At the moment, we’re really focused on helping our clients move their face-to-face and print-based courses online as quickly as possible. That can be deceptively simple to do if the goal is just to get some materials online, and you have a platform available already. But doing this without a considered approach to learning design and a real effort to make sure the resulting courses are optimised for online delivery is likely to fail, even as a short-term fix. 

We think it’s vital to do everything possible to make the online experience as good as possible, even when under severe time and constraints. That means not losing sight of what makes for effective learning, and there are some relatively quick and simple things you can do that will make a big difference.  One tool we use to help with this is our Learning Design Principles document and a set of simple checklists we’ve developed to help put those into practice when time is short.

 In this week’s #RemoteTogether, we’re sharing some of those checklists – we hope that if you’re in the process of adapting courses for online, you’ll find them useful. And, if you haven’t already, we’d recommended downloading the Learning Design Principles, too.

Goals & motivation

When designing an online course, it’s important to consider learners’ goals and motivations because intrinsic motivation is key to successful learning.

Journey & Scaffolding

It’s important to provide a clear structure and learner journey. The goal is to continually adjust the levels of challenge and support, so that learners are stretched but not overwhelmed.

Messaging

It’s important to tell the story of the course to help the learners understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. You can think about this as your ‘teacher voice’. 

Practice

In our experience, online versions of face-to-face courses often fall short in the amount, type and variety of practice provided. Effective practice is key to learning new knowledge and skills.

Cognitive load

It’s important to think carefully about cognitive load in your course and task design. Effective learning means respecting the limits of working memory capacity. 

Feedback

Good feedback doesn’t just tell us whether something is right or wrong. It’s important to provide timely and specific feedback, but this can be difficult in an online environment. 

Check out previous posts on the series:

#RemoteTogether – Week 1: Adapting for online learning  

#RemoteTogether – Week 2: Remote Workshops

#RemoteTogether – Week 3: Online Teaching

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