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Archive for Courses

Completable Course Content

Courses have a new feature today: you can now make Courses have Page Content that is itself “completable”, i.e. able to be marked complete as an actionable step in order to progress through the Course.

Now, this is sort of a weird, very much niche feature, I feel a little self conscious even touting it with any real excitement.  So let me back up a little bit to explain why this is cool.

CA Courses, in contrast to the lion’s share of other course platforms, are meant to be highly participatory: with CA courses you can assign your clients Action items with reminders that will ping their phone or email, you can assign your clients Worksheets that they are mean to fill out and complete with real deadlines, you can have them track meaningful Metrics over the span of the course to see how real results are unfolding.

This is all quite opposed to just sitting back and consuming content, hoping for the best.

So for most online courses as hosted on most online course platforms, the only thing to do is read through, maybe watch a video or two, and scroll down and click the “Next” button or whatever.  (Or if it’s all video, the “auto play next” action will commonly just shuffle you right along through.  Passive consumption at its finest, yeesh!)

All of which is to say a client’s progressing though a CA Course has always been a matter of doing those real-life participatory bits, rather than just marking blocks of content “complete”.  With CA Course Pages, you can create blocks whatever content (including with videos embedded!), but there wasn’t a way for your participants to mark those complete.

But now there is!  Edging CA Courses yet a little closer to what is otherwise familiar and expected from a Course platform (while still retaining that unique, participation-centric vibe!), you can now set your Course Page Content as something that for participants to mark complete:

UI for enabling Course Completing

The ‘Enable clients to mark this content “Complete”‘ checkbox is the key!

When the page content is complete, the “Mark Complete” button will appear in the flow of the Cours as you’d expect it to:

Screenshot of Page Content with complete button

“Mark complete” is a fine default, but you can make the button say whatever is fitting.


Completeable Course Content in Action

There are a couple of things worth noting about Course Content joining the ranks of “completable” items in CA Courses:

Step Based Course Progression: As is always the case, a course participant will advance to the next Step in a Step-based Course when there are no more completable items that remain to be completed (not counting, of course, those that are marked as “Can be skipped over”!).

So that means if you have portions of your Step-based Course that are heavy on content and lean on things for your clients to actually do, you can make the the Page Content itself completable to prevent clients from accidentally blazing through the steps when there is otherwise nothing to complete.

Progress Bars: When you make a Page Content item completable, AND have progress bars enabled, you can give it some non-zero progress weight, meaning the progress bar display for the participation can get filled up in response to marking those complete, just as other completable items.

No Due Dates or Deadlines: One aspect that is unique to Page Content is that, unlike Action items or Worksheets, there is never a due date.  This makes completable Page Content an handy stopping point for clients to take a break before continuing with real deadlines, allowing total control in going through a self-paced Course.  You can create Page Content items that precede actual assignments, like so:

Example of completable Course Page Content that tees up an assignment

This is a nice way to tee up a timed assignment: your client can start the clock when they’re ready.


Followable Items: As with other completable items, you can now drag items onto a Page Content item.  This allows you to make sequences to the tune of “When this item is complete, reveal the next” as long as you like:

Dragging an item to follow a completable Page Content

This sort of daisy-chaining works in Day-based Courses, too!


And there you have it!  Courses now work just a little more like the conventional “consuming content is all you’re here for!” course platforms (making them truly more compatible with courses you may already have on another platform), while retaining the strong emphasis on actually doing the work to get results out of whatever one is learning (meaning your tried-and-true courses can now be imbued with real participation and accountability).


Course Availabilities

There’s something new today for CA Courses!  This one’s a niche feature, but it nevertheless further closes the gap between CoachAccountable and how things work in other course platforms, and does so in a way that is important for many coaches.

Course Availabilities allow you to make one or more of your Courses available to whichever clients you like, meaning they’re not yet actively participating on the Course, BUT they’ve got it available to them to commence whenever they’re ready to.

Why is this cool?

If you’re the kind of coach (or coaching organization) that has a stock of Courses that your clients would get value from, this allows you to make those available to them as part of whatever program or package they’ve signed up for.  Then, rather than being immediately put into those Courses (and potentially overwhelmed with all that’s going on), or relying on coach (or some other member of the team) to set those clients up in a given course (or courses) when fitting, clients simply have them at their disposal, ready to commence and access whenever THEY would like.

It’s like you can now set your client up with their very own learning lobby, the hub from which they can choose their own adventure of whatever they’d like to start in on.

Listing of available Courses for a client

Three inviting options, and a forth coming soon!

Note the “You Getting the Best Results” card: the Courses you make available can be available immediately, or scheduled for release on a later date.

When a client clicks to commence a Course, they’ll be greeted with whatever descriptive bits you have set for it.  This is your chance to brief them on what to expect, and get them excited for what lies store.

UI for starting an available Course

It’s nice to give them a sense for time commitment, too!


