Three Steps for Creating Effective Online Courses

Creating an online course can be a challenge. Issues with accessibility and the interface itself can create hurdles, rather than a seamless experience for students. Moreover, in an online environment, it can be difficult to gauge student engagement and comprehension. With this in mind, how can course creators check all of the boxes to design effective online learning experiences?

The key to effective online courses is simplicity. Simple lessons and structure go a long way to keeping students on track. This also means having a more user-friendly system that will help students quickly access the course content and tools. At DaVinci Education, our complete learning management platform, Leo, makes it easy to achieve this and more. 

Keep It Simple 

The interface is the first thing students will encounter when logging into an online course. If students are required to go through multiple steps or places just to access the content, they can quickly become overwhelmed. Having a simplified platform that can give them access to all things course-related is key to their success. 

Setting clear learning objectives is also a critical step in creating effective online courses. Each objective should be specific and measurable, helping students see up front what they can expect to learn from the course. This also includes being explicit about the overall structure of the course. Will students follow a week-to-week or daily schedule? How often will students be assessed? How can students quickly access this information without having to go to multiple sites?

Leo acts as a central hub for all of the information users may need. With Leo, students can log in once and get quick access to study tools, videos, session content, and more from a single place. Leo’s calendar interface gives students real time updates as well as an overall visual of the events and courses relative to them. In short, Leo provides transparency and easy access to that transparency, so students can focus on what they need to learn.

Keep Students Engaged

For traditional or face-to-face learning, hands-on activities and group work usually help to keep students engaged. In an online environment, using interactive tools like SCORM and embeddable elements are key to keeping students engaged. Always choose the tool that is best for the content. Though this may mean a number of different resources are used per course, Leo has you covered. Because of Leo’s ability to integrate with other EdTech tools, you can easily keep the content fresh and engaging.

Rather than sending students to different sites or posting multiple links, students can quickly access all learning resources directly from Leo’s central calendar. In addition, you can add session videos, Zoom recordings, and any other relevant content for quick reference. 

Keep Open Communication

Students need flexibility so they can work through any issues, as well as an outlet for questions and concerns. One way to increase communication is to set up a discussion board. This gives students a way to help one another and can offer you insight to their comprehension. Having open communication is also key to fair assessments. Providing feedback over the course gives students time to fully grasp the content, which is a primary goal. This means creating your course with the flexibility and opportunity for students to revisit certain areas prior to testing. 

Leo makes it easy for students and faculty to communicate with each other. Within a few minutes, you can set up office hour events within a course or as personal events on your Leo calendar. You can also add specific students or groups to the event. For group projects, students can easily share content. Leo also sends announcements and reminders directly to each student’s calendar. Students receive real-time updates when session videos, course materials, learning objectives and any other course information is changed or added. 

Leo makes it easier to create and manage online courses to help you engage your students more easily. And at DaVinci Education, we will partner with you to help you make teaching and learning more successful for everyone.