Effective online course design starts with people

The shift to virtual learning in early 2020 put a spotlight on online course design, with all its flaws and inconsistencies. But there are good examples of effective online course design. First and foremost, engaging online learning programs are built with empathy for both the teacher and the student. If this foundational design philosophy is missing, engagement rates and true learning plummet.

As learning experts, we’re aware of new types of learning that are a leap for those who don’t say the word “pedagogy” every day. There’s a world where AI, analytics, micro-credentials, mixed reality media, and more all mingle for the good of advancing learning. Sometimes, we succeed in encouraging educators to try some of these new things that can move the needle for their learners. However, it can be tricky getting there.

Often, success lies on a narrow path. It starts with the emotional intelligence to examine multiple points of view. For example, the campus distance learning administrator who seeks input and feedback from teachers and students before mapping a virtual learning framework. Or a teacher who imagines what it’s like to be a student who is struggling as they plan their online course. Caring enough to examine multiple viewpoints leads to amazing learning.

About the Author:

As Construct‘s Chief Learning Officer in the Salt Lake City office, Michael Atkinson connects with the Construct team across the globe in order to understand and develop strategies to drive learning to be more impactful. Using his expertise and personal passion for education, Michael ensures that learning Construct designs and builds benefits not only students, learners, and clients, but that it also supports everyone on the Construct team to progress in their own professional and lifelong learning endeavors.

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