Online learning has become more popular over the past years for its accessibility and flexibility as opposed to traditional learning. Many organizations and individuals now try to create online courses that either upgrade students’ certifications or help them enhance their careers. However, not every online course created manages to achieve the desired outcome of an immersive, efficient learning experience. There are many factors that go into creating an online course for a specific target market. If you’re about to create your own, here’s how you can make it engaging and productive.
To have a fully productive and engaging course, you can’t just wing it as you go along, prep work must be done first. Once you have a topic in mind for your course, create an outline content and try to have a vision in mind. The plan should focus on determining the entire course’s learning objectives or goals then dividing them per lesson. This outline will give you insights into how your course will look like and help you make decisions in the next steps. Consider things like the course design, content deliverables, accessibility, and social presence.
Use Multiple Media Material
There are multiple learning styles that work best with each person. Some prefer visual learning, others prefer auditory learning, and there are also verbal and social learners. That’s why the learning gurus at FT Knowledge believe that to accommodate all types of learners, your course content should incorporate several media material. You can search for examples of courses that use various types of content and compare their performance to make the right choice. Mixing between video, audio, and visual course content is the best way to get maximum engagement.
One of the best ways of making learning a new topic interesting, engaging, while still productive is incorporating storytelling as a technique. It’s proven that listening to stories instills personal meaning for the listener which makes them internalize it and understand it better. Try to integrate either fictional or real stories in your course material that helps students tie themselves to the subject matter whether professionally or personally. You can make the whole course consist of a long story arc with memorable, engaging characters.
Create A Learning Community
Nothing makes a course more engaging to students than the ability to connect to each other. Social learning is proved by many studies to be an essential element in receiving information. Create a space for students to be able to discuss the course content and ask each other questions. You can use message boards, online discussion groups, or instant messages. It will create a similar atmosphere to the one in a traditional classroom where students interact and form study groups. You can also add group assignments to your course as an opportunity to enhance their teamwork skills.
Make It Interactive
What makes many online courses fail to achieve the desired amount of engagement and productivity is the lack of interactivity. Whether it comes to the course tech itself or its content, you need to make it as interactive as possible. For the tech part, you should try to simplify the navigation of your course by organizing what’s in the navigation menu, making it clear, and not adding any unnecessary items. As for the content, even though you’ll probably pre-record lessons, try to do at least a few lessons throughout the course that are live. That way students can engage with you and get instant feedback.
Keep It Short And Focused
That’s right, short and sweet is always the best approach for learning along with a special focus on essential topics and concepts. The length of your course is an important aspect to consider since the longer it is, the more students will lose interest. That’s why the best approach is to apply the microlearning method where large amounts of information are divided into learning short modules. Try to keep videos between 10-15 minutes long with a few in between that are 4-6 minutes with each lesson focusing on teaching only one skill.
Now that you know what makes an online course productive and engaging, you’ll be ready to take the online courses world by storm! The most important part of creating an engaging online course is to have efficient knowledge and insight into your target market. Each market has its points of attraction that you should utilize in your course to keep students wanting more as well as benefiting from what you have to offer. Remember to also do enough research to choose the right platform and tools for your course.