Create An Effective Online Course For Your Brand With These Steps
As you advance in your career you may take on a role where you are educating others. After nine years as a classroom teacher, I know how valuable you can feel in this type of leadership role.
But I also know how much more valued your students will feel if the foundations for success are embedded in your course.
This article gives 7 ideas to consider for successful course design. All are great ideas, but as you are getting started, do what you can when you are ready.
Setting up proper expectations is central to a student being successful on any given objective. That is why it is important to tell them what they will be able to accomplish by the end of your lesson.
For example, you can tell students that they will learn strategies for effective copywriting so that potential clients will pay better attention to their products.
This written objective is much more descriptive than telling students that they will learn about copywriting (full stop). To learn more about this topic, see the below resource on measurable objectives.
Lesson pacing is another key component to preparing students for success. Unfortunately too many of us know how mind-numbing it can be to listen to a lecturer drone on significantly past the point where we lose attention in the topic at hand.
This is why an important part of student success is for the lesson to have brisk pacing. Whenever delivering new content, don’t spend more than 5-10 minutes lecturing before students have some kind of interactive activity or check for understanding.
This method is known as “I do, we do, you do” and is explained more fully in the below YouTube video.
Choose Your Own Adventure
For new material to be learned more easily, there should be some element of interactivity and fun. Choose your own adventure activities are interactive, can be a lot of fun, and are super simple to set up using Google Forms.
Another way to have a fun with learning is by gamifying the content. Google Slides can be used to make Jeopardy and Bingo for any content. For more information, see this slide deck by Eric Curtis and this template by Bethany Thompson.
If you want to use Nearpod, an interactive presentation software, gamification is possible through a memory activity. The flashcard software Quizlet also allows for gamification with a matching activity and the gravity game.
Badgification For Accomplishments
Badgifying learning is another way to get your students feeling proud of what they have accomplished. There are a few sites available where you can create your own badges, one that seems to work well is Openbadges. For ideas on how to get students excited about their badges and sharing them with others, stay tuned for a forthcoming article that I wrote on community management.
Automated Checks For Understanding
The real value in any educational experience is when a student can prove that they’ve learned something, and the teacher can see how the student is progressing.
This is possible by using Google Forms to give students a hint to what the correct answer is, and I made this video to explain the strategy. (Note that I no longer manage the sites Bryn’s EdTech Tips or e-Celerated Learning, but if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me for a consultation.)
You can also use a quiz format to check students’ understanding. There are two ways you can do this with Google Forms. The first option is built into forms, and is explained at this link. You can also use the Google Sheets add-on called Flubaroo to automatically grade student work, and have a summary email sent to them.
I love this add-on, and made this video on it. When I worked as an educational technology specialist, I coached educators on the benefits of using both a Google Form quiz and Flubaroo at the same time so that students would both get immediate feedback, and have a record of their performance.
Summing It Up
Once you start designing your courses for student success, there will be no end to how valuable you will feel as a leader, and there will be no end to how successful your students feel.
The tools discussed in this article are free to use, and are designed to greatly enhance the learning experience.
Remember, as you design your course, keep objectives clear, set up appropriate pacing, use interactive content, and embed checks for understanding. This way you and your students will all soar to new levels.