How do I design a full-length course?
Step 1: Write your learning objectives – Based on the Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning, write your learning objectives. Take note of the level of thinking skills you want to achieve through your course and the action verbs to better state your objectives. Make your learning objectives specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, time bound (SMART).
Original learning objective: Understand climate change
Improved learning objective: Describe climate change
Original learning objective: Learn the importance of a sound project plan.
Improved learning objective: Identify the 5 qualities of a sound project plan.
WATCH: Start designing your course with learning objectives (4:49)
WATCH: Writing your learning objectives (4:32)
Step 2: Draft your course structure – Based on your learning objectives, revisit your sub-topics. Match the sub-topics with your learning objectives. Check scope and flow of discussions to make sure that the learning objectives are addressed. You can choose your taxonomy – (a) Course > Module > Topic or (b) Course > Unit > Lesson. In practice, one learning objective is equivalent to 1 module or unit discussion.
Step 3: Formulate your instructional strategy – Identify the best learning methods, activities and exercises that will help achieve your learning objectives.
Presentations, case studies, demonstrations are best used if your objective is for learners to read, listen, or watch to acquire, retain and recall information (FAO, 2011).
Demonstrations of procedures and allowing the learner to apply the procedure after the demonstration, scenario-based exercises or case studies with different scenarios, role play, guided research, system simulations, or projects with mentors are best used if your objective is for the learners to reflect, practice and demonstrate the process that he/she has learned (FAO, 2011).
Moderated online discussions, group projects, and tutoring sessions are best used if you want the learners to listen, reflect, analyse, and interact with the moderator or with fellow learners to solve problems or create solutions (FAO, 2011).
Step 4: Create your course delivery strategy – Design the course delivery approach considering your learners’ profile (level of knowledge, time, workload, preferred and accessible IT tools), available or access to technology, and learning requirements in their organization (FAO, 2011). Since this is the digital age, elearning must be mobile responsive – can be accessed and viewed in mobile devices so that learning happens anytime, anywhere.
Step 5: Craft your evaluation strategy – Set out the purpose of your course evaluation (FAO, 2011):
Do you want to check the quality of your course before its launch? (Formative evaluation done during pre-testing of the course prototype)
Do you want to assess how effective the course is in changing learners’ knowledge or behaviour? (Confirmation evaluation done through short surveys or online discussions administered immediately upon course completion)
Do you want to check if the course content is still valid and relevant? (Summative evaluation done if the course has been offered several times or has run through several months/years)
WATCH: elearning strategy secrets (2:47)