We've already had dozens of creators launch successful & transformative online courses at tourismacademy.org. It's exciting! We've also received some really smart questions about The Tourism Academy and how it works for instructors.
If there's one thing we know to be true, it's that both travelers and great educators are curious people who like to do their research before investing time and energy in any new project. We invite you to get to know us a little bit better so that you're confident in your decision to become an online course instructor at tourismacademy.org.
We know that The Tourism Academy is not the place for every instructor and we believe in empowering you with honest information to help you decide if we're right for you. We've taken a few moments to answer some of the most common questions below.
Hands-down, this was the most common question:
"Will The Tourism Academy actually work for someone in my situation?"
This is the essential question. We have over 150,000 people and 22,000 organizations within the tourism academy network. We've seen transformative results all over the place – but we're not right for everyone.
We want it to be easy for you to succeed and make the right choice, so we've answered a good number of questions below.
Q: I've got an overwhelming number of course ideas. Or I have no idea what my course will be about. Will The Tourism Academy help me find a course topic that attracts students?
One of the first things we do with every new instructor is conducting a one-on-one consultation that helps you choose a successful course idea and nail down the presentation of what you teach. Most importantly, we help you discover the benefits you will provide to your students.
Q: I'm not especially computer savvy and I definitely don't know how to write code, what now?
We designed tourismacademy.org to be an intuitive and user-friendly platform. It's as easy to use as filling out a web form. You'll find that our system is remarkably equipped with all the tools you'll need while also not being intimidating. This means that we've got the bandwidth to connect tens of thousands of users with large courses that businesses rely on and it's really easy to use.
Q: I'm not sure if my course topic is right for The Tourism Academy. What do you think?
You're not alone. We will help you figure out the right topic, focus, and niche as soon as you get your login keys. Our aim is to have hundreds of great courses available on-demand at the tourismacademy.org. We did our research and quickly learned that there are six subject areas most needed by members of the tourism industry. Those subject areas are tourism essentials, personal productivity, business management, business finance, sales & marketing, and communication. Once you're logged in, we are here to help you find a successful course topic.
Q: How the heck am I going to market and sell my course. Can you help?
The good news here is one of the things that makes us really special is that we already have an engaged, focused and curious audience that's eager to learn. Publishing your course and being listed in our public course catalog can get you a lot of eyes. There are also entire training sections dedicated to marketing and promoting your online courses. You can expect to see a wonderful collection of step-by-step course marketing plans, templates and suggested schedules in our knowledge base very soon.
Q: I've already created a course that may be perfect, can I bring it to tourismacademy.org?
You betcha! The most successful online course creators are those who combine valuable content with intelligent instructional design. If you've got a course that is successful and meets the topical needs of our audience, importing to tourismacademy.org is easy. We can even upload full courses from SCORM zip files. Note: course creators are solely responsible for their content, making sure it is their own and/or accommodating to any licensing requirements.
Q: I know I'm an expert in my field but I don't feel like I'm an expert at teaching, building curriculum or creating online courses. Can I still make this work?
Of course you can! If you can break down your topic into a bullet point list with a clear objective, list the items your students must understand to be successful, and create a way for those students to apply what they've learned... well, you've just outlined your first online course curriculum! We are also very lucky to work with dozens of business psychologists, corporate trainers, educators, and experts we can match you up with if you need a little extra help.
Q: I can teach anything but I'm not a tourism expert. Can I still make this work?
Knowing how to create engaging transformative training programs is an incredible skill. You can schedule a call with a member of our learning team who can help identify any gaps or areas of need in our course catalog that may be a good fit for you. We also have scholarships available for great instructors so be sure to ask about that.
Q: What sort of time commitment will I need to make in order to create my course. And when can I expect to see results?
If you're already accustomed to creating online training courses and you have your course content ready you may be able to have your course running in just a couple hours.
For those who are new to online learning, have just decided to share their knowledge for the first time or are being paired with an instructional designer, the entire process might take 60 to 90 days with an average of 45 hours per week spent on your course. This includes time that you would spend with the training exercises, doing the worksheets, developing your content and implementation on the platform.
Q: What sort of extra help or coaching is included along the way?
