4 Important Things Your Online Course Should Have
Providing people worldwide with online learning opportunities is a great way to help others gain the knowledge they seek at their own pace. Hundreds of websites offer such opportunities for people, however, not all of these platforms are well-known. This can certainly affect how well your course does and how accessible it is to everyone. Whatever area you are interested in when creating a course, you will probably find tens of courses geared towards teaching you so you need to ensure that you have an advantage over other options your clients may view as better opportunities. This may seem like too much of a hassle, however, when you find that you have more people applying for your courses and that you are making a difference by providing information and skills that they need, you will not regret the process. When the course you provide has the following criteria, it means that you will find people from all over the world trying to become participants sooner rather than later. You can find humanities classes online that meet this criteria or whatever subject you are interested in.
1- Engaging Attitude
An instructor makes or breaks a class. Just like students in school enjoy a particular subject because the teacher engages them, and are not interested in another subject because that teacher is subpar; the same applies to online courses. If the instructor shows his or her students that they are passionate about the subject they are discussing, compassionate, caring, and engaging, students are more likely going to benefit. As an instructor, you need to ensure that the lessons are interactive and collaborative. An instructor who just lectures without input from students, and without asking them to collaborate through the class, makes the course a burden rather than an enjoyable learning opportunity. This may not seem like a requirement, however, various studies have shown that collaboration and general engagement in a classroom, even in an online setting, are important in the learning process. To ensure that the instructors on your team do not become complacent and start dragging down students’ enthusiasm, you should always provide them with professional development opportunities and monitor their classes to evaluate how well they are doing in class.
Certification is another crucial criterion when it comes to picking a platform that offers any kind of educational material. If you are offering an online course using a platform that is not certified, then potential applicants will not view your information and knowledge as reliable as you want to be. Not to mention, your students will probably not have an authentic certificate which makes their attendance, participation, and assessment moot points. After all, what is the point of taking a course if you cannot add evidence of said course to your resume? If you are unsure where to find a certified platform, you can search online. For example, if you’re a student-athlete, you can look for NCAA approved courses online, as well as courses that are approved by specific educational institutions. Furthermore, you can also do your research on the different platforms that are available and determine which ones are certified. Searching online will also help you find the best-selling courses for you to provide for your clients. Depending on what skills they are looking to gain, and whether these clients are planning on taking the course on their own or as a team as part of professional development, these best selling online courses will differ in priority. While it may take a bit of research to settle on the right learning platform for you and your team, you do not want to rush this step since it will affect the outcome you are looking for.
3- Challenging Practice
If your students are not being challenged correctly, you will find them slowly but surely drifting off, or getting distracted. A good course ensures that students are always challenged with new ideas, and practices to get the best results. Learning something in a purely theoretical manner is not going to be as effective as applying the theories presented practically, through tons of practice. This depends on the subject that you are tackling, but generally speaking, very few subjects can only be studied in theory without negatively affecting the learning outcome. Practice makes perfect, so you need to design a course outline and lesson plans that include several learning activities and games that will keep your clients interested and will help you evaluate their comprehension and other skills.
4- Self-Assessment Opportunity
As mentioned above, assignments and feedback allow a person to assess his or her learning. This is extremely important because, without assessment, one cannot measure how much knowledge is gained. Assessment does not just mean an exam that your clients need to pass. A successful online course will have participants continuously assessing themselves throughout the lessons. This can be done by including learning activities or assigning your students some collaborative work. If your online course does not already provide this, you need to start looking for ways to incorporate self-assessment opportunities for your students.
Knowing what elements make a successful course is going to help you create the best online courses possible. By using this checklist when designing online learning opportunities, you will be able to guarantee that you and your team can easily impart the knowledge and skills you have. Other criteria may differ from one person to the other depending on what skills they are trying to tackle in their course but the above-mentioned points are going to remain constant no matter what.