So you want to create an OT course?
A course can be a simple way to share your skill with other practitioners and can be a huge service for the OT community.
Creating an OT course can be your chance to change the face of what a good course should look like. It can also be a great opportunity to really help OTs learn the skills to become a better practitioner in any setting.
A great way to start a successful OT course is by doing something that’s unique that hasn’t been done before.
In this article, I talk about how to start on OT course from the ground up.
Table of Contents
Starting with an idea for your course
One of the first things you need to do is to come up with an idea for your course. This can be done by identifying a niche and choosing a subject matter that will help other OTs solve a problem they might be having.
The next step is to do research so that you can develop your own unique content.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Choose a subject matter that interests you
- Research the market and its trends
- Learn how to write a course outline, and how to catch the viewers attention
- Set up a timetable and a budget
- Share the course with all your followers
- Start selling!
There are many different ways to start an occupational therapy course. The best way is to decide what topic you would like to teach. Maybe you want to do a course on pelvic health, hand therapy, stroke rehab, or writing better SOAP notes.
The ideas for courses are endless, and all you have to do is use the experience and knowledge you already have to get started.
Next, you will want to do some research on your selected subject matter. In this stage, you need to know the potential for demand for the course, who the target audience will be, how much research there is available about the subject matter, etc.
Once you’ve decided on a marketable topic for your course, it’s time to begin writing your course outline.
Grow your audience
Growing an audience can take years, and if you already have a large audience you should work help it grow. In order to do this, you either need a course that will sell itself or you need ads.
Now most people don’t have a product like apple or Tesla that will sell itself, and that’s when ads can help.
The easiest way to get started by finding the platform where your audience is hanging out. If you audience is mostly on instagram or Facebook, create an Instagram or facebook ad.
If your audience is primarily on YouTube create a video ad.
Create a google ad to catch everyone else who might be searching for your product. Google ads are one of the easiest ways to find people who are already looking for your course, and it’s one of the easiest ways to reach a larger group of people.
What platform to use for your course
There are so many ways to start an occupational therapy course online, but I recommend using thinkific for you first one. Thinkific has a free starter course, and they have a built in sales page to help you make money right away.
If you don’t have the ability to market yourself, you might think about using Udemy. The only problem with Udemy is the cost per course.
Most users on Udemy won’t pay much for a course, and Udemy will take a big chunk of your check.
Teachable is another great platform like thinkable, and now it’s free for the first course. The only problem is they charge a little more than thinkable and you can only upload 10 videos for one course.
If you have a website and you don’t want to pay for a course platform, you can install a free plug-in and host a course on your site.
The only problem is hosting speed and storage which may be an issue for a long video course. You may need to pay more money for a host that can give you the speed and storage needs and that’s why you’re probably better off paying for a platform like thinkable or udemy.
Make your course unique
Make your course unique by providing a useful topic that will help your students be more successful. A single idea can make your course stand out from every other course out there, and it’s even better when it’s game changing.
For example, I recently wrote a hand therapy book about splinting. The title is “How to splint without patterns.”
If I wrote a book about how to splint, it would be like any other hand therapy book, but the title tells how this book will instantly change how you splint and make you more successful without trying to appear as an ad.
Making your course unique will help you stand out from every other OT course. And with artificial intelligence, you want to show that your course offers something truly different.
Market your course with a video
A another good way to market your course is by using an engaging video. You may need some help to make it look good, but a great looking video can make all the difference, and you can advertise your video on YouTube, Facebook, instagram or tiktoc.
I did this with my ergonomics course here.
Define the course objectives
Once you have a good understanding of the field, you should define the course objectives. These should outline what students will be able to do upon completion of the course. This doesn’t need to be complicated. Just a simple statement will work.
Design the curriculum
After defining the course objectives, you should design the curriculum. This should include a list of topics to be covered. I’ll usually do this by making a power point presentation and writing down all the topics I need to cover. If there’s something specific I want to mention, I’ll put it in the notes below.
Recording your course
You can record yourself on camera or add audio to your power point. Powerpoint is the simple way to do this, but it’s nice to show your face from time to time. I think a mix of face to face interaction and slides makes for a good course.
Make it interesting
Making the course interesting should be your top priority, and you can do this by mimicking the style of a top performing tictok video or YouTube channel.
This part isn’t easy, but it’s the best way to really engage your students to help them learn.
Use analogies often, talk about something original or off topic and how it relates to your course.
This is how miss excel (Tictok) made something boring into something interesting, and now makes millions.
And please don’t do the Instagram and tictok dances that everyone else is already doing.
The reason miss excel is so successful is because her topic is so boring.
If your topic is interesting and a little entertaining, you won’t have to work so hard on marketing because your course will sell itself.
If the course is good, it will sell itself. A good course gets attention and people share it with their friends, and that’s why it’s key to make your course interesting and valuable.
To start an OT course that sells itself you need 5 essential ingredients.
- Unique idea
You need an idea, audience, a way to grow your audience, and a platform that will make people want to buy it. You also need it to be engaging, so your audience will share it with a larger group of people.
I hope this was helpful. Subscribe to learn more OT tips and tricks and check out my courses to learn how you can create your course.
David is the lead editor of OT Focus. He has been practicing as an Occupational Therapist since 2013. He specializes in acute care, hand therapy, and ergonomics.