How To Teach a 'Skill' in Your Online Courses

How To Teach a 'Skill' in Your Online Courses

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Are you teaching a new ‘skill’ to your learners in an online course?

Teaching online requires very different approaches to teaching face to face for obvious reasons.  But from my experience working with online instructors, what is not so obvious, is HOW to do it differently.

There are many ways to skin a cat, and there are also many ways to teach people new skills.

In this article I will share with you three of many effective ways of delivering excellent online training so that your courses really help your learners.


Get as visual as possible

When it comes to practical training, or teaching learners a new skills, the more visual and ‘live demo’ you can make your course the better.


  1. Get on Camera


One way to do this is to physically get yourself on camera (scary I know!).

But people like people and it can significantly enhance the engagement, retention and completion rates of your course if your learners can see who is talking to them.

We call this the ‘talking head’ video in the industry.

Your course doesn’t have to be all talking head if you go for this method – simply start with having your ‘Welcome Video’ and the ‘Introduction’ of each Module video featuring yours truly.

Your talking head could be as ‘pro’ as filming in front of a green screen, to a webcam recording, to even using your mobile phone.  You don’t need a Hollywood blockbuster to create an effective course – you just need to ask yourself ‘is this the most visual and engaging way to teach this?’

I would certainly rather see you demo how to make a cup of tea via a video you recorded on your mobile phone of you bashing around your kitchen, than read a PDF guide on how to make the cup of tea.

If you’d like to find out more about how to create talking head videos you might like to check out my online course here.


  1. Screen-cast

Screen-casting is basically when you use a piece of software to film or ‘record’ your own computer screen live, with the sound of your voice narrating over the top.

(Here is an example of a recent screencast I filmed).

This is great if you’re showing people how to fill in a form, or build a website, or anything else that could be demonstrated on a computer.

Screencasting also allows you to speak over your powerpoint slides with or without your webcam recording you at the same time.

There are lots of different pieces of software out there that you can download for this.

I personally use Camstasia Studio, which you can get a 30 free trial for to test out.  If you’re worried about technology, don’t be – even I figured out how to press the big red ‘Record Screen’ button!



  1. The ‘DEDICT’ Method of Teaching

When teaching learners a new skill either in person or online, the DEDICT Method is a great step by step principle to follow to make your course engaging and impactful.

Anyone learning a new skill hugely benefit from this method of teaching.

The closer you can do this on camera or screencast the better and more engaging your course will be:


Here’s what to do:


D: DEMONSTRATE the task at normal speed

This helps the learners get a clear idea of what it is they are trying to achieve; what the end result and outcome looks like and ultimately ‘what they are going to learn how to do’.

E: EXPLAIN what you did step by step.

Now they have seen the skills performed in real time, now break it down into steps, explaining everything you do at each step.

D: DEMONSTRATE again but this time slowly

With less ‘in depth’ explanation than the last step, now repeat the skill slowly

I: IMITATE – get the viewers to have a go

Encourage them to follow along, do an activity, share their results.

C: COACH – give feedback, further advice, give scenarios where this would apply, or different scenarios where there maybe an alternative way of executing the skill

T: TEST them – give them a practical challenge, quiz, assessment or activity



How To Teach a Skill in Your Online Course - Sarah Cordiner

How To Teach a Skill in Your Online Course – Sarah Cordiner


Implementing these practical teaching principles and methods into your online courses is guaranteed to enhance the learning experience for your learners.

Do share how you get on in my facebook group ‘Entrepreneur to EDUpreneur’.

I’ve specialised in teacher training and curriculum design for a decade and have written courses and curricula for solopreneurs right through to registered training organisations, universities and international Governments.


If you’d like to learn more about how to create your own profitable and engaging online or offline training courses, do feel free to take one of my FREE TRIAL COURSES below:


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Free trial: “How to Create Your Own Profitable Courses”:


Free trial: “Train the Trainer and Curriculum Design” (includes the above course for free):


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Join the Facebook group ‘Entrepreneur to EDUpreneur’ to learn more about educating your market profitably.