When in the process of creating an online course, it is always best to keep your students in mind. Your learners will be possessing unique backgrounds and preferences, and it is important that you consider this fact if you want you online course to keep them engaged.
By paying close attention to the diverse range of students that you will be catering to, you will be able to design a course that will provide a positive learning experience and will likely promote success.
Here are some tips on how you can create an effective online course by considering your learners:
Technical Skill Level
There are online learners who are tech savvy. These are individuals who will be able to appreciate and navigate a highly interactive course very easily. However, there are also those who are not very experienced with technology, and it will be better for them if a course does not feature highly technical elements.
Familiarity with Online Courses
While younger students are likely to have experience or knowledge of online courses, there are those who might be older and will need some guidance as to how to navigate through your website. It will be best to provide a course overview or a tour that will demonstrate to new students how they can navigate through the site and access references and support.
Consider what would be your online students’ expectations of the course and what their motivations and goals are. For a mandatory course, design your online class from set goals and instructions. If you are creating an entirely optional course, the course objectives can revolve around the motivations of your students.
Your online learners will be comprised of people who are just starting out and those who are already experienced in their field. It will be helpful to have a glossary in your course which newbie students can refer to for definition of technical terms used within the lectures.
Field or Industry
Anticipate the fields or industries where your online learners will be coming from. This will give you an idea of what jargons you can incorporate in the course and which terms to avoid. You would want to keep your students engaged and having appropriate industry jargons will help keep them interested. However, using jargons that sound foreign to them can make them lose interest and motivation.
How long should your online student complete the entire course? Considering the course length will give you a good idea on how to divide the course in lectures or modules that will give your learners a smooth progression from start to finish.
Best Device to Use
Depending on the online course materials, it may be best to access the site on a computer or a mobile device. A highly interactive and dynamic course will be best to be accessed on a desktop computer or laptop, while mobile access may be ideal for those which provide on-the-go performance updates and support.
By considering the capabilities, interests, and preferences of your online learners, you will be better able to design and create an online course that will keep your students constantly engaged and motivated to successfully complete their course.