Getting Online: The GO Project


Online Content

Designing Your Online Course

Now that you are through the planning phase and have analyzed your audience needs, considered your organizational capacity, and thought about the technology you will use, you are ready to go ahead with creating your online course or workshop.

It's important to remember that online training is about more than simply taking the information and training you have previously offered and putting a duplicate online. It's a different way of doing things, and while you may be able to incorporate similar activities and information, your online teaching and training sessions are not going to replicate your face-to-face teaching and training sessions. Sometimes, the technology will not lend itself to creating a carbon copy of a tried and true face-to-face teaching method, but far more often, technology will open many new and exciting ways for you to teach. Therefore, because you will be working in a new environment, you need to recognize that and embrace the differences and the opportunities.

When designing and developing online content, there are no absolute rights or wrongs. There are many factors that we will explore in the following sections that will impact on your decision about how you want to design your training. For example, is your online learning initiative a one-time afternoon event or is it a full semester course? Will it be facilitated or is it self-study? Will it be graded or not? Will it be an open course that anyone can join or will you restrict how many people can enroll at one time? Just like with traditional face-to-face questions, some of these choices will be within your control and others will be decided for you, perhaps based on the type of online learning technology you are using, by the organization where you work, or by the content you are trying to teach.

As you will see when you explore this section, there are no hard and fast rules or definitive answers. There is no one single way to design online content; so much depends on the approach you are taking, the needs and abilities of your organization and your participants, the type of technology you might use, whether you will be offering accredited learning or informal training opportunities.

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