

The duration of online courses isn’t short. Generally, students take weeks, months or even years to complete the entire course content.

Because the theoretical part is developed in-depth, it takes time for all the content to be absorbed, which involves activities and exercises. Always depending on the area or topic proposed by the course.

How do I create one? 

The first step in creating an online course is to define the subject that will be taught. But don’t just pick a subject just because it’s trendy. It’s important that you enjoy and master this subject, in order to deliver quality content to your audience.

After you’ve picked the topic, the next step is to plan your online course’s structure, such as the number of lessons, teaching materials, lesson plans, video scripts, etc.

Also, search for other online course tools that will help you to make your classes more attractive and dynamic, such as programs and software to create infographics, ebooks, and slide shows.

Once the content is ready, it should be hosted on platforms that can store all the material in a functional way for the student, which is responsive – that can be accessed on any type of device – ensuring that users have a good experience when browsing.

Finally, you need to advertise your online course. Create marketing strategies that can make your content easy to be found by your target audience.

Therefore, you need to have a target audience, define a persona that is compatible with it, and create advertising mechanisms that follow SEO techniques.

And what’s a workshop? 

You’ve already read about the course option. Now, let’s learn about the second online teaching format you can choose from.

A workshop is a type of event widely used for training and qualification building. Therefore, it focuses more on practice rather than theory, and with a much shorter duration than a course.

As well as in the case of courses, workshops can be conducted online without implying in loss of quality of the content covered, or loss of participant involvement.

What’s the purpose of a workshop? 

Unlike a course, workshops focus on learning practical skills, which can be learned in a shorter time.

For this reason, they’re widely used for training, lectures, and discussions on specific topics, always in a practical manner, without going deeper into theoretical issues.

What is the duration of a workshop? 

Because it is much more dynamic and practical, workshops aren’t long. Some last a maximum of 8 hours, and can be divided into a few days or be held in a single day.

How do I create an online workshop? 

It does not matter if you want to create a course or a workshop. The first step is always deciding on a subject. In the case of an online workshop, however, the subject should be more practical.

Overall, workshops present greater interaction between teachers and students. Therefore, in an online version, using a livestream during the classes is a good idea.

To do so, a good internet connection and a platform that can make this integration happen are indispensable when producing an online workshop.

Workshops are conducted by a moderator, an expert on the proposed topic who should prepare the support materials to be applied throughout the event.

Besides a topic, the workshop needs to have a goal that will guide both the moderator and the audience during the proposed activities.

For this, you need to know exactly for whom the workshop is intended. Generally speaking, it’s a more specific target audience, interested in learning or improving a certain skill.

With everything defined, your online workshop needs to be well promoted. Here, it’s very important that you use all channels and resources available, such as social media, email marketing, and paid ads.

Other details that cannot be left out of this planning is the pricing of the workshop and whether the educational material will be available to the general public at the end of the event.

How to choose between an online course and a workshop 

Now that you know the main differences between an online course and a workshop, you can pick the best format in order to share your knowledge with your audience.

Always remember that this choice needs to take into account the profile of the target audience you want to reach, and the subject you want to teach.

But it doesn’t matter if you’ve decided to create a course or a workshop. Always try to plan the content of the classes, and choose a topic that you really like and understand, in order to deliver quality content and knowledge.

And if you want help to kick off your career in online education, Hotmart can help you. With our SmartCourse Maker, you will learn, completely free of charge, all the steps needed to create a digital course with your phone and start teaching people around the world.

Just tap the button below and sign up.

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