What makes a good online course? Part 1 of 3

by | Jul 7, 2020 | Online Training

Three components for online training: Technology, Design and Facilitation

I’ve been preparing to launch my course, Redesigning in-person for Online: Process, templates and support. I created this model to summarize the components I believe are necessary for a quality program that “lights up learners” and gets the results the organization is looking for.

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Technology to Deliver Online Courses

Having the right technology for your outcomes influences the rest of the online experience. There are three places where technology is important:

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1. Hosting platforms

This is the technology where facilitators and participants meet virtually. Zoom has skyrocketed into this space during the pandemic. WebEx and Adobe Connect are two of the mainstays that have been around for a while. And, there are a host of new players in this space – Google Meets, MS Teams,  and Join.me to name a few.

2. In session engagement

This has been an exciting space to watch over the past few months as technology has advanced and as people have become more aware of what’s possible. In broad terms, I organize this technology as:

  • Features that are included with the hosting platform (e.g., chat, breakout rooms, etc.).
  • Technology that supports brainstorming, (e.g., Miro, Mural, Jamboard, etc.).
  • Polling technology (e.g., Mentimeter, Poll Everywhere, Turning Technologies, etc.).

3. Between session engagement

I’ve been designing online learning – virtual facilitated and elearning for years. My bias is always towards a blended approach that aligns the delivery channel to the learning outcomes and provides the opportunity for social learning. If a program has multiple modules or courses, consider creating a way to extend the learning. Online design already includes more pre-work and post-session applications. Deliver this online through a private Facebook page or LinkedIn Group, Slack, or MS Teams.


In case you missed it

My goal at the beginning of 2020 was to start an e-newsletter and create more of an online presence. I’ve experimented with how often to post on social media and how frequently to send you newsletters. It feels like they need a different cadence – posting weekly is appropriate for online, but too frequent for e-newsletters. So, I’ll send newsletters monthly and include this section for other posts you may have missed.

Online learning is like Hang gliding – short video introducing my model and a metaphor for online learning.

Yak-king interview – interview with Peter Wright and Kathleeen Beauvais on the work I do at Performance Matters, the impact of COVID on my business and the broader community.

I’m always happy to hear feedback, so let me know if you have a perspective to share. I’d love to hear it!

Curious to learn more?

Here is some additional information about how I’ve helped clients with online learning.

When you’re ready, here are a few ways I can help you and the employees in your organization:

Check out the other services I provide to clients to help them improve employee performance.