What Makes an Online Course Great?

June 7, 2023

Incorporating video is essential

Video is a powerful tool for teaching online. It can be used to explain concepts, demonstrate how to do something and give your students a personal perspective on a particular situation.

Video can also be helpful in building your online course's credibility with potential students. For example, if you are selling an online course about how to build websites, showing yourself using Photoshop or WordPress will help convince people that they should buy from you instead of other similar products because their money would go towards someone who actually knows what they're talking about!

Your course should be interactive, not just a presentation

A great online course is not just a presentation. It's interactive and engaging, allowing students to engage with other students and the instructor in a variety of ways.

  • A discussion board allows you to post questions or topics that the class can discuss throughout the term. You can also use this tool as an opportunity for peer review, students can comment on each others' work and give feedback, which helps improve communication skills while they're learning how to write effectively!
  • If you want your students' thoughts out there for all of us to see (and maybe even learn from), try setting up a chat box so they can talk directly with each other or ask questions directly at any point during your lesson plan if they get stuck somewhere along the way. This will allow everyone involved more opportunities for collaboration than traditional methods might provide; plus it'll show off how awesomely open-minded our generation really is when given half a chance!

It should be easy to navigate

The course should be organised into sections, with each section containing a set of lessons.

The instructors should make sure that there is a logical structure to the course, so you can easily find what you're looking for.

The instructor should provide an easy-to-find table of contents that students can use as a guide throughout their learning experience.

It should have a clear structure that makes it easy to follow

The structure of your online course should be logical and easy to follow. This means you should use a clear sequence of steps, or modules, that guide students through the course material. You can also break up content into smaller chunks by using subheadings within each module.

It's important that students can find the next step in a logical way so they don't get lost or frustrated while learning on your site, a good rule of thumb is to provide at least three ways for them to navigate through your content:

  • The main menu lets them choose between all modules (or sections) available on their current page;
  • Each module/section has its own navigation bar at the top where users can go back up one level;
  • We recommend including links at least once per paragraph so users can easily get back into reading mode if they want to skip ahead or go back without having to scroll down again;

You should give students a way to get in touch with you if they need help or have questions

You should give students a way to get in touch with you if they need help or have questions.

This can be done in many ways, but here are some examples:

  • Use a contact form on the course website so that students can ask questions without having to private message you on Facebook or Twitter or send emails directly. This makes it easier for everyone involved!
  • Provide phone numbers and email addresses where you can be reached during business hours (or 24/7). If your course is online-only, include social media profiles as well as contact information so people have more ways to reach out if needed.

Students can get involved with each other as well as with you, so incorporate social media and discussion boards

Students can get involved with each other as well as with you, so incorporate social media and discussion boards.

Social media is a great way for students to interact with one another and share their thoughts about the course material. It's also an opportunity for you to see what they're talking about, which might give you some ideas for future lessons or assignments. For example, if several students mention a particular topic in their tweets or Facebook posts, it might be worth bringing up during class time, or at least mentioning that there was some interest in this subject area among your student body!

Discussions boards are another good way of encouraging participation among your students: create an area where they can post questions or comments about each module's content (or any other topic), then go through those comments regularly so that no one gets left behind on something important due to lack of response from others who may already have answered the question before them!

When you create an online course, make sure it's interactive, accessible and engaging

If you want to create an online course that people will actually want to take, there are some simple things you can do. First of all, make sure your course is interactive and accessible.

Secondly, use a variety of media to make it interesting. For example:

  • Use online quizzes to test knowledge (and give students feedback).
  • Use forums to encourage discussion among students (and give them opportunities for peer-to-peer learning).

FAQs on what makes an online course great

Curious about what makes an online course truly great? Explore these frequently asked questions to understand the essential components of an exceptional online course.

What are the key characteristics of a great online course?

  • Make it easy to navigate.
  • Make it easy to access.
  • Make it easy to understand.
  • Make it easy to use, and create a learning environment that's optimised for the device or platform you're using (e.g., mobile phones have different features than laptops).
  • Ensure that learners can share what they've learned with others in their lives through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, or emailing links out from within your course site itself, this helps spread the word about what you're doing!

How can clear learning objectives enhance the learning experience for online course participants?

A clear learning objective will set the tone for your online course. It's important to define the problem before starting on a solution, and it's even more important to be ambitious when setting goals.

But don't worry about what other people's goals are, make sure they're realistic and achievable for you! Most importantly, define your own learning objective as clearly as possible before starting an online course so that everyone can get excited about their progress together.

Here are some examples of tangible fitness goals that could be achieved in 3-6 months:

  • losing 10 pounds (1 pound per week)
  • running 5 kilometers without stopping (1 kilometer per day)

What strategies can be used to make online course content engaging and interactive?

There are a variety of strategies you can use to make your online courses engaging and interactive.

  • Video is an excellent way to engage students in an online course, but it's important that you produce quality video content. Don't just record yourself talking at the camera; instead, try using screencasts or other visual aids that will help students follow along with what you're saying.
  • Quizzes and other interactive elements are another great way to keep students engaged in an online course, and they don't have to be complicated! You can simply ask questions throughout the material as it progresses (or even just at the end), or use games like Jeopardy! where students answer questions about material from earlier lessons in order score points based on their answers' accuracy relative to others' responses or guesses based on their knowledge level regarding those topics being covered later down line during class time frame (i.,e., "What did Thomas Edison invent?"). These types of activities should also encourage discussion between classmates since many people tend share similar interests within certain fields - especially when there are multiple classes offered simultaneously within same subject area(s) like social sciences & humanities related studies programs such as psychology/psychiatry studies programs offered here at University Of Wisconsin Madison where I attend school full time now since August 2015 semester started last week.

How should the curriculum be structured to optimise learning outcomes?

The curriculum of an online course is the backbone of your instructional design. A well-structured curriculum will make it easier for students to learn, which means they'll be able to retain information better and achieve their goals more quickly.

To ensure that you are designing a great online course, here are some things you should consider:

  • Learning objectives: What do you want your students to know at the end of this class? How can you measure whether or not they learned those things? If a student does not meet these objectives by the end of the course, then he or she has failed, which means there's room for improvement in future iterations!

What instructional design techniques can be implemented to facilitate effective learning?

If you have an online course, it's important to use a variety of instructional design techniques. These include:

  • Multimedia. Including images and videos in your course can help students understand the content more easily and make it more memorable.
  • Varied learning activities. In addition to reading articles or watching videos, consider including games and exercises that require students' active involvement in the learning process (e.g., quizzes).
  • Varied assessment methods & feedback methods: Provide multiple opportunities for assessment (in-class tests; homework assignments; projects) so that all types of learners have an opportunity to demonstrate what they've learned from a particular topic or unit within your coursework as opposed to just one type of assessment (e..g,, multiple choice exams). Furthermore, provide timely feedback on these assessments so students know whether or not their answers are correct without waiting until after class ends, this will help them improve their skills faster!


The key to creating an online course that's engaging and effective is to use the right tools. Video, social media and discussion boards can all be used effectively to enhance your course materials and make them more interactive. However, it's important not just for teachers but also students themselves who want their learning experience to be as effective as possible.

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