Okay, so you have an idea for your online course, have done your fair bit of research and are ready to plunge into the world on online teaching. Kudos to the enthusiasm! You open your computer and crack your knuckles, roaring to get started. Login to your favourite teaching platform and sit there staring at the screen. “Where do I start with!?”
Most of the new course creators fall out and give up right at this point. I don’t know where to begin. We’ve chalked out this simple two step exercise to do before your actual course creation. It’ll help you organize more efficiently and save the frustration.
Step 1: Organize and structure your course
This is the very first thing you should do after you’ve decided to be an online teacher. Think of online learning as a journey your students take and this part being you chalking out a roadmap for them (and for you as well!)
Mark the starting point and the end point of the journey. The starting point is the proficiency level of your target student. If your course is aimed at complete beginners – “Introduction and brief history” is your starting point. If you’re targeting people who already know the basics – “A primer and what should you know” becomes your starting point. Get the flow?
The end point of your course essentially means what level of proficiency would the student achieve after taking the complete course. Once you have the end points marked out, break down the course into 3 to 5 milestones. Each milestone gets your student closer to the end!
Step 2: Fill in with lessons
Once you have the broad roadmap ready you’re ready to fill it in with lessons. The goal of each milestone is to make the student proficient in one or at most two concepts. Anything more would make learning arduous.
Design your lessons to fit between each milestone. Concept no 1 and 2 are required to reach the first milestone. Topic 3 should go between the first and second milestone.
Remember to keep an open mind and think from the student’s point of view. Drawing parallels from your own journey of mastering the subject can be a big help.
Tip: End each milestone with a short quiz (or two) to let your students gauge their understanding of the topic.
Once you have a this roadmap of your course ready, you can mark which parts need to be a video, which parts can be explained with text and what else can you add to make things interesting.
Ideally, this exercise should be iterated a few times to make sure you’ve covered everything. Sleep over it. And don’t aim for perfection, just make sure that you have a broad plan to follow (you can always make changes later on).
After a few iterations, you’ll start feeling confident about your course, this is the time roll up your sleeves and get on with the course production! You might want to check out Make A Killer Video Using Your Smartphone for video production using your smartphones.
We hope this article helps you get started with your own online course, let us know in the comments section below.