Online Courses: 5 Characteristics of a Good Online Course

You may have enrolled in one of the popular online learning degree programs, or have chosen to study one of the alternatives to online degrees. Now that you’re starting as an online learner, you might want to know more about what makes a good online course. Here are 5 characteristics you should be mindful about:

A good online course makes you know all the details

A good online course provides you with all the information you need. You are given the objectives of the course, the course syllabus, the list of resources and materials you will need, and the list of people (or professors) you will be interacting with. The course objectives should be stated plainly, giving you a clear understanding of what you should be able to do after you finish the course. You know the clear methods of evaluation and the grading system that will be used in the course. Simply said, by yourself, you should be given enough information to determine that you’ve learned a lot.

A good online course keeps your attention

Good instructional design keeps your attention. This means that the activities, exercises, and content that are assigned should be able to engage your attention, either by keeping you on your toes or by motivating you to study beyond what was covered. Granted that these are things that you should be doing all along as an online learner, but if the material itself is interesting enough to keep you going back then that’s a major plus.

A good online course matches its content to your understanding

One of the most common misunderstandings about online education is that it’s too easy, but actually nothing can be farther than the truth. If the content is too easy then it could get you bored real quick. On the other hand, if you see that it’s too difficult then it will be incredibly frustrating. A good online course always tries to match the content to the level of understanding that the online learner has. The content should be just ‘hard enough’ that it it’s not easy and not too difficult, with the same experience maintained all throughout. This is done just by trimming and dividing the material in small learning focuses, with each chunk discussing a core topic and requiring an appropriate amount of study time. If you see that the content provided is just enough, then you’ve got a winner on your hands.

A good online course promotes great student interaction

Online courses are often facilitated by people who are well-versed in instructional design and online teaching. This means that they should be schooled in managing the motivation and interest of their learners, enough that the learners would be able to continue to commit attending the online course. If you see yourself looking forward to your group chats, then that’s a good sign.

A good online course makes you more interested

The key word here is that you become more interested. Interest definitely goes down if the material is repeated over and over; a good online course finds a way to make material more interesting. Good online courses also motivate you to study beyond the material assigned, and frankly, there’s no other measure of real interest than this. If you find that you’re always excited about the next learning topic, then it’s a clear indication that you’re on an excellent online course.

One Response to “Online Courses: 5 Characteristics of a Good Online Course”

  1. […] communication that online education employs. Though having a good facilitator is one of the characteristics of a good online course , it still helps to know the basic stuff when participating in live-chats. Here are 4 things that […]