Making Courses Available

You can manually make Courses available to your clients at any time.  You might, for example, cover a particular topic in one of your sessions that inspires you to say to them something like

“Ah, sounds like you’re dealing with delegation issues!  If you like, I’ve got a great mini lesson on how to do that powerfully with the people you manage.  I’ll add that to your Courses area, and you can go through that whenever you like.  If you do, I’m sure we’ll have some fun things to talk about next session.”

With a few clicks, you can make your delegation course available to your client and, having done so, given them another bit of value in their working with you.

You can also make Courses available as part of an Offering sign up, meaning new (or established!) clients would have a way to purchase access to one or more Courses, which they can then access and work through in whatever order and whenever they’re ready.

Screenshot of configuring available Courses as part of an Offering

A way to make a collection Courses available for purchase with the client in control? Check.

The CA Knowledge Base article on Course Availabilities gives the the full and illustrated lowdown on setup and how these work.

I’m excited to have this in place, for it puts CA one step closer to being a suitable replacement for other LMS’s and course platforms, allowing even more coaches to have EVERYTHING they want in a single platform.  Couple that with CA Course’s emphasis on active participation (rather than mere content consumption), and it can be a very big step up indeed.


Course Builder Power Tools

The seed of this feature started from a simple enough question posted recently to the CA user’s group:

Is it possible to merge two courses into one in CA?

The person asking this question has six courses that are already great as standalone experiences, and she wanted to combine them all in order to offer a membership experience wherein all of that material could be slow dripped over several months.

It’s a cool idea!  And if one could quickly make this happen on the implementation side of things, without having to do a lot of cumbersome copy-and-pasting, one would be much more free to play and experiment with such ideas.

I could have quickly tossed off a utility for appending one course to another and called it a day.  But from that simple notion of merging courses, I came to realize it might be a lot of fun AND enable a whole new degree of creativity (when it comes to CA Courses as both ready-to-offer coaching products and powerhouses of automation) if there were a way to operate on, combine, and generally mix-and-match course content in a more fluid and flexible way.

Voila, the result: Course Builder Power Tools.

» Continue reading “Course Builder Power Tools”

Build That Course

When it comes to cross-promoting outside commercial offerings to the CoachAccountable community (requests I get often), I am generally, as a rule, an immediate and hard “no”.  We’re all of us inundated with marketing, and I aim to always keep the relationship with CA customers respectfully pure.

But when Morgan (CA staff alumnus and my Number 2 of four years) shared with me the program she’s cooked up to help CA coaches build and sell their courses online, I figured letting folks know about it was very much aligned with the mission here in CA land: empowering coaches to have thriving practices by elevating the experience they give their clients.

I keep hearing good things from folks who work with her about how they’re getting more out of CoachAccountable for it, so for that, and her years of expertise, she get the exception to that rule.

Take it away, Morgan!

CoachAccountable - Morgan MeredithGreetings, CoachAccountable community!  As many of you know, I’ve created AccountableHero, a boutique setup service exclusively for CoachAccountable users.

Throughout my time at CoachAccountable AND AccountableHero, I’ve learned there’s a real desire in the community for accountability and support around how to build a course.  If you’ve been struggling with building a course, or even where to get started on one, despite all the great CoachAccountable resources available… you’re not alone.

If you’re ready to finally get that course built and launched and making you money, consider joining the small group course building experience I’m offering.  It starts January 18th and we’ll meet weekly for 6 weeks.

We’ll dive into:

  • Course Basics (including Metrics)
  • Powerful Assignments
  • Easy Videos
  • Surveys, Feedback, & Testimonials
  • Courses Funnel: Upsells & Resources

You also receive a 60-minute deep dive with me, going through all your burning questions and hammering out details one-on-one.

For the first round, I’m offering a one-time discount in exchange for your candid feedback and a testimonial.

This group is open to a maximum of TEN CoachAccountable users, with more opportunities to come.

Will you finally get that course launched in February?  Only one way to be sure: sign up here.


Delightful Collaboration XII: Smarter Links to Course Items

The impetus for this instance of delightful collaboration came as a simple question.

In wanting the experience of doing her Courses to be a smooth as possible for her clients, Katharina Hille asked:

When I set up a new action for a client, the clients gets an email with a link (“View this online”) that brings him/her directly to the corresponding action.

But when I design a course I can only add a general login-link. Therefore I have to explain to new clients, that they have to got to “Actions” etc…

Is it possible to add this “View this online”-link in courses also?

I sat with this question for a little while, realizing how perfectly reasonable and natural the request was.  After all, one of our express aims in the design of CoachAccountable is to remove every last bit of friction from the client experience that we possibly can, making it as easy and seamless for them to show up for the life-changing work they’re engaged in.

So put in those terms, Katharina was absolutely right: if she (or anyone else!) needs to explain to clients how to find a given item in their system (when they could’ve been simply taken right to it), that’s a problem, or at best, a real missed opportunity on CA’s part.

