Designing a Course

Topic

Pick the topic you know best. In case there are several such topics, you can ask users to vote for the most interesting one. If this is your first course, we recommend starting with a small topic consisting of 3 to 5 lessons. 

Course Goal and Target Audience

You must clearly understand who the audience of this course is and what goals it is trying to achieve.

Let’s say your course is aimed at 15 kyu players and the purpose is to teach the principles of corner survival.

Or to put it another way:

Before the course — 15 kyu, who does not know how to survive in the corner.

After the course — 10 kyu, who knows and understands the main principles of corner life and death.

And you have to do everything possible to achieve that goal. 

Bullet-point Plan

You should write at least a short plan with all the major points you plan to cover. If you find it difficult to improvise on camera, you can write down the whole script for the course. But you should remember that speech and text are very different. An idea that might seem clear and understandable on paper can turn out to be complicated and hard to grasp when listened to. Therefore, we recommend you to read aloud any text you prepared.

Keep in mind that ideally the duration of one lesson should not exceed 10 minutes. In our experience, this is the optimal length that allows the viewer to avoid distraction and boredom. Of course, there are many really difficult topics and sometimes it is impossible to fit into 10 minutes. In such cases the lesson can be longer, but the absolute maximum is 20 minutes. 

If it isn’t enough to speak about everything you planned, try splitting the lesson into two. 

Important Principles and Interesting Stuff Instead of a Collection of Board Positions

Don’t limit yourself to positions on the board and theoretical examples. Make sure to talk about the principles that underlie the correct moves. If you can draw parallels to real life, history, philosophy or any other area you’re good at, be sure to do that.

We are dead set against the classic “boring approach”. Please, try to make your lessons as interesting as possible! Tell a cool story, make a good joke. Do whatever you can! 

“Too Easy” is Better than “a Little Too Hard”

You need to understand your audience well. If you are a 5 dan player and the course is designed for 10 kyu, then you really need to visit one of Go servers and check how 10 kyus play. You’ll probably be surprised.

We become victims of a common misconception: what seems simple and clear to us will not necessarily be as simple and clear to other people. You will have to go back in time, remember how you were as a 10 kyu and only then start the lesson.

Don’t be afraid to make lessons too simple – there’s nothing wrong with that. Your viewers can always fast forward the part they already know. Moreover, reviewing the material won’t hurt anyone. It will be much worse if the lesson turns out to be difficult and incomprehensible for some part of the audience. 

Check Everything with KataGo

When preparing board positions and examples for the course, make sure to check them with AI to avoid mistakes and outdated information. 

Go Terms

In Go Magic courses we try really hard to avoid using Japanese Go terms. If a term cannot be replaced however or when the topic cannot be explained without it, it is permissible to use them. 

Interactive Go Quizzes Inside the Video

This is a great feature of our platform that you should definitely use. Imagine explaining your topic live to people in a Go club. You’re not just going to talk for 30 minutes without a break, are you? In any case, at some point you’re going to stop, ask the audience a question, find out how they would have played in this or that situation. This adds energy to the lesson. 

In our experience, it is better to prepare such questions and interactive quizzes in advance and to write them down in your plan. 

Quizzes after Lessons

The main purpose of such quizzes is to check how well the lesson material was learned. However, there is no need to limit yourself with that purpose. You can check. Also, sometimes it can be hard to talk about everything in one lesson, so you can leave some materials for the quiz. Let the student learn something new when solving Go problems.

The optimal number of problems in one quiz: 5-6.

Each lesson can be followed by several quizzes. For example, one for reviewing, the other one to let them figure out something new.

We recommend you to plan in advance which problems you are going to put after the lessons. This will help you better understand lesson structure. 

Gestures and Special Effects

Please remember that you don’t need to gesture much when your students are looking at the board. Doing so may interfere with the perception of the position on the board.

If you want to point out a specific stone or point, you can simply say “stone A” (as a hint for the video editor), and we will mark this stone during video editing.

The power of our video editing is at your disposal. We can implement any sort of idea, but it requires careful planning. If you want to show some visual magic in your lessons, tell us about it. We’ll think of the best way to do it. 

Rehearsal

If you have no experience speaking on camera, we recommend you to practice a little bit in front of a mirror or camera before starting the filming. Watch for your gestures, facial expressions and speech.

Course Creation Guide
How to Make a Course with a Real Board
How to Make a Good Screencast
Designing a Course (you’re here)
Memo for Course Authors