Getting Started

The Designing and Facilitating Online Learning experience is a highly interactive course designed to get you involved both as a learner, and as a course creator.

There really is no other way to learn it, you have to do it. That doesn’t mean that everything will be experiential, there are a few things you read and a few things you watch before you get to the action part.

And, at the end of the course, you get a step-by-step breakdown of everything you need to do so when you forget something it will be at your fingertips.

I haven’t been able to go a whole day without seeing someone selling a course on social media. Since I have a passion for learning and helping others learn, I think it’s great to see so many people sharing their knowledge online.

What I want for you though, is to help you design a course that will set the bar higher, and facilitate a course that will transform the lives of your learners. There is so much talk about lots of content, bells and whistles, interactivity, and fancy stuff, but, as my mentor, Marie Forleo says, “Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.” People learn when they are “engaging” in something. 

So first, you will establish what your role is as an online facilitator. You are unique. How you interact with the world is unique, so you figure out how you can best facilitate, in your unique way. Then, you’ll compare face-to-face learning to online learning so you can decide what aspects of your course will be most successful online.

Studies show that creating a community environment for online learners is paramount to your learner’s success, so you learn about how to incorporate technologies that facilitate different modes of communication.

It’s not all about technology though, in fact, there are some simple ways to create opportunities or spaces in the online design to allow for the interaction, exploration, and collaboration that is the foundation of an online community.

Have you ever taken a course, online or off, where you weren’t quite sure where you were going from day to day? Studies show that well-structured learning leads to higher completion rates, so you learn to apply communication strategies to ensure the learning process is well-structured, like providing clear and specific instructions regarding deadlines, meeting times, assignments, assessments, and posting!

How about that course you took where you weren’t sure when you should comment, or what was expected of you?

Incorporating the responsibilities, norms, and participation standards that encourage learner interaction and collaboration in their own learning into your course creates something that comes alive, where everyone knows where they stand and what is expected of them.

I see lots of courses out there that teach you how to take your blog and record videos and put them in a course, but in this course, you learn to apply proven instructional strategies and methods that work with adult learners. You get to select assessment methods that align with the level of learning—what? Assessment?

Yes, what’s missing from so many online courses is accountability and a measure of how well you are doing, and how much you are learning. 

So you run your course, how do you know if it worked? How do you know if the content is relevant? How do you maintain your course?

You create a facilitation plan that combines learning technologies with instructional strategies, and adheres to copyright guidelines and the standards/policies that you will learn to create for yourself!

Have you ever heard of learning styles? Did you know that the use of learning styles has been debunked for decades and everyone just keeps talking about them? Adult learning isn’t about whether you learn from pictures or words or video, it’s about having choices.  

Allowing your learners to follow a path or method of learning that works best for them. This is called universal design of learning (UDL). Basically, you want to make courses that everyone can learn from because the proof shows that UDL makes learning better for everyone.

Studies also show that online communities can implode if not managed properly, and you don’t want that! In this course you learn to use language, media, and message to contribute positively to a respectful learning environment, and you learn how to encourage others to follow your lead.

Oh, and you won’t be an expert at everything, some aspects of course design and facilitation for your particular industry may need some help beyond this course, so there’s a nice list of resources for you.

Designing for Online Learning

In addition, by the end of this course you will:

  • Follow the steps to design an online course either from scratch or from an established classroom course, from the ground up, in order to take advantage of the benefits of online learning while maintaining the sense of community and collaboration from the classroom.
  • Apply the iterative ADDIE development model to the design or re-design of an online course
  • Use the supports and step-by-step process with templates to create an online course 

How will you be assessed?

This is a professional development learning experience where you will self-evaluate, and share peer reviews with the group.

The final assessment, of course, will be the practical application of what you have learned.

And we’re going to review your work. You get feedback on what you have done. And a certificate to say that you have some training in creating a fabulous online experience.