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Know Your Audience (Abe Crystal)

  • Episode #33

Over the past few episodes, Course Lab has gone beyond the design of courses, diving deep into the platforms that host them. We’ve been talking with industry leaders about their vision of the future and what that means for you as a course creator. Today, Course Lab features our own co-host, Abe Crystal, co-founder and CEO of Ruzuku, an online course platform focused on student engagement.

In this episode, Danny and Abe talk about industry trends, increasing engagement and why  deeply connecting with students and potential students is paramount. We also get a sneak peek into some big news headed our way for Ruzuku, this week’s featured company!

In this episode we discuss:

  • The future of evergreen courses vs. more facilitated courses.
  • Adding courses to an existing business.
  • Offering additional products and services to an existing course.
  • Broader trends in educational shifts to online learning.
  • The importance of really knowing your students and what and how they want to learn.

“I think what we’re seeing is people are shifting their time and attention and their budgets from some of those formats to online experiences that are finally now proving that they can deliver as good or better results.” ”

“The most important thing any course creator, or prospective course creator can do is just to get as close to your customers as possible.”

Abe Crystal

Abe Crystal is the CEO and co-founder of Ruzuku, an online course platform focused on student engagement. He’s also a strategic advisor to Mirasee.

Abe helps authors, coaches, speakers, and other independent experts create their own online courses and learning communities. He and his team at Ruzuku are on a mission to usher in a new wave of independent, authentic teachers around the world and invest them with the tools and support to succeed—everything the clients need to create, sell, and teach amazing courses.

Abe is also the author of The Business of Courses, about the process of adding online courses to your product and services offerings.

Abe is an adjunct professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He specializes in learning design and user experience research and earned his Ph.D. in human-computer interaction at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Resources or websites mentioned in this episode:
Abe’s website
Abe’s LinkedIn

Guest: Abe Crystal
Host: Danny Iny 
Producer: Cynthia Lamb 
Executive producer: Danny Iny
Assembled by: Geoff Govertsen
Audio Post Supervisor: Evan Miles, Christopher Martin
Audio Post Production: Post Office Sound
Music soundscape: Chad Michael Snavely

If you don’t want to miss future episodes of Course Lab, please subscribe to Apple podcasts or Spotify or wherever you’re listening right now. And if you liked the show, please leave us a starred review. It’s the best way to help us get these ideas to more people.

Music and SFX credits: 
Track Title: Bossa BB
Artist Name(s): Marie
Writer Name: Chelsea McGough

Track Title: Grace
Artist Name(s): Shimmer
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton

Track Title: Carousel Lights
Artist Name(s): Chelsea McGough
Writer Name: Chelsea McGough
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton

Track Title: Coo Coos
Artist Name(s): Dresden, The Flamingo
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton


Course Lab

Ever wondered how online courses could be even better? What would that next level look like? Those are the questions driving online course experts Ari Iny (Growth Manager of Mirasee) and Abe Crystal (co-founder of Ruzuku) in Course Lab. In each episode, they bring on an innovative course creator and deconstruct what makes their course (and course business) work for them and their students.