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3 Lessons From Pokémon Go for Course Creators

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3 Lessons From Pokémon Go for Course Creators

Pokémon Go is a wildly successful Augmented Reality game developed for smartphones, and it’s taken over the streets – quite literally. People are outside exploring landmarks, catching Pokémon and going for long walks trying to hatch “eggs”. It’s amazing to see how engaged and dedicated people are and how one game has changed people’s behaviours overnight.

I think there are some great lessons for online course creators to take away from the success of Pokémon Go – here are three.

1. Build a community

In Pokémon Go there are teams. Belonging to a team creates an element of community and done well, it can foster healthy competition. But more than that, people are now spotting strangers playing Pokémon Go and starting conversations based on that shared interest.

How to build a community in online courses:

  1. Have a set start date. Sure evergreen courses sound great in theory, but they often lack in the sense of community.
  2. Get course participants interacting with each other – whether it’s in private Facebook groups or during group calls, encourage connection and foster that sense of community.

2. Make it fun and engaging

Knowing you should do something often doesn’t cut it.  One of the successes of Pokémon Go has been motivating many people to exercise. People know exercise is good for them. People know they should do it. But alone, knowing is not good enough. And this is the same with courses. You need to assume that just because someone knows they should do something, doesn’t mean they will.

The fun and engagement you create in your course might not have the same viral oomph as Pokémon Go, but here are some things to try:

  1. Games. They can be simple or complex, as fun or thought provoking as you like. Tie the game into the learning by debriefing your students at the end.
  2. Hot seats. Get people to ask their questions live and respond, working through a real life example or challenge.
  3. Brainstorming. Ask quality questions and write responses on a flipchart or whiteboard before you share your perspective.

3. Embrace sharing

Pokémon Go has great success with sharing. Not only does the game let you take photos of Pokémon in the real world (thanks to the use of Augmented Reality technology), it’s also leveraging other systems not developed by the game developers.

Pokémon Go uses Google Maps as its base. The creators of the game did not reinvent the wheel when a perfectly good solution had already been developed.

How to embrace sharing when creating your courses:

  1. Get your students to share what they’re doing in your course. Build it in. Whether it’s sharing a mission statement on social media, or making a public declaration. Get them sharing and get them excited about sharing. This serves you twofold – it creates accountability for your students and acts as marketing for you.
  2. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Not everything needs to be owned by you. This is particularly evident with online course software. Sure, you can have something custom made to sit on your website, but that can be costly and time-consuming.
  • Plus, you are responsible for all the maintenance of that software. If you can have your course set on a stable and reliable platform owned by another company, that’s okay. The responsibility for all the backend maintenance doesn’t fall to you. If something goes wrong, it’s not your headache to worry about.
  • I have my programs on Thinkific, but there are plenty of other options out there. Same goes for creating groups. If your Ideal Client Avatar has a Facebook account, creating a private Facebook group is easier for both you and your client than creating a custom forum with another login on your own website.

There you have it, three lessons from Pokémon Go for online course creators. What lessons are you taking away from this viral game to implement in your courses?

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