How one can Create an On-line Course: A Newbie’s Information –
contributed by Helen Colman
This is sponsored content by iSpring
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced teachers around the world who have spent their entire careers in the classroom to switch to online classes (often with just a few days’ notice). If you are a teacher or faculty member who needs to get into the world of online teaching, you may come across course writing for the first time.
Curious to learn how to create online courses quickly and easily? You can be up and running in no time with these simple steps:
Step 1: Define the topic
Consider the context of the average student who will complete your course. How is she familiar with the subject? How motivated are you to take this course? How do you have to use this knowledge after class? Narrow the focus of your course to a few specific, measurable learning objectives, taking into account the basic demographics of your learners.
A recommended approach is to think of each online course you create as similar in size and scope to a single lesson that would have been taught in a classroom. The content of a teaching semester probably cannot be reduced to a single eLearning course. However, you can create a course program in which each one conveys a single idea and the entire program covers the content of a semester.
Step 2: Gather all the required content
Creating an online course is a really creative process and it takes time to bring all of the pieces of the course together. Once you’ve set your learning goals, work begins with writing content and choosing the related media, such as photos and videos, to be used throughout your course.
When customizing content that was used for virtual or face-to-face lectures, start with existing content from your school on the same topic, such as: B. Presentation slides, articles and textbooks. Review these materials for information relevant to citing in your course. When searching for content online, make sure you are using non-copyrighted media. If you are wondering, “Can I use this image?” You may want to review the usage guidelines and laws related to fair use and public domain. Images and videos are subject to the same copyright rules as written text. Therefore, you should make sure that you are getting content from approved websites and sources that you can use in your course.
Step 3: create a storyboard
Once you’ve gathered all of the content for your course, you’ll want to piece the elements together into a cohesive storyboard that resembles an outline. In this document, you will summarize all planned content and course information, and describe how to use the authoring tool to make your presentation interactive.
There are many ways to create a storyboard (using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or even a quick prototype of the course in the authoring tool). Whichever format you choose, your job is to plan out all of the content that will be included in your course to support your learning goals. Write down paragraphs of text, transition sentences, and ratings, and include any relevant media such as photos and videos. Next, review this document to ensure that all of the content matches your learning objectives.
Example of a course storyboard
Step 4: write your course
Now is the time to bring your course to life! An authoring tool is a software program that enables you to create eLearning content and distribute it through a learning management system or on the web. Most authoring tools maintain a slide-based course structure – you create slides, fill them with text, images, videos, and animations. Depending on the software, you can also add quizzes, drag-and-drop activities, and simulations.
With the iSpring Suite’s authoring tool, you can, for example, upload existing PowerPoint slides as the basis of your course and then expand them with special eLearning functions: interactive quizzes, video lectures and dialog simulations, to name just a few. So it’s very powerful in terms of eLearning authoring and at the same time easy to use, so you can create courses quickly. In addition, many authoring tools such as Take, for example, the iSpring Suite, a library of templates, characters, and images, to save you hours of design time so you don’t have to hunt for the media you need (unless you want to!).
A slide from an online biology course created with iSpring
Learn about the capabilities of your authoring tool so that you can make the most of all of the options available. Train your students with features that enhance the learning experience, provide learners with opportunities for realistic interactions, conversations and simulations, and present content that suits the moment of learner needs, whether it’s bite-sized micro-learning or deeper immersion longer content.
Step 5: do final reviews and share the course
It can be helpful to get ratings and feedback about the course from your peers and school administrators. Each of them have their own perspective on the content and the course itself, so they can share their opinion on what they like and what they think needs improvement.
After you’ve gathered all of the feedback and made the necessary adjustments, it’s time to share the course with your students. The most convenient way to provide eLearning content is through a Learning Management System (LMS). To add your course to an LMS, you must first export it as a SCORM package (almost all authoring tools offer this option). After uploading it to the LMS, you can follow the students’ progress and results.
With a little planning, creating eLearning courses using today’s authoring tools can be a really fun and efficient way to work. Whether you are new to online course design or have some experience developing content, we hope this guide provides helpful guidance.
Helen is an editor and content strategist at iSpring. She likes to combine thorough research with expert knowledge from the eLearning industry.