6 keys to a good online course

Here’s a hint: It’s not really about the technology

good-online-courseOnline learning is about changing the delivery of instruction, but if it’s one thing everyone agrees on, it’s that good teaching, just like in the traditional classroom, makes or breaks the course. But what are the other characteristics of a good online course?

“In the current frenzy around online education and MOOCs, we spend a lot of time focused on the science of what technology can enable — and less on the art about what may actually make an online course good,” writes PandoDaily.

Surprisingly, recent studies on MOOCs from Duke University, as well as many current articles on the topic of ‘what makes a good online course’ from both educators and students, all agree that the actual technology platform, or the recording technology used, has very little to do with an online course’s success.

Instead, common factors like ‘good teaching,’ and ‘good organization,’ often used as keys to a good traditional course, are still the characteristics of a good online course. However, these keys are adapted for an online environment.

For example, good organization not only includes the natural order of topics covered, but for online courses includes ease-of-use for navigation and technology accessibility.

‘Good teaching’ for online courses isn’t just about making the topic engaging and digestible to students, it’s also about providing a sense of ‘relatability’ and community.

In this story you’ll discover a concise list of the six keys that characterize a good online course, synthesized from some of the most-shared articles on the topic, as well as recent Duke studies on what makes a ‘good’ MOOC.

What do you think are the keys to a good online course? Do you think students also play a large role in making the course as successful as possible? Be sure to leave your comments in the section provided below the story, email me at, or find me @eSN_Meris on Twitter.

(Next page: Keys to a good online course, 1-3)

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