Elements of a Good Online Course

  1. Clear Learning Goals and Objectives:
    • This is important for any class, but it’s especially important in a fully online atmosphere.
    • Provides answers to questions like;
      • What will I get out of the class?
      • Which skills will I need to develop to succeed?
      • How will this information help me in my educational journey, career, and personal life?
      • What should I expect from the content, activities, and assessments?
    • Helps to Organize the content
      • Lessons are grouped and linked to objectives
      • They can be presented in ‘chunks’ which Canvas calls Modules
      • Navigating the course is much easier
  2. Real-World Learning Activities
    • Gaining experience in a supportive environment is extremely beneficial. For example, an instructor incorporates a role-play scenario in a negotiation and conflict resolution course. Learning strategies and skills and having the opportunity to practice in a controlled, safe space is invaluable. As an adult learner, classes that used real-world, practical application activities stand out as the most valuable classes I’ve taken.
    • Strategies and tools included:
      • eLearning videos
      • Demonstrations
      • Group projects (PowerPoint, animated video, etc.)
      • Scenarios and case study discussions (Check out this interactive scenario example from an online customer service training module.)
      • Virtual discussion sessions
      • Hands-on demos
      • Simulations

The infographic above depicts some of the differences between online and traditional education. 

Image Source: University of LaVerne

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