The number of online learning providers has exploded over the past few years. It’s easier (and cheaper) than ever to become an online teacher and to create online courses. It may sound fun but creating an effective online course or building an online school is actually extremely challenging and there are a lot of little-known things that you should know before starting out on your online education journey.
As someone who does this for a living (shoot me an email at dunn.jeff [at] gmail.com if you want more tips or to work together!) and loves integrating education technology, I’ve come up with a few key tips for using offline material to create online courses. I recently shared these tips on Learn Egg, the question-and-answer site for education. Feel free to share your insight over there if you have more tips!
5 Tips For Creating Online Courses With Offline Material
1) Get buy-in from the community. If you run a school or department that wants to create online courses using currently offline material, then make sure you get a large enough percentage of community members who want to help create those courses. One person can’t do it alone. Believe me, I’ve tried.
2) Get a GREAT online learning platform. I’ve been liking SchoolKeep and Udemy For Organizations (UFO) for the most easy-to-use options. If you’re looking for free or cheap, try out the free Moodle option (no frills but it has a lot of users and knowledgebase / FAQs)
3) Create a ‘how to create a course’ course for others to take. I know this sounds a bit silly but having a user guide that uses the online learning platform makes a huge difference and actually saves you time in the long run.
4) Don’t be afraid to turn text-based documents into screencasts! If you have a professor’s work that’s dozens (hundreds?) of pages, don’t be afraid to turn it into a SoundCloud file, a screencast using Camtasia, or a visual.
5) Use interactive lessons! If you can add an image, a Prezi, a quiz, or an assessment of any kind then do it. It’ll make a world of difference.
There are plenty of other tips and time-saving ideas I’ve come up with over the past few years but wanted to get some useful ideas out there. I hope this helps you out a bit if you’re looking to embark on creating your own online course!