Oct 24, 2012 // Online Training Software
5: How to Build an Online Course
This is the fifth of 10 Steps to Build and Sell Your Courses Online.
There are certain formats of online courses that have been successful for various instructors. However, your course should be a reflection of your unique teaching style. At DigitalChalk, we allow you to choose the training tools that are the best fit for your particular course and teaching style. Below are some tools that you can use to build an online course.
Programs like PowerPoint or Keynote allow you to create slides with static content (and effects, like sounds, animation, etc.) Many instructors already have PowerPoint software and have presentations they have used in their live courses. If you have presentations such as these that are ready to go, reusing the content is efficient, cost-effective, and a good starting point to migrate from live training to online training.
If you use PowerPoint and would like to add audio to your presentation, there is actually a built in functionality of PowerPoint that allows you to record audio and synchronize it to your slides. Audio is great for basic presentations and can enhance the material. Another advantage of slides with synchronized, recorded audio, is that it is very fast and easy to update material. If you need to change out a slide, or re-record audio for a slide, you can do this with ease.
Keep in mind, however, that it’s important to use a high-quality recording device. The quality of the audio will reflect on the overall quality of your material. Poor audio quality quickly takes away from good material and causes a major distraction.
Want to add powerful visuals to your presentation? You can record videos with High Definition video cameras, which are now widely available and affordable. With your footage, you can create video presentations using a variety of video editing software suites. Or, you can hire outside partners to help record and edit your video presentations. Video is an excellent tool for showing steps or procedural instructions, like assembly, repair, or use of equipment and tools.
A good LMS will allow you to post assignments, and will give you the ability to keep students from going further through the course until the assignment is completed, if necessary.
Many courses also require testing on the material presented. A quality LMS will allow you to randomize questions and answers, draw questions from pools, have the ability to auto-grade, and track the time it takes a student complete a test. You can also restrict how long they have to complete the test. Your LMS should also give you the ability to restrict students from taking tests until they have reviewed the other material.
Through presentations, lessons, and tests, your LMS should be able to fully track and report your students’ engagement with the material.