Building Online Courses

Online Course Bedrocks: Building Out Your Online Course

Posted in Blog on 4 February 2016

With all the digital tools in the marketplace, building out online courses is on the rise. With the right resources and digital partner-vendor, your online course can have a big impact. There are some fundamentals to ensure you are starting off the right way. Before starting off on this journey, let’s be sure you are asking the right questions and collecting the right resources so you can enjoy your online course.

Students First

Does technology limit what you can do or are there technologies that you can leverage to enhance your course? Instead of thinking about the technology or deployment method, you may want to focus on your audience, the student who will be taking the course.

  • What are the time parameters? Is the length or time of your course pre-determined?
  • What should students know after taking your course? What do they already need to know prior to your course?
  • How will you assess students? Have you considered the varied types of assessments? Authentic, competency based vs project-based vs traditional test banks are just a few examples to consider.

Ready for Resources

Next consider what materials or resources you have available to develop the course. Will these be offline or online resources? What are the logistics for getting them into the hands of students? These are usually the current materials you use in an on-ground classroom. Your syllabus, lecture notes, PowerPoints, handouts, assessments, etc. You will use these resources to start to organize your course and decide which items you will weave into your course. But there may be resources you don’t have; maybe more images, illustrations, graphics, videos, or even a video of your self explaining those hard to understand concepts. Make sure you have a plan to create or procure these assets. An online course should elicit participation through interactivities and engaging the learner through use of media and digital tools.

Technology and Distribution

Now think about how you will distribute your course and materials. Which items can be emailed? Do you have a Learning Management System? What engaging digital content will be included? Will you have rich media and interactivities? How will students submit assessments and other related documents? What is your plan for communication and notifications to students? Chances are, if you have an existing LMS, a lot of these things can be managed through your LMS.

These questions are the bedrock for ensuring you are following sequential methods and making decisions at the right stage in order to not create re-work for yourself. By getting the fundamentals right you can ensure you are on the right path towards creating a fantastic course that your students will appreciate.


Also don’t forget to collect feedback from your students as your course should be a dynamic and flexible product to ensure student success and an experience they will want to tell all their friends about.

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