Three things you should expect from an online course

There are online courses everywhere these days. Some are great, some are bad and most are somewhere in between. When it comes to choosing an online course for yourself or your staff, what should you expect?

Relevant Content

At a basic level, you should expect the content to be relevant. It should relate directly to the roles of those taking part. Some courses are quite lengthy and might include modules for beginners right up to experienced participants. If this is the case, participants should be able to navigate freely and not be forced to do the modules that are not relevant to them. The exception to this is often when there's a certification involved.

Any examples or activities should be relevant to the work of the participants too. This will help them apply what they learn to their own work.

Engaging Content

There really is no excuse for boring online courses nowadays. You should expect a mixture of text, images, videos and activities to be used to keep participants engaged. You should expect participants to want to continue working through the course - not feel bored reading or watching videos.

Practical Activities

For most subjects, the learning will really become embedded when participants take action to apply what they learn. Online courses shouldn't be all theory, but should include practical activities that are closely related to what participants should be able to do at work after the course. You should expect quizzes, scenarios, games, labs, sandpits or challenges.

Bonus - Interaction

Many people learn from the social aspect of discussing what they are learning with others. It is often said that at conferences or workshops, people learn just as much from those they meet than they do from the speaker or trainer. You might therefore expect some form of interaction to be built in. This might involve a discussion forum or coaching calls.

What do you expect from an online course? What are some of the features you'd look for and expect on every online course? What are some of the bonus features for you?


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