Whether it’s compliance training, tips on sales techniques, new product training, or even learning Spanish, top trainers know that course design is one of the most important elements in making sure information gets through to students and is absorbed.
In considering how to design an online course, there are a few big questions that, once answered, can go a long way toward establishing your design. Who’s your audience? Where are they, and when will they likely be sitting down to review your course? What’s the subject matter?
Answering these first few questions, even if it initially seems obvious, will help establish the framework for an online course. From there, veteran instructional designers often talk about “storyboarding” a course, the way a film director storyboards the shots of a movie.
The storyboarding concept allows a designer to think about the course as a story — to arrange the information into some sort of cohesive narrative. Inserting things like quizzes or tests, breaks, discussion points, maybe even bits of comic relief, can come later, when you’ve considered the “flow” and pacing of the course.
So whether you’re dealing with a corporate sales staff spread over several countries, or teaching Geometry to online high school students, course design plays a key role. Taking a little time up front to consider the best and most effective way to present your information will pay off down the road.