We are our own worst critics when it comes to our online courses. Paradoxically, we also often fail to appreciate aspects of online course design that matter most to students. You might even say that sometimes course creators and their students are living in parallel universes.
We are on one side of the divide, and our students are on the other. So how do we bridge that divide?
The obvious answer is to get feedback from students who take our courses, either through surveys or virtual focus groups.
We can also become students in our own courses. This way we get to experience our courses first-hand.
This is exactly what I did with one of my courses. I quite surprised by what I learned from being a student in my own course.
So today, I am going to share my key takeaways from my recent foray as an enrolled student in my own online course.
My 7 Top Takeaways from Being a Student in My Own Online Course:
- Make Learning Goals and Tasks Clear – Clearly state the why, the how, and the how well (criteria) for the goals and activities in the course.
2. Be Deliberate with Terminology – Be consistent in word choice usage with respect to key concepts and terms that are central to the course topic and course objectives.
3. Show More Examples – Provide examples to give students a crystal clear idea of what level or standard they should be aiming for in the course.
4. Set Expectations for Time on Task – Give students a realistic estimate for how much time they need to complete each individual module of the course.
5. Provide Scaffolded Practice and Feedback – Provide students with many opportunities to practice new skills and/or behaviors. Move them through demonstration, to guided practice, to paired practice, to solo practice.
6. Provide Opportunities for Students to Showcase Their Work and/or Achievements – Create opportunities for students to showcase their work in the course.
7. Quality Over Quantity – Avoid content overload in a single course. Consider a membership program or course bundles for subject matter that requires in-depth instruction.
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So how about it? Are you ready to go incognito to experience your course as a student?
Then again, you might prefer to have an expert review your course. For that, you might want to hire me to audit your course, so that you have more time to focus on your business.
If you’d like me to review your online course or to work with you to co-create a new one, I’d be delighted to give you a 30-Minute Course Chat, so we can come up with a course topic and strategy perfectly tailored to your business!
Until next time…