Best practices for compelling course descriptions

Hi all, I work for a membership organization that offers eLearning. Our members are not required to take any of the training so I need to "sell" it to them. Does anyone have any advice for writing a compelling course description? What should be include/not include? Do you use present or future tense (e.g. This course will or this course does?) Any advice would be appreciated. 

Thanks, Cathy

5 Replies
Daniel Brigham

Hi, Cathy:

Framing courses as a solution to a problem works pretty well. For instance, "Do you want to create training that makes a measurable impact, but aren't exactly sure how to go about it?" (Problem). In the (Solution) course, you will learn specific steps on how to build training that gets measurable results, etc, etc."

I wouldn't get caught up in tense. Focus on the value the course brings. Hope that helps a bit. 

Trevor Peglowski


I also work in a membership association that actively sells training. I agree with Daniel, bringing up solutions to problems is a great technique. It's also a good idea to present a real-world scenario. For example, an employees approaches you saying they've been the target of sexist comments from their manager and are ready to talk to the EEOC. What are your next steps? In the (Course name) course, you'll learn...

Also, stating what the learner will be able to DO differently at their jobs is helpful. 

Bob S

Hi Catherine,

The technique above is a total win... +1

One thing to keep in mind though is that depending on the breadth of the course, the descrips can get a bit long if you cover every objective with problem-answer.   So another hybrid of this approach is to state a couple problems the course addresses, then a single generic statement about how the course will address them -eg "In this XXX course you will learn the best techniques for addressing these most common situations through..."

Catherine Conley

Thanks Bob, Trevor and Daniel for the excellent advice. I will incorporate all these ideas. 

I also found a blog post by Christopher Pappas with a few more tips. I'm copying it here in case anyone else finds this thread and would like the resource. 7 Tips To Develop Attention Grabbing eLearning Course Descriptions