Course Creation & Design

Set the Stage for Success: Create a Winning Course Outline using ChatGPT

Androniki Koumadoraki Content Writer LearnWorlds
10 min
Setting the Stage for Success_ Creating an Effective Course Outline using ChatGPT

There’s so much to do when creating an online course – come up with a profitable course idea, pick and choose the best learning material or create it from scratch; and when all’s done, you need to get the word out and actually sell it.

And somewhere in between… you need a plan. This plan can come in the form of a course outline.

A course outline brings order to the course creation chaos, helping you make better choices regarding content and course structure. It really is the secret ingredient that sets your course on the path to success.

In this post, we’ll show you how to create a comprehensive and winning course outline using the all-powerful ChatGPT as your expert assistant, with specific prompt examples.

Whether you’re just joining the creator economy, expanding your coaching business online, or developing a corporate training program, this advice will come in handy and help you create your course fast and with confidence!

What is a Course Outline, and Why Do You Need One?

A course outline, often referred to as a curriculum or syllabus, is a document providing a concise and detailed overview of the course following its timeline.

Usually, it includes information such as course title and description, key learning objectives, mandatory and optional study material, planned learning activities and assignments (including due dates), grading scale, course prerequisites, and policies.

The course outline comes first in the course creation process. It’s planning and documenting the course design before you move on to content development.

A course outline is a useful tool for an instructional designer or course creator as it creates a roadmap for the course. It helps you better organize your course and structure the content in a way that will facilitate learning, making sure that the content and assessments align with the learning objectives of the course.

A well-written course outline can also incentivize potential learners to sign up for the course and can of course benefit your learners, as it can help them prepare for upcoming lessons and milestones.

Create a Winning Course Outline with ChatGPT: Your Step-By-Step Guide

In our previous posts, we extensively delved into how ChatGPT can be a valuable aid in various aspects of course creation. Today, our primary focus is harnessing the power of ChatGPT to craft a comprehensive course outline.

#1 Learner profile

To create an effective course outline, it is essential to start by understanding your audience – the learners. Developing a learner profile is a crucial first step, which involves asking targeted questions to uncover their specific learning goals, existing knowledge level, and other relevant factors.

If you’re developing an online course for a third party, such as employee training, partner training, or customer education, we recommend obtaining this information directly from the company itself. This ensures that the course aligns with the company’s objectives and addresses their unique needs.

For instance, let’s consider the scenario of building a learner profile for individuals enrolling in online coding classes. By focusing on coding enthusiasts, you can tailor the course content and delivery to suit their interests and requirements.

What is the average age of people attending online courses to learn code?

What are the three more common reasons people join online courses to learn how to code?

What is the primary occupation of people attending online courses that teach code?

What is the educational level of people attending online courses that teach code?

Do keep in mind that ChatGPT isn’t always 100% accurate. It doesn’t have access to real-time information, which it mentioned as a “fair warning” in most of its answers to these questions.

The best way to gather information about your target audience and create a learner profile is by doing your own research on social media and online course marketplaces. These platforms can give you valuable insights. Look for discussions, reviews, and trends that can help you understand what your ideal audience likes, what they want to learn, and how much they already know.

However, it’s important to use other reliable sources as well, like industry reports, surveys, or even talking to potential learners directly. By combining different sources, you can create a more complete learner profile. This will help you design a course that meets the specific needs and expectations of your audience.

#2 Course title & description

An enticing course title and course description will help you generate interest in the course and get people curious to learn more details.

ChatGPT can create a nice title and course description for you. Set any specific requirements you may have, such as word limit or tone of voice. Remember that the more it knows about the course, the better.

Create a title for an employee training course about project management. Keep it under 80 characters. Use an empowering tone of voice.

And this is what ChatGPT generated:

👉 Mastering Project Excellence: Empower Your Skills for Success

Next, we asked for a course description. Here, we went into more detail.

Create a description for an employee training course about project management. The course is addressed to team leads in a large SaaS company and consists of video lessons and live group sessions with mentors. Keep it under 350 characters. It should sound professional and inviting.

👉 Unlock Your Project Leadership Potential! Join our dynamic project management course designed specifically for team leads in the SaaS industry. Gain invaluable insights through engaging video lessons and live group sessions with experienced mentors. Elevate your skills and drive project success with confidence!

#3 Learning objectives

Learning objectives are brief statements describing the specific knowledge or skills the participants will gain from your course. When developing learning objectives, you need to remember three words: brief, specific, and measurable.

