You’re committed to Beating the Course Creation Blues. You’ve got a draft course up and a pilot group of participants on board.

By the second or third week, you should be getting some pretty good feedback from folks.

You should start scheduling 20-30 minute phone calls with 2-3 people every week. In fact, plan to talk to everyone at least once. Especially the folks that have dropped out of the course — you’ll always have those. You’ll want to find out if it’s the content that drove them away. It’s often much easier to stop participating than it is to give you some bad news.

Open the phone call by thanking them for participating in the course and remind them that you’re really looking for honest feedback.

In the phone calls, thank them for the feedback they’ve given so far. If you have questions about any of it, ask! And, most importantly, have them talk about the course in general. What they like and what they don’t like. If they’ve stalled out along the way, probe on why that was and what you can do to help others who hit a similar wall.

By talking to your students, you’re likely to learn some things about your course that you hadn’t previously considered — and that people aren’t willing to say in email or on a forum. Plus, these weekly check-ins give you opportunity to ask people directly for feedback on new content that you’ve posted. Often, a request to a specific person will work much better than a request sent out to a group of people.

Other tips for these phone calls:

  • Use reflective listening
  • Don’t sound frustrated or annoyed
  • Be appreciative
  • Do not judge their feedback on the call
  • Even if it’s something you know you’re not going to take, thank them for it.


Stay tuned for Step 6: Launch! And thank your pilot students.

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