Optimizing Your Shopify Course Layout for Better Learner Retention

Optimizing Your Shopify Course Layout for Better Learner Retention

The digital education market is set to reach $185.20 Billion by the end of 2024, and with millions of new users arriving every year, it’s likely only to grow more in the near future.

With such a large market, there’s plenty of space and opportunity for you to become a successful and profitable course creator—and if you own a digital courses business, you already know just how much room there is to grow.

With such a large market, there is also fierce competition. If you want your course to succeed, grow, and become popular, there are a lot of factors you need to consider.

Your course content needs to be excellent, your marketing needs to be on-point, and your community management must be top-notch. 

These are things many course creators are already aware of.

Just as important, however, is your online course layout. Roughly 38% of users across the internet will click off a website if they find the layout unattractive. Similarly, 87% of consumers stated that design heavily influenced their purchasing decisions.

How you look, your online course layout and design, matter. A lot. 

A well-designed course layout not only improves the user experience, it also dramatically impacts comprehension, engagement, and knowledge retention. 

If you want to get an edge on competitor courses, read on to discover why course layout is so important, the best strategies for creating an engaging course structure, and explore the best tools you can find to help with online course layout and design.

Understanding the Importance of Online Course Layout

Ultimately, looks matter.

For online courses, they matter twice as much. This is because along with the layout and presentation of an online course affecting user satisfaction—just like any other website or digital product—it also alters how effective the course is educationally.

A poorly organized or cluttered course design can lead to confusion, disengagement, and ultimately, high dropout rates. 

But if you get it right, a well-structured and visually appealing course layout can enhance comprehension, maintain learner interest, and improve user satisfaction as well as help them retain knowledge more effectively.

What Design Elements Do I Need To Include?

While there are many roads to effective course design, your layout should generally have straightforward navigation, logical content flow, and thoughtful integration of multimedia elements. 

Students can more easily navigate your course by keeping everything clear, logical, and easy to follow. Meanwhile, carefully using different teaching elements such as videos, quizzes, or gamification helps increase engagement and encourage active participation.

How to Plan Your Online Course Layout

Good course layouts don’t just fall into place. Online course planning is the key to success here.

By planning out your layout and approach first, you can make sure everything slots into place before getting hands-on with the content creation and course structure.

Before you start creating your online course, or rearranging it, you should take the following steps:

  1. Start by defining clear learning objectives and desired outcomes, both for the overall course and for each section or module.
  2. Before creating the structure, conduct a thorough content analysis to ensure everything is properly organized—this helps the course follow a logical path.
  3. With your content organized, try to identify the most suitable teaching methods and tools for learning. For example, consider what sections would fit text content, where a video would be most effective, and when a quiz would help students learn the most.
  4. After all the content prep, you are ready to begin mapping out the course structure and flow, being careful to slot in the right content at the right points.

Of course, this can all be a lot of work, and if it’s your first time creating a course, it can be hard to know what the learning objectives should be, how the content should be organized, or where the teaching methods fit best.

Whether you need an outline to help you get started, or are an experienced course creator simply looking to save time and effort, a course planning template is an excellent tool at your disposal.

These templates provide a structured framework for organizing content, outlining learning objectives, and planning the overall course design. You can simply apply the template to your course topic or subject, helping you more quickly and efficiently determine the best online course layout for your business.

Make Designing Your Course Easy with Templates

Using an online course creation template is an effective way of streamlining your course creation process, as well as ensuring you end up with a professional-looking course design.

Using an online course design template can save valuable time and effort by eliminating the need to start from scratch—this is especially useful for those with multiple courses.

Providing a solid foundation and pre-built layouts, an online course template allows you to focus your energy on developing high-quality content, rather than spending excessive time on design and formatting.

It can also help you ensure more consistent branding and theme throughout the course, and create a more distinct brand image across multiple classes if you offer more than one.

There are many different ways to get course templates online, some for free and some paid. You could visit websites like Canva or Typeform to access downloadable course templates and outlines.

How Learning Management Systems Can Help You Build Your Course Template

Equally, platforms like Thinkific, Teachable, and Tevello offer a wide selection of professionally designed course templates within a broader learning management system.

Learning management systems such as Tevello can offer all the tools you need to create and manage your course from scratch or use templates and built-in tools to add the most value.

This can include certificate-creation features, content creation and management tools, community forums, and more, all of which give you both a template for your course and the customization options you need to personalize it. 

The Importance of Creating an Engaging Course Structure

There are two sides to a good online course layout: creating a visually appealing course and creating a course with a logical and easy-to-follow structure.

Both are critical to maintaining learner interest and increasing knowledge retention. Both are also easier said than done.

To make sure your course is the best it can be, here are some best practices to follow when creating your online course outline template:

Varying Your Media

Make sure to use many different types of media placed carefully throughout your course. 

These can include videos, infographics, interactive quizzes, and fun learning minigames, all alongside regular text content.

This helps cater to different learning styles and prevent content fatigue.

Break Down Your Content

Nobody eats a whole steak in one go.

Having one long, unbroken course is guaranteed to put students off, which is why breaking content into digestible chunks is one of the most important things you can do.

By breaking your content down into bite-sized modules or lessons, you can help your learners progress at their own pace.

Encourage Discussion and Interaction

For long-term success in making money with courses and communities, maintaining a healthy community within your course is critical.

To do this, make sure to incorporate many opportunities for learner engagement such as discussion forums, collaborative activities, or gamification elements.

These will help foster a more immersive and interactive learning experience, and extend the longevity of users on your course.

Stay Consistent

Throughout it all, your course should stay consistent in look, feel, tone, and navigational structure. This will help avoid any confusion and keep your users comfortable while learning.

Any online course planner or template should either include these elements, or give you the space needed to add them in where they fit best. Whether you plan to use a template online, create your own, or make each course from scratch, make sure to follow these principles to create the best online course.

What Tools and Resources Should Course Creators Use?

The internet is full of useful tools, apps, and integrations that you can use to improve your course and business.

They’re not difficult to find. The hard part is knowing which ones are the best.

For those seeking online course templates for free, many websites offer free resource options. Sites like Canva, Venngage, and Piktochart provide plenty of customizable course templates and design resources for courses, helping you get started quickly and at little cost.

For those looking for more comprehensive tools to aid them in their digital courses journey, Learning Management Systems (LMS) are an excellent choice.

A good LMS combines everything you need to create, manage, and grow your course. The very best will often also integrate with eCommerce stores like Shopify, such as the Tevello app does, to help you reach broader markets and simplify payments.

These solutions can provide a comprehensive suite of tools for creating, organizing, and delivering online courses, making your life easier and your courses more successful.

Apps such as Tevello also help you manage your community with user forums, as well as providing course creator templates to help get you started and save time.

In addition to basic free templates and LMS, you can access multimedia creation tools to further enhance the learning experience.

Tools like Camtasia, Animoto, and Powtoon can enable course creators to develop engaging multimedia content, including videos, animations, and interactive presentations. 

This helps bring your course materials to life, though remember that many learning management systems like Tevello also offer similar features, so examine both to see what you need the most.

Next Steps for Creating the Best Course Layout

So, your course content is ready, you understand the importance of course layout, and your strategies for successful course layout are prepared.

What next?

If you’re ready to take your online course to the next level, try out Tevello with a free trial to see how one of the world’s best learning management apps can help you.

With Shopify integration, community management tools, a course creation dashboard, and other additional features, Tevello has everything you need to upgrade your course and see growth like never before.