Understanding your learners is the key to any well-designed course. My audience is instructors and faculty teaching at the post-secondary level. You, however, will be teaching the learners at this level. I found instructors prefer different methods than students, much less detail, and more practical examples. Your learners need the depth and breadth of a topic to fully understand. Here, I will provide the depth and breadth in research articles to extend knowledge and understanding for those interested.
Not all learners have taken an online course. They may not realize the challenges ahead. In Lesson 1 there are two main steps, “Learner Persistence and Needs” and “Learner Engagement.” You will find out about your learners, and I will provide the keys to help them persist in the online environment. You will see a quality standards document for online courses, and we will discuss formative assessment and its relationship to student engagement.
Quick links :
- Learner Persistence and Needs
- Learner Engagement
Your learners have complicated lives and each has issues that compete with their learning. We can help by providing a course with some flexibility and a consistent design. To figure out what you are up against, begin with Research, Planning, and Assessment. In this department, they usually survey incoming students and can provide a wealth of information. My college has a quick facts page that gives information about our general population. Some students do not live on campus and are working their way through college, needing that flexibility I was talking about. One week before class begins, welcome your students to your class, provide links to technical training resources they will need in your course and send out a survey.
Here is an example: https://goo.gl/forms/C6wyZGVA5bCEdZS82