While the bread and butter business for most of our users is fee for service classroom based training, we also know that sometimes you want to sell things that look like classes, but well, just aren’t. Not really. Or at least not in the way we (and the database) thinks about classes.

Some of the ideas we’ve heard over the years include:

Self paced classes - traditional correspondence or online content They’re just like a normal class, except they have no timetable. They don’t start, they don’t finish, they just allow continual enrolment all year round. You need to know when a student enrols to send them the information they need to do their class and maybe you need to give them a set duration e.g. six months, to complete the course content. You might want to tell them upfront how long it should take to complete the training, but how and when they do it us up to them. Some of these courses are vocational and linked to one or more units of competency you need to record and report on, and some aren’t.

Traineeship courses Students undertaking a traineeship have engaged in a formal training contract between yourself, their employer and the government. They have a fixed amount of time to complete their training, but how and when they do it is negotiable. To set up their initial training contract, you need to know what units they plan to do, in what order, and in what way, but all this can change during the delivery of the traineeship. You might go on site to train them, and you might also bring them in to some of your classes. You are obliged to regularly record and report on their progress and they are always linked to a complete qualification and multiple units of competency.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Assessment only engagement This is when a student comes to you confident they already know their stuff. They might have enrolled in a normal class and decided to be RPL’d for some units, or they might approach you directly for RPL for some or all of a qualification. Maybe they just want to be assessed by sitting your classes final exam, or completing your standard assessment tasks without attending any classes. Either way, there might be meetings set and dates agreed on for completing tasks, or there might not be - they might just hand in their assessment portfolio to you when they are good and ready. Either way, there is unit of competency outcome information to record and you need something to enrol them into to keep track of their progress.

One on one or custom group training When someone wants to do training in a program either a bit like one you sell as a regular class, or something completely new, you might put together a custom training program for them - a course and class just of their own, where only one or a few select people are allowed to enrol. You may need to confirm bookings of resources and tutors before scheduling their session, or you might have fixed times and dates where people can book in for one on one type sessions. You need to know what to charge them (per hour, per unit, per person, fixed fee?) and you might link to one or more units of competency.

Events and conferences Could be simple - I’d like 10 tickets to this lecture please, or complex - I’d like to attend Session A on Monday, Session F on Tuesday, I won’t come Wednesday but I want the Chicken option at the Gala Dinner on Tuesday night. Sometimes you know who is coming, but some times a person or organisation just wants to buy a pile of tickets and you might find out later (or not) who turned up. Pricing is often complex and has lots of different price points for different bundled choices and the class probably doesn’t have units of competency attached.

Approved enrolment in a course, to get permission to enrol in a class Sometimes this might be a gift type scenario or for professional development - I want to buy and pay for an enrolment in the course and let the end user, or enrolling student, chose the class they want to attend. In other examples, it might be more like a university style enrolment - you are enrolled or approved to undertake a course (money may or may not be exchanged at this point) which then allows you to enrol in a class or serries of classes to complete the course requirements. This type of class may or may not have units of competency attached, but possibly has complex rules about pre-requisites and how and when you can select your classes.

Private classes Possibly of any of the type above, or just a standard type of class, where the enrolment is restricted to a certain type of person. You might still want the participants to enrol themselves online, they might pay upfront or you might invoice them later, but you don’t want any Tom, Dick or Harriet stumbling across these classes and enrolling themselves. They probably don’t even show up on your normal public website, like standard fee-for-service first-come-first-served classes. Perhaps these classes might be government funded programs that are restricted to people who meet the eligibility criteria, so you do want the general public to see them, but you might need to vet enrolments as they apply.

Drop in, drop out classes Classes often have timetables that look something like 2 hours a week x 8 weeks. But sometimes you want to sell a student half a class (sessions 1 to 4) or just a single session. You only want them to show up on the roll for the right session, not the whole class, and you want to have a fixed pricing plan that automatically calculates how much they should pay for the bit they are in enrolling in. These classes wouldn’t usually have units of competency, but might do, like when a student just wants to attend the few sessions in a longer course that address a unit they need to complete.

So did I exhaust the list, or are there other types of classes you sell or want to sell that onCourse can’t currently cater for? Or maybe the description I gave above didn’t quite capture all the variables. Go on, tell us what options you want in class sales - and don’t say you want to sell tee shirts or mugs, cause that is a whole other feature we are working on!