We know that tourism is a relationship-driven industry and that personal coaching and support generate results- online learning does this as well. We've included a live Q&A session with a member of our executive team each and every Tuesday to help answer all of your questions as you make your way toward becoming a course instructor. These sessions meet for one hour once a week and are also recorded for easy rewatching. You also have 24/7 access to our knowledge base, blog posts and SmartBot with live telephone support Monday-Friday.
Q: How long will the scholarship applications be available?
We have a limited inventory of scholarships available. Once they are all awarded there are no more available until the following calendar year. This allows us to better focus on our new students and organizational executives that are building the course portfolios their people need to complete.
Q: What if I or the students in my target audience live outside of the US?
There are thousands of people within our network who are outside of the US: Travel professionals who are students, course instructors, and organizational private academy admins. We do ask that all course material be presented in English. We have translation tools available for learners from around the globe as needed.
Q: When will I start to receive all of the tools provided by The Tourism Academy?
Just like with our self-paced learning programs, we want to give you the tools you need when you need them. So you'll get everything within minutes of signing up. You'll also be able to immediately sign up to join the very next coaching session and those that will follow each week. Access is almost immediate!
Q: Is there a predetermined timeline or can I go at my own pace?
Generally speaking, The Tourism Academy programs are completely self-paced and on-demand. You'll get everything you need immediately and have the freedom to work on it when you're able. Note: Those who have applied for and received our instructor scholarship must have their first course published within three weeks from the date of the scholarship was accepted.
Q: What other expenses should I anticipate? Or is everything I need to be included with the instructor package?
The Tourism Academy is designed to give you all the tools you need to create your online course in its entirety. The training for this is included and we've included many of the elements you may need like payment processing, sales pages, and student management in your plan.
It's pretty easy to integrate with dozens of existing workplace tools and you likely have many of those (like a separate email service provider) already.
How does The Tourism Academy work?
Q: Does The Tourism Academy help with promoting my course(s)?
Yes, in a few ways. Skill-based courses are the backbone to our success. Courses available in our public catalog are highlighted in communications with travel professionals, business executives, and organizational leaders around the world. We do this to show how easy it is to consistently and effectively train using pre-developed courses at tourismacademy.org (like those you're working on). Our site gets tens of thousands of page visits a month and we select a number of courses to highlight in our digital outreach campaigns. We are also an on-demand, self-serve training platform where you can learn about how to grow your audience, market your courses, create great content, publish your course, and monetize your knowledge.
Q: Are my courses available to people outside of The Tourism Academy and those who don't work in tourism at all?
Yes. Many of our course creators share their courses, published at tourismacademy.org, through their own websites, social media platforms, and customer support channels. Ours is a welcoming community where the cross-pollination of ideas leads to life changing travel experiences.
Q: Does The Tourism Academy provide support if I need help?
We do! Our fantastic instructor support team is available Mon-Fri to help answer your questions, overcome any roadblocks, and help you make the most of the tourismacademy.org platform. You'll also be able to access our knowledge base and ask questions to our SmartBot 24/7.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of courses and students?
There is absolutely no limit to the number of students you can have enrolled in your courses. You also have the ability to create and publish as many questions as you'd like, keeping in mind that those available on our public course catalog must be approved by our Learning team and fit within the six core categories of courses within our focus.
Q: Do students earn certificates of completion when they successfully finish my course?
Of course. Anytime a student completes a skills course, they will receive a course completion certificate. To ensure that these meet industry standards (for the accreditation programs also facilitated on our platform) our system electronically validates passing grades on quizzes and course engagement.
Q: Can I run my course with a drip function? And, what even is a drip function?
Direct functionality allows instructors to release parts of their course over time. This is the most ideal when there is a finite enrollment period or a course that must be started/completed by a certain date. For example, if your course has five modules, you might want to drip one module each week or every few days. What we have learned is that tourism professionals greatly prefer courses that are available on-demand and are self-paced. We give instructors both options, but we strongly encourage courses that are fully available to the student as soon as they sign up by purchasing registration. The self-paced style also gives a lot more flexibility for instructors who are looking to earn passive income that doesn't require a weekly/daily commitment to live or recorded content.
I really hope this information has been useful.
Cheers to smart decision making.
Stephen, Sheena & The Tourism Academy team.