On the face of it, an online course seems like a perfectly ideal way to conduct business on the Internet. You can have students from literally anywhere on the planet. They can log in anytime they want, and they can learn at their own pace. But achieving the course’s objectives is only possible if you make sure that you design it correctly. If the design is not good, you end up with dissatisfied students which will be a terrible blow to your reputation.
Here are some mistakes you need to avoid:
- Not knowing if people actually want to learn the material you want to teach. This is perhaps the most common mistake in online course design.For example, if you design a fantastic course about how to make a video, and it focuses on the technical details such as proper lighting and sound and even teach your students how to use the best video software available. But no matter how comprehensive your course may be, it may not attract a lot of participants because your audience is actually looking for ways to make a video interesting.You’ll need to do a lot of research and even create a survey so you’ll know if you are offering them the right material and the right course.
- Not transforming your source material. Some professionals who design their own courses simply tell their students to read certain books and online sources, and prepare for a test. We certainly know of a few college professors who teach this way But if you ask students, they’ll tell you that this is a boring way to learn.So you have to take advantage of other methods of instruction. You can offer videos or slide shows. You can film certain experiments or demonstrations. You can feature interviews of other notable experts in the field. Be imaginative — simply showing a recording of a lecture is not the best way to let your students learn.
- You want to cover a lot of ground. This is another mistake that’s often the result of wanting to make sure that you give your students more value for their money. So you create a comprehensive course that covers many areas, thinking that doing so will enable your students to learn more.The problem here is that the scope can become too overwhelming for your students. An online course can be considered work, and there may be too much studying involved.Of course, you can design the perfect online course and you still won’t get a respectable number of enrollees. At this point, it’s no longer about the design, but about the marketing of your online course. When it comes to marketing, it’s no longer about making sure that your program is useful and effective. It’s about making your potential students understand that they need the course and that it will truly help them learn what they need to know.