Learning objectives guide the most important decisions you’ll make regarding your course, so you need to write them early on to make better decisions regarding:

ChatGPT can create learning objectives for you, at the same time giving you ideas about potential topics to cover. We strongly advise you to use ChatGPT to help you with this task if you’re monetizing a hobby and don’t know what to include in your course.

Let’s see an example of a social media marketing course:

Create 5 learning objectives for an online course teaching social media management. The course is addressed to everyone, and no previous experience is required. Write them in bullet points.

👉 These are the learning objectives ChatGPT created for us:

#4 Course structure & timeline

Organizing content in a logical and coherent manner facilitates learning. For example, introducing complex concepts too early in the course might cause cognitive overload.

We continued the discussion with ChatGPT and asked for more help with our social media management course:

Use the social media topics above and create a course structure broken down into weekly lessons.

👉 Here’s a glimpse of what it created:

There are other ways you can go about this.

Act as an instructional designer. I am building a course on safe internet usage addressed to a wide audience with basic knowledge of the subject. What topics would you advise me to include? Introduce them in an increasing level of difficulty.

👉 Here are the suggestions:

How long should the course run? Can you create a schedule?

#5 Learning content

Next, you can start thinking about the learning content to include. No matter the course subject, always opt for interactive content as it is not only more engaging but also more effective in transmitting knowledge.

Remember, you don’t have to create your prompt from the start as long as you stay in the same subject.

Suggest some interactive learning activities to include.

👉 Some of ChatGPT suggestions we liked best:

Admittedly, some suggestions missed the mark. For example, it suggested that learners keep a reflective journal – which might be an effective learning tool but it is hardly interactive like we requested.

You can ask ChatGPT to be more precise and give you specific ideas about the type of activities you want to incorporate into the course.

Let’s say, you want some ideas to initiate course discussions:

Suggest some topics for group discussions

👉 We really liked this reply:

#6 Assignments & assessments

Assessments are an integral part of a course. Primarily created to evaluate whether learners have met the learning objectives of the course, assessments are also great for checking in with learners at frequent intervals to monitor their progress.

With assessments, learners have the chance to reiterate and better retain knowledge through repetition and active recall.

In the case of collaborative projects, they also enable learners to hone multiple soft skills, like communication, team building, delegation, and time management.

You need to add several assessments throughout the course to reap these benefits. And ChatGPT can give you some awesome ideas!

How will you evaluate the participants’ understanding of the course material?

👉 With a generic question like that, ChatGPT generated several evaluation activities:

But don’t forget that the possibilities are endless. You could ask the exact same question for a coaching program:

You’re a business coach. How will you evaluate the client’s progress after a three-month 1:1 coaching program on change management?

You can also rephrase the question to ask for more “tangible proof” of learning and get suggestions for more hands-on and practical assessments.

What assignments or projects can participants complete to demonstrate their learning?

This prompt takes it to the next level, as it shows from the suggestions generated:

Or, you can ask ChatGPT to build a quiz for you.

Build a fill-the-gap quiz with 10 questions.

👉 Here’s what we got:

#7 Course prerequisites

In some cases, you need to set some course prerequisites. Although you probably already have an idea of what those might be, ChatGPT can come up with something you hadn’t thought of.

For our safety internet usage course, we asked:

What are the prerequisites, if any, for taking this course?

As expected, ChatGPT suggested no specific requirements, but it pointed out it would be helpful if participants had access to “a computer or mobile device with internet connectivity to fully participate in the course activities and access online resources.”

In the same spirit, we asked:

What materials or resources should participants have access to?

Ready to Craft Your Winning Course Outline?

In a rapidly evolving world of online education, it’s essential to break free from the ordinary and create a course that truly mesmerizes learners.

That’s where ChatGPT becomes your ultimate ally. With its unwavering support, you can unleash your creativity and craft a course outline that propels you towards unprecedented success.

Imagine having a reliable partner by your side, guiding you through every step of the process and providing you with prompt examples that inspire creativity and innovation.

And let’s not forget, great ideas deserve an exceptional platform to bring them to life! Start your 30-day free trial with LearnWorlds, the perfect companion to your journey of limitless course creation.

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Androniki Koumadoraki Content Writer LearnWorlds
Androniki Koumadoraki

Androniki is a Content Writer at LearnWorlds sharing Instructional Design and marketing tips. With solid experience in B2B writing and technical translation, she is passionate about learning and spreading knowledge. She is also an aspiring yogi, a book nerd, and a talented transponster.