Congratulations! You’ve created your online course and you’re ready to enroll students.
People like to see where they are, so assessments are an easy way for them to judge their progress.
Consider using a PRE-assessment and a POST-assessment in your online course. The assessments may actually be the same content, but one is given before they start the module and the other after the module.
Students appreciate saving time with a pre-assessment to discover that they already know the content and can move to the next module. This is particularly important if you teach basic skills in your content area.
Or you might use one of the digital trackers that shows each student’s progress as compared with other students. These are generally self-scored so students can track their progress at the end of each section. Many students are motivated by comparing themselves to others or challenging themselves to finish a particular section within a specified time.
Instead, consider a simple private Facebook group. Since many online students are already on Facebook, it’s a natural way for them to communicate. It’s also simple for administrative purposes, since it takes no maintenance on your part.
However, remember that this type of group is generally not appropriate for a course with a monthly renewal fee, as you would need to monitor who is a current member and add and delete members as their membership status changes.
Remember – an enhancement is best used when it is easy to administer and adds to the learning.
Keep in mind that your job as the course creator is to create support materials that make it easier to learn and use the course content. So when creating a checklist, only include the critical steps.
In fact, you may have one checklist for learning the process – and a second simplified checklist for doing the process. Consider multiple checklists for the process – one for setup and one for the repetitive tasks that are done more frequently.
Checklists save time and make both learning and doing faster. And students love checklists. They generally feel that if there is a checklist – then it’s a process that is simple enough they can learn it. So include checklists in every online course you teach!
Many times students sign up for a course, complete the coursework, then disappear. But you can help them continue to benefit from your course by providing ongoing content.
The easiest way to create ongoing content is by using Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs. These lend themselves to pre-sales materials for the course, as well as during the course – and as ongoing content.
Consider this. A student has finished the course then a few weeks later receives an FAQ from you – either via email or posted to the course site (with an email notice). This FAQ is one that they either forgot to ask when they were actively studying the course or one that they haven’t yet gotten to in their use of the content.
Either way, they either nod and say “Good – I already knew that” or “Wow – great to know!” At the same time they are thinking “Yes, that was a good course. And look – she’s continuing to provide good content. She still cares about me.”
Ongoing content lets you stay in front of the student as the expert you are!
It’s easy to see that there are many ways you can enhance your current online course. And these enhancements can be added at any time, so take these ideas and get busy on creating your online course.
Naturally these Learning Enhancements are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possibilities.