People study for many reasons. Some do it only to earn a degree, while some others do it to take the next big jump in their career. Regardless of why you choose to do it, learning brings you closer to your dreams.
Pedagogy has since long been an overly debated subject. At first, its arguments were limited to what happened in the classroom as a result of student-teacher interaction. However, thanks to the steady slew of technological advancements over the course of the last decade, education has seen a paradigm shift too. This shift is largely related to how students are choosing to study today. The phenomenon of digitalization has arguably gifted pedagogy its greatest strength, i.e., online learning.
Online courses and online course development have taken the education industry by storm. They provide everyone with an engaging means to pursue their desired course that is customized to match their aptitude.
But what is it that makes these online courses so successful? What are the instructional design planning practices, and how should course creators go about putting them in effect? To understand that, let’s learn why online courses and online course development is gaining popularity first.
While it is evident that the greatest contributing factor in the growing popularity of online courses is the flexibility they provide, there are a few other overarching effects that make it so widely favored over traditional college courses. We shall see a few of them here.
Often times, people who aspire to a certain course may not have the time to take it because of their professional or personal commitments. This is where online courses are such an attractive proposition for these people as it affords them the convenience to learn from the comfort of their home.
One department where online courses score heavily over their conventional counterparts is in how engaging and interactive they are. These courses make use of seminars, video and audio support and presentations, discussion boards, quizzes, and more to provide every student with a personalized learning experience that is unmatched by textbook courses.
The most obvious benefit of studying online is the massive amount of time and money that students can save. They just have to pay what the course fees demand, and that’s it.
In recent times, online education and online education solutions has emerged as a flexible way to study and has really come into its own, thanks to the meticulous development efforts of course creators. In the digital age, the advantages of studying online are immense and speak for themselves.
However, the thing that really sets online courses apart is their course structure and how learner-centric they are. To understand more about this, we’ll take a look here at the different factors of consideration in putting together an online course.
The first step in online course development is agreeing upon a comprehensive program content. Going forward without doing this, irrespective of how well-crafted the subject matter is, is not a good practice as it may lead to the overemphasis of some points and the understating of certain others.
The syllabus that you put together should serve as the blueprint for course creation. This also helps you understand your learners and their distinctive needs. Which eventually helps you in designing content that centers around providing your learners with what they need to know.
The next step after setting a syllabus is building interactive content in accordance with the course’s blueprint. You can do this by running an audience analysis. This will let you grasp what your audience wants to learn and help you decide on the best presentation mode for each lesson.
For example, baby boomers prefer to-the-point study material in a lecture format, while millennials favor highly personalized content with lots of interactive ebooks and other kinds of learning material in the form of videos and more. Knowing what ticks for certain set of people can help you go a long way in effectively designing an online course.
Another best practice that is as equally important as the aforementioned points, the course duration. It must be set in a manner as to deliver the content is comprehensible chunks to keep learners engaged. Segment your modules into no more than 30 minutes long. This will help you set expectations in line with your learners’ attention spans.
Interactive elements or interactivities can help your learners feel a greater level of engagement and involvement with a course. This also provides you with room for experimentation.
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