Course Catalyst: How to Actually Finish an Online Course

$10
4 ratings

Online Courses are transformational.  Success stories like Packy McCormick, who after taking Write of Passage, started a newsletter that created an audience that enabled him to launch a venture fund, are outliers, but there are tons of stories and testimonials of students learning new skills and using those skills to improve their lives.

But for every success story, there are far more people who didn't get those results. They have the same access to the material, the same assignments, the exact same resources. Why did they not get the same results? Or even not finish the course?

It’s you. Your approach determines your success in the course.  Course Catalyst is a guide to maximize the probability of completing and getting value from a course.

Course taking is an active process, not a passive process. Agency is the best predictor for a successful outcome. Take responsibility for learning the concepts and employ them on your projects. Passively consuming the content won’t. You can’t go on auto-pilot - signing up for a course and watching the content won’t get you results.

Some students, (my past self included), are course voyeurs. The course was on one screen while I multi-tasked (“surf the web”) on another. Or camera lurkers - camera off, passively consuming the lecture content while not contributing anything.

Needless to say, when I took a course on auto-pilot, nothing came out of it.

This course will tell you the specific actions and mindsets we can take to put ourselves in the best position to learn the skills we need to transform our lives.

This guide is written with a Cohort Based Course (CBC) in mind.  The lessons are still relevant if you're taking a self-paced course and you can replicate the experience by finding others who are taking the course at the same time.

Below is a list of some of the courses I’ve taken, some successfully, some not:

  • Write of Passage
  • The Writing Studio
  • Build a Second Brain
  • A Portfolio of Small Bets
  • Business of Building Community
  • Building in Public Mastery
  • Maven Course Accelerator
  • Linkedin OS
  • Build Once Sell Twice
  • Newsletter Accelerator

I also created and ran three cohorts of Course Clubs, which forms a cohort to take a self-paced course together. I co-created and ran three cohorts of Newsletter Launchpad. Through all of these experiences, I’ve learned how to get the best student outcomes.

A few of the outcomes that I’ve had:

  • Editor and Inter-cohort community facilitator for Write of Passage
  • Consistent publishing habit - 86 newsletter issues, 84 essays.
  • Created courses: Course Clubs, Newsletter Launchpad, Course Catalyst
  • Multiple accountability partners
  • Collaborators and friends to discuss, brainstorm, and test ideas with
  • Intellectual partners and friends with similar goals, values, and outlooks


This is an email based course - seven lessons, sent on weekdays. I encourage you to respond to the emails if you have any questions, problems, or want to share your progress.

I will respond to every email.



I want this!

An email course on maximizing your online course experience.

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$10

Course Catalyst: How to Actually Finish an Online Course

4 ratings
I want this!