ECourses are very popular ways to impart information on another person. The online training can be in the form of email, online video, online audio, interactive quizzes and text – or a combination of all. To give your students the very best that you have to offer, it’s best that you include everything into your courses and deliver via an online learning management system (LMS) rather than email.
A successful eCourse will include many different forms of information on the topic to take into consideration the various learning styles of the students. Some people learn better via reading, and others learn better via hearing. Yet others learn more with live hands-on demonstrations and strong visuals and audio together. Include all of this on your eCourse so that each student has a chance to learn their best way.
You can likely start with information that you already have. If you’ve ever written a “how to” article or blog post, created a demonstration video, or written an information product, you can likely reuse what you’ve already created by adding to it and making it a little better.
Take an information product that is completely text and break it up into smaller bites of information. For instance, if you are creating a 12-week course on a niche topic that you’ve written an eReport about, simply break apart the content into 10 sections or modules. Add an introduction module, and a conclusion module for a complete 12-module course.
For each module, start with the content in the eReport and decide how you can best demonstrate each area outside of the text you’ve already written. Perhaps you want to make a video demonstrating what you’ve explained in text. You could create a slide show, or an infographic, then explain it with a voice-over.
Maybe you want to go over a few case studies or show someone exactly how to do something by sharing your desktop in a recording. However you choose to demonstrate and teach the lesson, remember not to make anything too long. People have short attention spans. After each module, give your students an assignment.
The assignment could be to post questions or comments in the discussion board. Or it might be to demonstrate the knowledge they’ve learned by doing what you’ve taught them. Your online learning system needs to offer enough storage that your students can upload their assignments for evaluation.
Assign deadlines for each task so that students will take the work and lessons seriously. Even courses that aren’t for credit need to be taught as if they are for credit so that the students truly learn. Most people aren’t intrinsically motivated so give them a reason to comply.
Move forward with creating each week of the course, keeping in mind the different ways people learn as well as their short attention spans. The more forms you can demonstrate each lesson in, the more likely your students are to walk away from the course feeling like they truly learned something that they can use. By incorporating interaction from the students they will leave the course satisfied, knowing and understanding more than they did when they started.