E-learning & Teaching - Best Practices For 2021

Creating online courses is probably one of the best ways to share your expertise and knowledge worldwide.

While most people are experts in a certain field, very few are well versed in creating effective online courses. To help you create meaningful, effective e-learning content, we have identified major pillars that contribute to making successful e-courses, just the right way!

Use Learning Objectives

It's essential to think about the learning objectives before you start developing your course. Having a clear learning objective is a must. Before you do anything else, begin setting a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound). If you have clear learning objectives, you'll be able to deliver what your course promises. At the end, you'll be able to answer what your learners will know or be able to do after completing your course?

Another key aspect of setting the learning objective is clarifying the audience you want to reach. Research to know who your learners are going to be and what do they want to know in the area of your expertise. Once you know that you'll develop and design a course that will cater to your learners' needs. For instance, designing a coding course would be different for students than the one made for working professionals.

Follow The Right Order

Many people start course development by writing the content and then adding questions at the end. Though there's nothing wrong with this approach, it ends up being like one of the old-school PowerPoint presentations lacking engagement. Rather, you can work on assessing the goals and objectives of your course and preparing relevant content.
So, a better order would be:

  • Set your goals and objectives.
  • Create questions and activities to assess these goals and objectives.
  • Help your learners answer the questions by creating relevant content

There are two key advantages of following this approach. First, your courses become shorter, crisp and more effective. Second, as an author, it helps you remain relevant to the course by creating tailor-cut content.

Repetition Enhances Retention Rate

One of the most questioned aspects of online learning is learners' retention ability. To boost learners' retention ability through online learning is via course repetition.
Repetition helps in increasing the retention rate. Hence, to create an effective course, try to create a small series with repetitive units offered over time. Doing so, you will provide learners with repeated opportunities to learn one concept in different forms.
Based on your course templates can help you achieve the most effective educational structure.
The quality of online courses doesn't lie in its length, but it gets over time in how short, crisp, and repetitive. Consider regularly asking questions that offer knowledge in a variety of ways.

Bite-Size Information

eLearning is all about big things in small packages. Bite-sized information plays a key role in making online courses effective. Avoid designing courses with large content or assessment. It kills the engagement for the learner. A course length of five to fifteen minutes is suitable to capture attention and interest. If your learning goal cannot be achieved within 30 minutes, consider splitting it into multiple learning modules or create a series of courses.
For instance, if you're trying to explain a software step-by-step, try to do it by making a video on it instead of using 5 paragraphs or multiple. However, as attention spans are short, keep your video clips short like 2 minutes duration. Bite-sized information is easy to understand and grasp. Also, learners find it easy to recall when they learn in small chunks of information.

Provide Feedback

Providing feedback is important. It is natural for a learner to know about their performance, where they're going wrong, and determine where they need to improve. Feedback is a powerful tool in your online course. Take advantage of this by using test questions in your e-learning courses as an opportunity for offering feedback.
To make your learner understand the importance of content, offer good extensive feedback when they answer questions incorrectly.

Evaluate

Evaluation and assessment allow learners to test their knowledge. Learners need to monitor their progress to have insights about their learning journey.
For assessment and evaluation, you can consider the following points:

  • Questions must align with course learning objectives.
  • The evaluation should include options for the student to identify which areas to improve or topics to review.
  • Questions should show the obtained score.
  • At the end of the evaluation, there should be the option of obtaining a certificate of completion and achievement, as per performance.

User Experience and User Interface

At last, you must consider the user experience and user interface. It is one of the most vital aspects of online courses. Since learners will use computers to learn, develop courses in a manner, so they achieve a smooth flow, from one segment of a course to another. Good user experience is measured by the ease of navigating through particular course content, which is an excellent UI factor. Therefore, it's best to offer an excellent UI to ensure that learners get engaged and motivated to learn your course.

You can add to these tips by mentioning yours in the comment section below!

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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