With Course Pages, a login link in the notification email for a new section of the course has the spiffy behavior of taking clients directly to that section of that course“Brilliant!”, I thought, “I’ll just extend that ‘go-right-to-the-item-in-that-course-page’ behavior to items of all types [for page-enabled Courses]!”

So I did!

And it was good.

And then I realized Katharina wasn’t using Course Pages at all in her Courses.  Therefore that spiffy enhancement, though a step forward, would be meaningless to her use of the system.

Now since the beginning of CoachAccountable Courses, the login link for notification emails about Course Worksheets took clients right to that Worksheet, so a client was always just one click away from being able to work on it.  Course Files have also always been similarly accessible from the notification email.

So really what Katharina was asking for was to extend this spiffy behavior to the other types of Course Items, namely Actions, Metrics and Whiteboards.

And this is now done: [loginLink] magic tags in notification emails for Course Actions, Metrics and Whiteboards now just work better for everyone, no changes to the design of any Course required.  A nice win for all!

Thank Katharina for asking the question in the first place, coming from an understanding that those links could (and should) be better.  Sharing that little bit of perspective–the slog that is having to explain more to new clients–was a real gift, one that made clear the right thing to do to make CA better for all.

Building a Routine Tracking Course

One of the more powerful features of CoachAccountable is its ability to genuinely change behavior and nudge clients into good habits and regular performance.

This all happens through a very simple practice: the routine check-in.

The routine check-in allows clients to report on WHATEVER KPIs, practices, habits, etc. that they’re working on, prompts them to do so on regular basis, and has the accumulated results appear in graphs that reveal the trends and tell the story.

By popular request, here’s step-by-step video tutorial on how to create these tracking regiments, complete with full automation that will make is easy for your clients to show up regularly.


Better Courses

Since the release of Course Pages a few months back, we’ve introduced a few enhancements to for how those work, and to Courses more broadly.  Let’s see what’s new!

» Continue reading “Better Courses”

Course Pages

CoachAccountable Courses allow you to automate the delivery of coaching materials and assignments, either as a slow drip over a multitude of days, or as an interactive sequence wherein completing the current step leads you to the next (allowing clients to work through the course in self-paced fashion).

Courses are built from items of various types: Actions, Worksheets, Files and so on, and these types correspond to how the system is organized for clients: Actions live in a client’s Actions tab, files live in a client’s Files tab, and so on.

This siloed grouping of course items (by type) generally works fine for clients to work through a course: one’s attention is usually on just one item, and prompts to move on to the next one allow you to jump you right to it.  But then afterwards there’s not really a place for one to go view the course in its entirety: one can easily view the parts, but not see them as a sequential whole.

Here’s where Course Pages come in.

By designing your course to be broken into one or more sections, and adding in static content (content that augments the more interactive bits like Actions and Worksheets), Course Pages become an alternate way for your clients to elegantly view and work through your course material.

Let’s see how they work!

» Continue reading “Course Pages”

Step-Based Courses for Self-Paced Programs

Courses are great.  They allow you to create a coaching program as a progression of items that are to delivered over a days, weeks or month, where the items include videos, readings, worksheets, action items, and more.  They are super flexible, allowing you to set in motion a slow drip of materials to as many clients as you like with just a few clicks, precisely according to the schedule you define–you can have the system send an intro message on Day 1 at 8am, an audio lesson on Day 2 at 9am and a review worksheet 20 minutes later, and so on.

You can even make it so that completing one item triggers the release of the next, such as completing Day 9’s Worksheet triggers a “well done” message, or watching Day 2’s audio lesson triggers the assignment of a follow up Action.   You can make a rich, interactive experience for your program participants as they go through the timeline of your course.

But what if your Course is better suited as a time-independent delivery?  You might have a bunch of material wherein completing one section naturally invites flowing into the next.  There might be no reason to not let someone who’s cruising through the materials and assignments simply move through more quickly.  Similarly, when someone takes a two week vacation it might well be much better to not let assignments and messages pile up while they are away.

» Continue reading “Step-Based Courses for Self-Paced Programs”

Delightful Collaboration VII – Course Whiteboards

Sometimes a would-be user of CoachAccountable just knows what they’re looking for.

This past Wednesday I got an email from Jason of Merchant Capital Partners, a company which offers loans and training programs to help entrepreneurs build sustainably profitable businesses.  He and his colleague Robert that got right to the point:


We are evaluating your platform for use with our customers… would it be possible to hop on a call and talk through some of our questions and what a possible partnership would look like?  We’re looking to make a decision quickly so the sooner the better.

Please reply with some times that you are available.

The following day we spent nearly 2 hours on the phone and connected via screen share, them showing the ins-and-outs of the program they’re aiming to deliver at scale, and me taking it in and in turn advising how to best deliver it via CA.

» Continue reading “Delightful Collaboration VII – Course Whiteboards”