Working together on an online course

For a while now you’ve been thinking about designing your own course. You’re doubting whether or not to do it. And, to make it an online course or not.


It seems like there is a world between now and the day that your course is finally out there, online, reachable, learned from and … good! (Ok. And fun. I’ll come to that later).


“I have lots of content and I want to put it online to make it an online course. And I also want to be able to reach more people. How on earth do I do this?” A question often asked to me by clients.  


Well, here the fun part begins.


I start asking you lots of difficult questions, whereas you might think you were almost there. (Hey! What can be so difficult about putting some video’s online and writing an exam? Nothing, really. But you might want to go through some important steps before your course is used by your students).


Killing your darlings, cutting video’s, writing learning activities (“Do you mean questions?”  Yes, but more than that), thinking about teaching activities (‘Do you mean video’s?” Yes, but more than that.). And yes, together with you I really want to write some overall learning goals. It might seem unnecessary (you know what you want the course to be about, right?), it might seem boring, but in the same way a body can’t move and get up without a spine, a course can’t exist without learning goals. You’ll see, they will help you stick to the topic, make sure learners actually will learn what you want them to learn, and that you put no superfluous content in the course that distracts from your main topic.


Oh right, I promised to tell you something about ‘fun’. Many clients tell me: ‘Yes Veerle, but my students only want to learn about this topic, it doesn’t need to be fun.’ or ‘Yes that’s a very nice idea, but the people that will follow my course are professionals / scientists / teachers / doctors / firemen / translaters / … (fill in any other group of people that will fall asleep after watching 3 hours of video, filling in 50 multiple choice questions and reading 60 pages intensively).’


I might not be more misunderstood.


I’m not talking about humour here (although a bit of humour doesn’t harm anyone). I actually mean adding things to your course that make it even better. Surprise, inspire, provoke, intrigue or enlighten your learners with anecdotes, quotes, images, poetry, statements, … (I can go on here, but I won’t, this blog will get too long). Then your learners will stay awake and engage with your course. A course that stands out.


Ready to design and develop your course?