During my career at NovoEd, I have had the pleasure to work with a variety of organizations and institutions to develop effective online learning experiences. While each course featured unique content for a specific audience, we utilized the following framework for each of the course designs. Enjoy this brief summary of the 5 Steps to Transform Your Online Course Design.

Online Course Design Framework

Step 1: Understand Your Learners

Before designing a learning experience, it’s vital to understand what impact you want to have on individuals and the larger organization. This will set the stage for the following phases.

Step 2: Set Goals

One of the biggest mistakes we see is setting the wrong kind of goals for learning experiences. Don’t just list the topics to be covered in the course, but identify clear outcomes for learners. Projects, applications of skills, and real knowledge transfer make the best outcome goals.

Step 3: Design Activities and Experiences

Think beyond quizzes, which only test recall of facts. Only activities and real experiences can allow you to apply higher order thinking skills such as innovation, leadership, and sales. Consider ways to get your learners to apply your concepts in real-world contexts such as work or home. Could they work with others (in teams) to accomplish these learning goals?

Step 4: Support with Content

Only a small amount of learning (experts suggest 10%) comes from formal education. Better is to put ideas into practice. Thus, the videos and resources you use are there to support the activities. They should have a clear purpose: to provide the necessary tools, ideas, or frameworks required to complete activities.

Step 5: Deliver and Assess

Get going. Try out your learning experience on a pilot group, and don’t be afraid to fail. Gather feedback from your learner population through course surveys. Perhaps you need to adjust your goals, activities, or content. We view the framework as iterative, where your course is continually improving as you incorporate new ideas.

Want to Learn More?

If you’re curious and would like to read the full white paper with case studies, you can find it here.

To put these ideas into practice, we invite you to join our free course: The Foundations of Learning Experience Design.

Also, be sure to check out our posts on Instructional Design Best Practices.