image: The important elements of online learning courses

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The important elements of online learning courses

When creating an online course, a number of criteria must be met to ensure that students receive the benefits they signed up for. Below is a list of important ones:

Consistent instructor presence: the value of feedback

The role of the instructor is very important in the e-learning process because it’s in his hands to encourage, inspire and ensure students don’t feel like they have embarked on the learning trip alone, and also because it will ensure that students will be tracked and given proper feedback which is very important throughout the learning process. To facilitate such a relationship, Learning Management Systems offer options like instant messaging between peers, email and other tools that ensure learner and professor are but a click away from each other.

A streamlined and well-designed LMS

When talking about the success of a LMS, we primarily mean that we want an e-learning site that will be easy to navigate, is well-organized and contains high quality material. Everyday tasks include the distribution of new material and sending, receiving and grading assignments. A well designed LMS will ensure that those tasks are hassle-free and that its users can easily tap into the myriad of features that are an important part of the e-learning process.

Content that is up to par

Aside from the ease and design of your LMS, the next most important thing to keep a student satisfied is the material. The role of the curriculum is to set the tone for an organization to design a successful course and offer both teachers and learners a set of guidelines. So while a system must be well designed and efficient, the quality of the content must be on par with the impression you want the LMS to make in its entirety.

Tested delivery methods

Let’s start with an example: you are running a course on astrophysics and you have found a very interesting video that you feel enhances the points made within the already existing content. Is adding said video to the material the right move?

As with any other website, application or product, compatibility is always a delicate matter. We need to always be sure that the material we post for learners to use is compatible with all the possible web browsers or platforms being used. To avoid discouraging learners, keeping it simple is preferable to overextending ourselves and possibly hitting an incompatibility roadblock.

All of these key elements have the ability to foster a supportive, effective e-learning environment. When all of these essential components are in place, online learning establishments have the ability to not only provide students with the skill sets and knowledge base that they are looking for, but a virtual education platform that helps to contribute to the future success of (and serves as a model of excellence for) the e-learning industry.

Online tests and quizzes

Despite the fact that e-learning lacks the element of physical presence, tests and quizzes are still an essential part of the educational process. Through online tests and quizzes an instructor is able to track the progress of students and assess the effectiveness of the curriculum, while at the same time students have the ability to track their own progress and improve on their skills accordingly.