5 Key Components To A Successful Online Course

Schools are rapidly moving online to protect their students, faculty, and staff during the global pandemic. If online courses are new to your school, you might be wondering where to begin. 

While online courses can be highly customized to fit personal delivery preferences, there are a few commonalities in what makes an online course successful. Below are five key components to a successful online course.

1. Picking The Right Platform

Your school can’t successfully deliver online courses without a reliable course platform. You need to know that you can rely on it to not malfunction or crash while classes are in session. 

The platform you choose must also include features that you need for your courses. For example, if you want to have instructors record each class session they teach so that students can rewatch them later, you need to be sure the platform you choose has a recording option.

2. High Class Engagement

Because students aren’t in the same physical place as the instructor, it’s easier for them to get bored, or worse, distracted! Therefore, online courses need to be extremely engaging and interesting. There are many ways to keep student engagement high during online classes. For example, features like coursewide chats, polls, and assessments keep students involved in the class session.

Remember that text heavy presentations are boring! Keep visual appeal top of mind when it comes to learning materials. Online instruction is a great opportunity for instructors to incorporate online resources into their class materials. Between videos, articles, interactive models, and more, there are many online resources that can serve to engage students, improve their comprehension, and enrich the class session.

3. Easy Access To Course Materials

Whether your school has an LMS in place or not, having a platform where students can easily access class presentations and supplemental course materials is a key component of successful online courses.

4. Secure Attendance Tracking

Verifying that students are logging in as themselves and are active in online course sessions is imperative, especially for schools with clock hour programs. Attendance tracking methods like assignment submittal or email verification don’t reflect exactly how long students were in the session. An attendance solution like CourseKey, however, can accurately track how long a student was in the session by enabling students to check themselves in and out with secure user verification.

5.  Virtual Office Hours

When instructors are presenting to the whole class, they don’t always have time to address individual students’ questions. Designating a specific time of the day or of the week to host virtual office hours is vital to successful online courses. Giving students the option to spend one on one time with instructors to get extra help and have their questions answered can be incredibly influential to students’ comprehension. Virtual office hours can provide clarity and extra interaction for students, which can sometimes get lost when communicating primarily over text or email.

Timely Transition

Online learning is quickly becoming the norm for schools across the country. Ensure your program is successful by adopting all of the key components listed above. 

Through a combination of web conferencing software and Coursekey attendance, engagement, and assessment tools, CourseKey can help your school switch to live online courses quickly and easily. To get in touch with a CourseKey team member, fill out the form below!

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