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Archive for how to create online course

Here are two effective methods to increase attention and online learning.

According to my informal surveys, real estate professionals and affiliates who teach say that holding students’ attention is a huge challenge when teaching online. In fact, instructors say that they are more concerned with holding students’ attention than any other consideration when taking their courses online.

How Long Can We Keep Our Attention Focused When We’re Taking a Webinar?

Woops! Most of our webinars are at least 45 minutes long!

Instructor Are Good Learners…..

Would you agree that we instructors are good learners? So, if we lose attention that fast, think about our attendees!

What does that mean to us as instructors? It means we have to create methods to hold learners’ attention and increase their learning. These methods will be somewhat different, at times, from what we do when we teach ‘live’.

Method #1: Provide Rewards for Participation

I just finished a webinar on how to convert your classroom course to online (see below for how to access the video). I wanted to help attendees take these ideas and immediately apply them to their courses. I was concerned that, because there was lots of material in a short period of time, attendees could be overwhelmed and not know how to start. So,  I promised I’d send my Big Ideas in a Little Book to the first 10 people who emailed me after the webinar, telling me what they were going to implement right away.

I will also follow up with my ten ‘winners’ to find out how they’ve implemented their ideas. This can form another blog or article, and give them some publicity (if they want it), too.

Question: What ‘reward’ could you offer to participants for finishing work, or promising to put to work some of the ideas in your webinar?

To the left is another example. In my Train the Trainer distance learning program (15 clock hours), I’ve created ‘badges’ that are rewarded for good work. This is just one way I can show that I appreciate the work and dedication of the participants.

Method #2: Provide Work to be Done During or after the Webinar

How ‘passive’ is your webinar? Are you doing all the work? Are your attendees merely listening? Or, do you have your attendees doing some work when you’re teaching ‘live’? If so, it will be easy for you to ‘translate’ that to your online platform.

Use a Handout with Work to be Done

In the webinar I mentioned, I created a handout for each participant with questions for them to answer as they proceeded in the webinar. I addressed a topic, and then provided some ‘time out’ for participants to decide how they could use that idea in their own course. By the time they finished the webinar, they had filled out a page of ideas on how to ‘translate’ that ‘live’ course to an online platform. (See the information below on how to get a copy of that handout).

Question: What work or handout could you provide to use as you introduce topics in your webinar? How could you involve students in completing the questions?

In my next few blogs, we’ll investigate more ways to hold attendees’ attention and increase learning.

Want to watch the video of my webinar Masterclass: How to Take your Classroom Online? I’ll have the video posted by Saturday, with the handouts. Go to, and press the Webinars and More Button. You’ll see the post with the video and the handouts available for you.

Masterclass From Classroom to Online

How I can help you go online with confidence:

  1. Contact me to see if a customized webinar series would work for your organization. We’ll work right through the organizational, teaching, and attention engagement challenges. 425-392-6914 or
  2. Take part in my Mastermind Group. In a series of 4 Zoom meetings, over a period of 4 weeks, we’ll translate your course from classroom to online. You’ll have a chance to practice and get feedback, too. Investment: $499, and you can bring a friend FREE if you email me by June 20:
Even ‘live’, you can lose the attention of your audience. Read one method to keep your audience’s attention online.

How do you keep your audience’s attention when you go from classroom to online? That was the biggest concern my audience expressed in the survey prior to my webinar, Masterclass: How to Go from Classroom to Online. (See below for information. I’m doing the webinar again June 11, with special emphasize on how to keep the audience’s attention). 

The Problem We’ve Unwittingly Created in our Classroom Teaching

When we’re teaching ‘live’, we tend to use two ‘delivery methods’. (‘Delivery methods are the methods we use to teach). We rely on



In other words, we’re speaking to the whole audience the whole time. It works, to some extent, when we’re ‘live’, because we are good talkers. We get lots of reaction and input from our audience (especially certain audiences, like real estate pros). It’s easy for us. We don’t have to get skilled in any other delivery methods (like task force, role play, activity plan). 

Question: How much of the time do you lecture or hold discussions (so you’re talking to or with your whole group) when you’re teaching ‘live’?


Why? Because going online requires we flex our teaching methods and use the online tools available to us. 

Why the Challenge?

Most of us use lots of lecture and discussion in the classroom. How are you going to use discussion (the only method many instructors use ‘live’) when you go online?

Most of the time, your audience online is muted. You can’t just ask a question and hope to get an answer. And, if you unmute the whole audience, you may have a fruit basket upset, if you have a large audience. 

What to Use Online if You’ve Relied on Lecture and Discussion

Think back through a ‘live’ course you taught recently. Think of a question you asked during a discussion. How could you get your audience’s attention and interest online with that question? Substitute that question with a poll.

Use a Poll

Polls are a great way to gather information about your audience and use that information as a ‘bridge’ from one section of your course to another. It’s also a good way to capture an audience’s attention toward the beginning of the online session. (See my webinar for tips on constructing that webinar, too).  

Where to place your poll:

Think of a section of your course where you could gather information. For example, when I’m doing the webinar I’ve mentioned here, I ask attendees the amount of time they can concentrate online. Then, I use those poll results to  start the section on ‘how to hold attendees’ attention online’.

Question: Where could you place a poll?

In my next blog, we’ll investigate more methods to get and keep your audience’s attention when you go from classroom to online.

What’s your challenge in taking your classroom to online? Let me know and I’ll give you some tips.

Masterclass: How to Go from Classroom to Online

Masterclass From Classroom to Online

If you’re facing challenges of translating your ‘live’ classroom to online, join us for Masterclass: How to Go from Classroom to Online.

When: June 11 (Thursday)

Time: 10-11 am PDT

Click here to register.

You’ll learn how to create a great course structure, how to hold your audience’s attention, how to add variety to your course, and tips to present your classroom course for a successful online event. This webinar is created especially for those trainers presenting to real estate professionals–and valuable for anyone who wants to ‘translate’ their classroom course to a professional online experience. 

As a three-decade trainer of real estate trainers, I’ve learned the special presentation methods needed to keep and hold real estate professionals’ attention. I’ll show you how to include these in your online course structure.

Bonus for attending: A 2-page checklist to use to take your classroom course online with verve.)

Click here to register. (By the way, when you register, you’ll get a survey to let me know what you want me to address, so the webinar will be most valuable to you.)