Tips for Designing Your First Online Course

When designing your first online course in VEDAMO e-learning platform, before selecting study content, analyse learner expectations and requirements. The better you know your students, the bigger the chance for your virtual teaching to be effective. If you are planning a complete course, it is advisable that you do an entry-level test before the course starts. This gives you additional information as to the group level and lets you make an assessment of the results accomplished by means of interim and post-tests.

Select study content as appropriate for the learners’ age and needs, define the educational aims and objectives, consider their implementation by means of adequate study activities as well as clear instructions about their completion. Determine for yourself which virtual learning environment tools you are going to use for each activity.  In the working process, learners’ feedback helps you to improve them. When you use free online resources, make sure to cite their source and use them for educational purposes only.

Stages of online teaching preparation:

I. Preliminary preparation for online teaching

  1. Get used to working with the virtual learning environment tools.
  2. Build the structure of your course.
  3. Create a session timetable with a clear time framework.

II. Creating an online course

  1. Distribute the study content into separate small units in the LMS Course Management Module.
  2. Make sure you envisage activities for interaction among participants which foster the creation of an online community. You can achieve this by planning live sessions in VEDAMO Virtual Classroom for each course unit.
  3. Select and use appropriate electronic materials and resources and share them with the participants through the File Library.
  4. Envisage varied study activities which correspond to the pre-set educational aims by adding different sections with reading materials, quizzes, assignments, etc. for each course unit.
  5. Carefully consider the virtual learning environment tools you are going to employ for each study activity.
  6. Balance the individual and group work.

III. Conducting an online course

  1. Provide additional resources related with the study content.
  2. Encourage the active participation and interaction among learners, especially during the live sessions in VEDAMO Virtual Classroom.
  3. Engage learners’ attention but do not overload them because it may be exhausting.
  4. Assess their achievements using the LMS Quiz Tool and provide feedback using the Internal Messaging System.
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Dr. Veronica Racheva is managing VEDAMO’s training programme. Veronica is a PhD in Theory of Education. She graduated from the Doctoral School at the Institute of Education, University of London and has a specialisation for a Virtual Teacher from the University of California, Irvine. Currently, she is a CEO of a Bulgarian K12 online academy, based on VEDAMO e-learning infrastructure. She is also a lecturer in E-learning at the Sofia University, researcher and author of scientific reports.