How to Write a Great Course Description

As a professional teacher, you can offer different courses to your students and add descriptions to them. Many teachers don’t realize that this is a powerful tool to attract prospective students. The courses I see are often divided by level: English for beginners, English for intermediate students, and English for advanced students. Or something similar. Even worse if there’s almost no or no relevant information in the course description.

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So what can you do to make your courses and descriptions outstanding and attract students to book sessions with you?

In my experience, niching down doesn’t work well on tutoring platforms – with English being an exception. So for any other language, I’d recommend offering one course for all levels with a detailed explanation of which books I work with and how I normally conduct the lessons. For example, I tell the students that I’ll focus on conversation and grammar during our Skype sessions and that they will get homework to practice their listening comprehension and writing skills.

This general course will most likely be the one most students choose when they book a lesson with you.

Writing description for English course

English is the lingua franca all over the world. This doesn’t mean that everyone speaks English, of course, but if you’re abroad and don’t speak the local language, you will try to get by with English, won’t you?

Many people who are interested in online English classes already have some basic knowledge at least. Quite a few speak the language at an intermediate or even advanced level. Many people aspire to work abroad and even in non-English-speaking countries,  they will often need English at work. About 90% of my German students speak English at work and learn German for their private lives in Germany, Switzerland, or Austria.

All this means that students are more likely to look for something specific they need or want to improve and therefore it makes more sense to specialize in a certain niche.

Course titles vs descriptions

When prospective students go to your teacher profile and skim it, the course titles should give them a quick and immediate idea of what you’re offering. Even if you don’t teach English, it’s normally best to give your courses English titles – unless you want to niche down and work only with advanced students, for example. Keep the titles as short and clear in their meaning as possible. I’m put off when a teacher has a three-line title for a course.

So your course titles must attract the students’ attention. Quite a few won’t click on the description which I find quite astonishing but it happens. However, when you create your courses, don’t use a one-liner for your description which repeats the course title. In the description, you can go more into detail. Tell students how you conduct this certain course, which material you use and if they’re required (or recommended) to do homework.

What other courses can I offer?

So once you’ve written the description for your general language courses and made it available for students, you may still offer four other courses. You can use all four of them or just add another one or two. Don’t confuse students, all courses should be distinguishable from one another.  I’ve made these mistakes several times. In the best of cases, prospective students will send you a message and ask for further explanations, in the worst of cases, they prefer to hop to another teacher’s profile whose course titles make more sense to them than yours.

Here are some suggestions for possible courses:

  • Test preparation
  • Business language
  • Preparation for job interviews
  • Pronunciation
  • Conversational classes based on texts, videos, or pictures
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Colloquial language
  • Small talk
  • Learn with movies/music
  • Literature