6 tips for you who are creating an online course
You have a course to create and everything is almost ready: an interesting topic & (almost) ready-made material. Yet, for some reason, it seems difficult to proceed with the task.
If yes, then this text is just the right reading for you! I have some ideas on how you can get started as easily as possible and also concrete advice on how to finish the course production smoothly - and it might actually be fun!
Read and go through all the material you have
take notes on the contents
pay special attention to the structure of the course (table of contents), main points of the course, and key take-homes.
put yourself in the learner's position: what kind of interactions would facilitate the learning process best? (remember not to just use one type of task, as we are all individual learners and benefit from diverse content and task types)
Make sure that
you have the value proposition crystallized
your videos have subtitles
the text material in your course is articulate and fluently written
you are using enough images that add to the content and support the subject matter
the detailed structure of your course (I like to draw the course, chapter by chapter so that I can visualize it for myself before actually creating it to the platform)
the interactions so that you know:
what the learners are supposed to do
how they can do it
what if they do not succeed in doing it
what if they succeed in doing it
what kind of feedback do the learners get from the tasks
I prefer automatized but individual tasks and supplement them with multiple-choice and open-ended questions.
the peer learning (if there will be any - give this some consideration as peer and collaborative learning is not always the best possible course of action). Of course, it is also possible to only sometimes utilize peer learning, e.g. using discussion tasks. Also, should peer assessment be appropriate and possible using the platform you have, you may want to really consider utilizing it - giving feedback to other learners of something you have yourself just studied is a thought-widening experience that adds depth to the learning outcome.
In what order should you proceed with this phase depends entirely on which platform you are using. If you are creating your content with e.g. Articulate Storyline or Lectora, you should first plan all the variables and logic before actually starting with the building. But if you have some modern LMS the building process is more straightforward.
I like to proceed from the table of contents to the location of the elements to details, and finally, I'll add the interactions and visual elements (like infographics) that help the learner make progress in the course and keep in mind the structure of the course.
Try it out!
Yep, this is something you should not forget! It's good if you do this yourself, but it's even better if you can get somebody to do it for your - or in addition to you. Testing should be done using both computer and mobile devices and of course multiple browsers. When testing, place yourself in the learner's position and think if it's entirely obvious for the learner
what should they do next
how can they proceed and go back in the course contents
what is the preferable outcome
who can see the answers they give
how can they themselves track their progress in the course?
And lastly, try to break your course. Can you make it fall apart? By this, I mean that you should try everything, even the things that may feel a bit silly. If you can break the course, now's a perfect time to fix it - you probably agree with me that it's better to fix the course before you have any learners studying the content.
If you have multiple courses to build, start from the beginning and repeat.
If you do not want to do this all yourself, you can always ask for help. We at YH Training produce eLearning content for any purpose, tailor-made for you. Contact us and let's chat!