How to Design Course Structure – Tips & Tricks

How to design course structure: Although there are some similarities between teaching online and in a traditional classroom, there are also some differences. While a course creator may interact with students in a classroom, improvise on the fly, and receive immediate feedback, doing so in an online setting is far more difficult.

The design of online courses has therefore taken on even more significance. More so in an asynchronous setting when course creators must create the curriculum and course materials in advance.

Even seasoned online course creators may find it difficult to prepare for a new course when they are teaching in an online setting. However, the process may be easy and enjoyable with a few straightforward techniques. Here are four techniques that every instructor may utilize to create an online course with success.

Get the learner involved – Design Course Structure

How to design course structure: One prevalent misconception about online education is that it only involves reading or watching videos, followed by easy essay writing or forum posting. This is untrue, though, as many things completely engross online learners.

Throughout any course, students should increase their involvement with the material and show that they comprehend it. Authentic activities that link topic understanding to real-world applicability can be incorporated by instructors. Examining case studies and developing problem-based scenarios in which the students study the issue and develop answers or fill in any gaps may both be considered authentic exercises.

Additionally, course creators may employ inquiry-based learning (IBL), which mandates that students research any content-related questions they may have. Utilizing Know, Want to Know, and Learned (KWL) charts is one method that online educators may use to construct IBL. KWL charts may be used to help students determine what they already know and what they still wish to learn about a subject.

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Strategy 2: Make collaboration effective

How to design course structure: The next step is to foster greater peer cooperation after integrating student engagement in the subject and with the course creator. Course creators frequently believe that working together in an online setting is difficult or impossible. However, collaboration may be a smooth and advantageous method for course creation with the application of straightforward tactics.

Implementing Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) is one strategy to design course structure. PLCs are groups of students that routinely communicate via email, message boards, video conferencing, group phone conversations, etc. to work on problems or themes connected to the course material. To encourage everyone’s active engagement in the PLC, instructors might assign responsibilities to certain students. These include mentor (reviews peer work and provides expert criticism before submission), interpreter (reteaches ideas), reminder (reiterates assignment requirements and deadlines), and facilitator (serves as team leader and primary contact to instructor). PLCs help collaborates on real-world projects and support students who are reluctant to join by providing peer scaffolding.

How to design course structure: If course creators want to employ group tasks that are not connected to PLCs, they should make the expectations clear. Before beginning the task, groups should decide who will be in charge of each component and specify when it will be finished.

To help students, the course creator might offer a chart outlining the many aspects of the project so that each student can choose a specific area to contribute. To produce the final result, the group will collaboratively review each member’s submission. Wikis, blogs, and podcasts are examples of new technologies that students might utilize to increase collaboration.

Strategy 3: Create a Consistent, Clear Structure

How to design course structure: The appearance of the course may be purposely welcoming, intentionally disinviting, accidentally inviting, or accidentally uninviting. The amount of material that instructors frequently need to jam into the online learning environment might make it uninviting for students. Courses must have a distinct and unified structure that allows for simple navigation if they are to actively create a welcoming online environment. The structure of each module should be the same. Reading materials, duties, assignments, possibilities for collaboration, etc. should always be in the same place and format.

Each module should also include new material and learning objectives while maintaining the overall design of the preceding modules. Making ensuring all the resources used during the course are available in the LMS is a smart strategy when considering course design and learner usability.

Strategy 4: Reflect and Revise

How to design course structure: Academic studies and outstanding teaching case studies demonstrate that a reflective practitioner is a successful practitioner. To enhance the learning environment for students, the course creator might employ a variety of reflective practices.

Flexible parameters for the performance evaluation process are necessary for successful instructional course design. The five steps of ADDIE, form the foundation of content design, analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate.

How to design course structure: Reflective practitioners examine their courses through the prism of best practices throughout the assessment process. Student input and maintaining a design record of issues that arise over a semester are two methods for reflecting on course designs. Finally, there are course design rubrics that may evaluate course design using research-based criteria, including those from Quality Matters.

We hope that you have understood how to design course structure.

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