So you want to create a successful online course?
But unsure of what you need to do?
People don’t learn new information when they’re passive.
Your students must be actively involved and take their education into their own hands in order to see results.
This blog post explores the keys to keeping students engaged when teaching an online course which will make it a successful online course.
Lessons should be long enough to cover the topic satisfactorily but not so long that they wear out your students.
As a general rule, sessions should be around 45 minutes to an hour and should include various elements to keep the pace moving.
Work with your participants’ attention spans and adjust as needed.
Each session should have one clear goal.
Depending on the structure of the course and time requirements, you may cover additional material, but it should be clear from the beginning what students will take away from every session.
For the best results, make the goal not something they will learn about but something they will be able to do when the session is over.
Give them actionable steps to take using what they’ve learned in the course that will make some positive change in their lives.
What makes an online course truly engaging are the activities planned throughout the sessions where participants are given tasks to complete using what they’re learning.
A good structure is to present the information first, then give students a task to complete based on what they learned.
Then, follow up and check progress or answer questions so they can improve next time.
Give students activities that practically apply what they’re learning.
For example, if you’re teaching a course on blogging, have your students create their blog right there during the session.
Break students off into groups of 3-4 for discussions.
Give each group a task to complete such as solving a problem, ranking a list, or brainstorming ideas.
Depending on the subject matter, you could offer quizzes or worksheets to check understanding.
Have your students do a “show and tell” where they prepare something to present during the next session.
Let the subject matter you’re teaching guide you in planning activities, but make sure your sessions include plenty for your students to do.
Create opportunities for your students to give you feedback throughout the course.
During your sessions, take comments and questions and use active listening to summarize the main points.
Survey your students before, during, and after the course to make sure it’s helping them.
This feedback will give you valuable data on whether the course is achieving its goals and give participants the feeling that the course belongs to them.
Choose the right format and materials that will make the course the most engaging.
Use a mix of media elements that includes visuals and videos as well as text.
Create PowerPoint presentations to present data that make it easier to understand and digest.
Creating variation in your online course will help keep students engaged with the material.
The purpose of the course is to learn and meet learning objectives, but it should also be fun and exciting for students to be a part of.
Be enthusiastic and let your passion for your topic come through during your lessons.
Try to make each element of the course fun so that it’s a place people want to be.
There you have it, the keys to a successful online course.
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