Online course creators – 5 top legal tips to avoid trouble

Did you respond to the coronavirus lockdown by creating an online course?

online course creating

You worked really hard to create your content. Did you forget the legal side when you were working to master all those new platforms and techniques and find a way to get paid for what you do? For many of us, it took literally blood, sweat, and tears as we did it all in the middle of all the obstacles thrown at us. From homeschooling to having to work in between demands for snacks and attention, or recording video at midnight to avoid too much background noise. You got there somehow.

And if you haven’t got there and are still stuck, get yourself some coaching to get it over the line.

We have all had to change our business around to make sure we can still serve our customers and make a living. If you launched your online course and got yourself some delegates you should be really proud of your achievement. And if you are nearly finished you are almost ready to pat yourself on the back.

Did you miss something out from your online course?

You spent a lot of time on marketing and content, but how much time did you think about the contract between you and your delegates? Did you just use what you had before for ‘in the room’? Did you cobble together some bits and pieces from what other people are using? We have even found people who have nothing at all!

The online world is not the same as the ‘in the room’ world for all sorts of reasons. Here are 5 things you really need to take care of before releasing your course.

  1. What country is an online course in? Unless you are using geo-blocking on your site to reject people from other countries, you are now open to business all over the world. If you are not careful you can be sued in the USA and other expensive jurisdictions. Make sure your online course contract covers which conline course contractountry’s law governs your course (and make sure your professional indemnity insurers know what you are doing too).
  2. Does your online course include live video or group support for delegates? If delegates are sharing a support space you are going to need proper releases, rules, and arrangements for who is allowed to share what. People are particularly jumpy right now and you may need to take firm control if things get out of hand. What do your contracts say you will do?
  3. Do you have the right to record and re-use live sessions? Just because it’s your course doesn’t mean you can record and reuse anything involve your delegates. If you want to do this you will need the right release clauses in your contract.
  4. How long is your online course available for? If you offer lifetime access what does that mean? What if you change platforms? What if this lasts another 50 years? How clear are you about what happens if they don’t complete the course?
  5. How do you handle data privacy in your online course? You have to have your delegate’s email address is nothing else. But what information are you collecting and why? You need to make sure you are dealing with all of this appropriately and securely.

Getting the right contract for your online course is important

Setting the right tone with your delegates and making the arrangements clear help to create a happy and productive group of customers. It’s not good giving them something in Latin, or something written by American lawyers that you copied from a big player’s website. We all need clear and simple agreements that our customers can understand. You don’t want to let all that effort you put into crafting your course go to waste when people become customers.

If you just want to download something that works check out our specially designed contracts just for you. Part of a family of contracts supporting you the way you work today. You can find more information by clicking here: contract for online programmes.

The delegate terms are now on sale – so now is a great time to get it all sorted out.


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