Developing an Educational, Engaging Online Course: A literature review
Ahonen, Mirko (2015)
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Education is moving online, and the demand for online courses is rising. The popularity of MOOCs are skyrocketing, universities want to offer online courses to reach more students, and organizations are looking to move instructional content online to improve effectiveness. The question is how to successfully move this educational content online and make it engaging for the students - or simply put - what elements are important for making a good online course? The approach chosen to answer this question is through a review of the vast amount of available literature. The findings point out the importance of providing multiple communication channels among students, and between students and the instructors; building a community of learners is found to be beneficial. The students’ own motivation and self-determination are key for satisfying results in an online course, it is strengthened by timely feedback, rewards, and encouragement. The learning happens through realistic tasks, problem solving, games, narratives, discussions and self-reflection. The usage of short videos with compelling visuals instead of longer lecture recordings are advocated. The author hopes that instructional designers and faculty members can use this study to improve their future online courses and feel less overwhelmed by the task.