There are a lot of low-quality, low-learning and boring online courses. There are also, however, some spectacular courses online that engage students and help them learn in such ways that are not always possible in a traditional classroom. Most of these top-notch classes online tend to share some traits in common, for example natural learning content. Reading a genetic book and answering fill –in-the blank questions is not natural way to learn and all the good courses online stay away from such formulaic materials. They try to engage, instead, students with such a content that is a natural fit for learning about the topic. Student-friendly pacing is the second thing that makes a good online course. Good classes online know how to pace the assignments so that students are neither bored nor overloaded on any given week. This kind of courses is specifically designed so that plenty of time is allotted for working on major projects on that minor assignments keep students engaged in the meantime. Sense of community is also important because students are welcomed into the course and they feel free to interact with their peers and instructors in a friendly atmosphere.

What makes a good online course

No one wants to scroll through hundreds of pages of text documents, because this is not simply how we are used to experiencing the web. One of the most important things making a good online course is learning by including videos, podcasts, interactive activities and other multimedia elements. These elements must always have a solid purpose and must be done in a professional way to make multimedia use successful. For example watching a home video of a professor adlibbing dry about a topic is certainly worse than just reading the content as a very long text document. Good online courses also provide the opportunity for students to make up their own minds and take responsibility for their own learning as much as possible. Some of the best courses give the students the opportunity to create their own projects or focus on the element of the topic that they particularly enjoy. All of these courses try to avoid begin overly scripted and instead give adult learners to construct meaning on their own. Overloading a course with a big number of extras can be sometimes confusing for students. It is still helpful, however, to give the students ways to learn more outside of the prescribed curriculum in case they choose to do so. Providing supplemental ways for students to keep learning, but differentiate that from the core content so that the students are not overwhelmed is what makes a good online course. To students that are trying to navigate through an online course often does not makes sense what makes sense to the original course creator. Courses are usually reviewed by several outside parties to ensure that students can easily find what they need and work through the course without unnecessary confusion. All these things make a good online course for all the students.