Home Forums Selling online Online ‘Course’ vs ‘Tutorial’

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  • #993037
    • Total posts: 10

    Hi guys – just a quick question regarding the term ‘online course’

    If you sell something as a ‘course’ is the expectation that the student will be graded on something and have an opportunity to interact with the teacher?

    I’m in the process of creating an instructional video series designed to help people learn to tap dance, and have created (what I’m calling) short ‘courses’ for different levels, containing 3-4 videos each. These courses are available to buy at any time.

    Once someone buys the product, they download the videos and teach themselves. I’m not offering additional personal interaction with them at this point.

    Is there a more appropriate term I should be using? ‘Tutorial’ for example?…or is ‘course’ acceptable?

    Love to know your thoughts – many thanks!

    • Total posts: 318

    Course is fine William. There’s no universal definition of course (or certificate versus diploma). Check out udemy.com and Linda.com (now owned by LinkedIn). Many short courses with a few videos there. You might be able to host your courses there, too.

    Dave Gillen – FS Concierge
    • Total posts: 2,543

    Hi William,

    Yep, this is widely accepted as a “course” online. In fact even some text-only guides are called courses if there’s a series of lessons that you work through.

    If you ever did offer further interaction you would specify that private coaching calls (for example) are included. You could make this a higher priced option and charge more for it.


    Dave Gillen - Client Acquisition | Brisbane | (07) 3180 0288
    • Total posts: 16

    Hey William. using the word course is fine.
    To be honest when people hear the word “tutorial” (and I’m speaking from my online marketing experience here ) they have come to expect that a tutorial is free. usually a “tutorial” is used as a marketing tool to enroll students into an online course (an online course should be a in depth version of a tutorial and as Dave said a course is a series where as a typical tutorial is a one off thing)
    A big trend I’m seeing these days is people posting up a portion of the course they are offering under the term “tutorial” on a site like YouTube. or sometimes they have a 1 hour tutorial that is completely new content that goes briefly into topics that are covered in depth in the course they offer.

    Hope this helps you a little bit and good luck! please let us all know how you go!


    Roman K
    • Total posts: 44

    William, great answers in the thread. I agree course is the most appropriate name. Did you think about the technology? I know you didn’t ask for it, but you might find this info useful.

    I have recently started working on a few of my own courses and having explored the area thoroughly, I can recommend a solution provided you are happy to use WordPress.

    WordPress WpCourseware plugin is a robust learning management system – great technology which allows for introducing modules and units, track progress, has quiz features, generates PDF certificates, etc.

    Really great product, I compared to a few others and this one worked really well for me.

    To your success,


    Stuart B
    • Total posts: 1,073

    I think you can do whatever you like mate as long as you clearly set people’s expectations from the start so they don’t feel disappointed later on if it’s not what they expect.

    • Total posts: 136

    Check out Lynda.com for an example of what’s fine. Their site sells what they describe as courses, but they’re prepared video tutorials. There’s no teacher involved AFAIK.


    • Total posts: 731

    The term that would make most sense to me is
    Video Course
    Video Tutorial

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