What’s a good online course?


A good online course is well designed. A well-thought out course stands out from the rest. A good course has the following characteristics:

  • Learning objectives and outcomes are spelt out right at the beginning. Similarly, learning outcomes for each module and unit are also clearly laid out. Importantly, students must be able to understand them easily. 
  • The courses is well sequenced. Begins with the basics and proceeds to the complex. 
  • All the units together lead to fulfilling of the course objectives and outcomes.
  • Good interactive elements. A good online course would have a strong introductory video, explanatory videos, quizzes and discussions etc that will keep the students engaged. 
  • Provides students opportunities for self-assessment (not graded) before they move on to graded assignments.
  • Well thought out and sequenced activities and assessments. Whatever be the mode of assessment, they are all tuned to achieving course outcomes. 
  • Is supported well by the course instructor. S/he is available to the learners when they need support.
  • It also provides for collaborative learning. Each learner comes with a set of skills. By allowing them to collaborate, they learn from each other too.
  • Accommodates a variety of learners. There might be fast and slow learners. The learning material caters to both types. The instructor is prepared to spend more time with slow learners.
  • Projects and assignments are engaging and enthuse students to work on them. Students love challenges. Provide them with projects and assignments that are challenging.
  • A good online course also provides for practice. 
  • Finally, the course provides for learning from a range of materials and sources.
  • The instructor provides personal attention to each student.
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