The Power of Transformational Course Design in Online Learning By April Beach

Uncategorized Jul 24, 2023

A transformational course is an online learning journey that delivers measurable, transformational results rather than just being a set of contents delivered over a timeline. This approach revolutionizes how entrepreneurs, especially small businesses, can make their courses, services, or programs stand out in a world suffering from content overload.


According to, content overload occurs when a specific area is blanketed with numerous blog posts, articles, ideas, and suggestions. This sheer volume makes it challenging for any single piece of content to stand out. Worse, it can deter potential audiences who don't want to sift through endless content to find what they need.

The solution to this issue? Embrace simplified transformational course design. Here are some steps to consider:

1. Articulate the end result:

Clearly state the end result that participants can expect from your course and describe the full transformation in detail. It's not enough to say participants "feel better as a parent," "know how to land speaking gigs," or "can run a Clubhouse room." Instead, use detailed outcomes such as "participants will craft their parenting plan with confidence," "complete a pitch process to land dream stages," or "understand the guidelines of moderating inclusive Clubhouse rooms."


2. Measure transformations at each benchmark:

Each module of your course should lead to a measurable transformation. As the course creator, you should understand and articulate the sub-transformations within each benchmark of your course, service, event, or program.


3. Curate content based on learning preferences:

Understand that more content does not automatically result in a superior course. Remove content that does not directly contribute to the end goal. You may not be an instructional design expert, but as an entrepreneur offering a course, you must curate your curriculum with transformational program design in mind.


Surprisingly, learning isn't as simple as repetition. The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning at Princeton University recommends using "desirable difficulties," a term coined by Dr. Robert Bjork from UCLA. This teaching strategy involves strategically creating challenges for learners that, despite seeming to slow down the rate of learning, enhance long-term retention of knowledge and skills.

Even if you're not offering an MBA, as a course creator, you're guiding your clients (or students) from one place to another in their knowledge or skill development. Therefore, including "desirable difficulties" in your course design is key.

At SweetLife Co., we help entrepreneurs curate curriculum and build courses that embrace scientific learning principles at a level that customers genuinely need. If this all feels overwhelming, don't panic - we're here to help.

As you embark on launching your online course, keep these considerations in mind:

  1. Action is part of the learning process.

  2. Strategically create challenges at the right points in your program.

  3. Focus on the transformative process rather than inundating your course with content.

To become an undisputed leader in the world of online courses, you must design your course like a leader. This principle applies to all forms of learning, whether it's a mini-course, a leading course, or any program that requires learners to understand and apply the information you teach.


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