BEST PRACTICE EXPLAINED

When it comes to understanding best practice in online course creation,

you need to know the sources are reliable.

That they are compiled with you – an independent online course creator – in mind.

That with a bit of knowledge and application, the quality standards are attainable.

Tick mark or Check Mark
Quality Stamp

So what exactly is quality and best practice in online course creation?

To find out, we reviewed:

ARTICLES

published by, or featuring interviews with, leading figures in all aspects of online and offline course creation, including online marketing and learning design

EXPERIENCE

our founder’s (as an accredited trainer and performance measurement specialist), our experience of designing and delivering online training, the experience of other respected trainers and online course creators

GUIDES

published by the top marketplaces, platforms and plugins – a huge amount of background reading, advice, hints and tips for online course creators

RESEARCH

conducted into behaviours, attitudes and trends of online course takers; this included statistically reliable academic studies, self-reported preferences through student reviews and actual behaviours tracked through cookies

SCORING TABLES

or ‘rubrics’ published by the top universities producing online courses; many published these in order to provide input towards reaching common consensus of quality in university-provided online courses

STANDARDS

as published by a wide range of academic experts at leading universities; the standards of production required by the top marketplaces; other sources of ‘standard’ practice in particular aspects of online course creation

After compiling and reviewing any and all information we could find,

we categorised, tested, evaluated and refined everything

This led us to the 7 quality categories,

containing more than 80 individual markers of quality,

that we use today.

Clarity and Consistency Icon  Basic Delivery Icon  Instructor Skills Icon  Production Values Icon  Training Variety Icon  Motivational Tools Icon  Extra Value Icon

Clarity and Consistency Icon

This covers things like:

# Pre-sale information such as benefits of the course

# Knowing what skill level the course is appropriate for

# Being upfront about software, hardware, pre-reading, materials or equipment needed to successfully complete the course

# Clear guidance that the course is either ‘stand-alone’ or a ‘stepping stone’

 

Basic Delivery Icon

This covers things like:

# Ease of access once enrolled, no matter the device of access

# Clear and easy navigation that allows for learner-led pacing

# Any modifications, adjustments or guidance for those with accessibility needs

# Good balance and flow of information to allow learners to get into a learning ‘rhythm’

 

Instructor Skills Icon

This covers things like:

# Instructor attempts to connect with learners, including being on camera at least once!

# Requesting and showing evidence of acting upon feedback (from beta testers and full learners)

# Instructor experience and credibility to teach the chosen subject

# General confidence and overall style of delivery (as appropriate for the subject matter)

 

Production Values Icon

This covers things like:

# Visual and auditory quality of videos, screencasts and / or audio files

# Clarity and legibility of any documentation provided

# Content produced specifically for the course provided (careful attention given to the use of any re-purposed content)

# Providing for online learner attention spans

 

Training Variety Icon

This covers things like:

# Use of a variety of teaching methods to transfer knowledge

# Testing the retention and application of knowledge, especially using more than simple quizzes

# Use of appropriate delivery depending on content (specific to the lessons / lectures)

# Use of metaphors and analogies to give a broader context

 

Motivational Tools Icon

This covers things like:

# Use of milestones to help a learner track their learning

# Building momentum in the learning, early and regularly

# Ensuring a well-paced blend of challenge and accomplishment

# Use of gamification tools in appropriate and innovative ways that enhances the learning experience

 

This covers things like:

# Any added extras for learners such as workbooks and templates

# Other downloadable material for offline reminders

# Use of an online community for learners to interact and ask questions of the instructor and each other

# Direction for further learning such as ‘deep-dive’ materials

 

Every six months we repeat the review, test, evaluate and refine process,

meaning we’re always up to date with what quality and best practice in online course creation means.

Find all the Course Creation Best Practice top tips here:

Course Creation Best Practice 61: Further Study

Course Creation Best Practice 60: Other Perspectives

Course Creation Best Practice 59: Private Community

Course Creation Best Practice 58: Tangible Takeaways

Course Creation Best Practice 57: Active Learning

Course Creation Best Practice 56: Gamification

Course Creation Best Practice 55: Completion Certificates

Course Creation Best Practice 54: Use Badges

Course Creation Best Practice 53: Learning Milestones

Course Creation Best Practice 52: Teasing Content

Course Creation Best Practice 51: Progress Reminders

Course Creation Best Practice 50: Learning Momentum

Course Creation Best Practice 49: Teaching On

Course Creation Best Practice 48: Sharing Perspectives

Course Creation Best Practice 47: Collaborative Learning

Course Creation Best Practice 46: Use Metaphors

Course Creation Best Practice 45: Delivery Format

Course Creation Best Practice 44: Be Consistent

Course Creation Best Practice 43: Care Over Content

Course Creation Best Practice 42: Bite Size Chunks

Course Creation Best Practice 41: Use Music

Course Creation Best Practice 40: Avoid Filler Words

Course Creation Best Practice 39: Downloadable Videos

Course Creation Best Practice 38: Adjustable Playback

Course Creation Best Practice 37: Record In Wide-screen

Course Creation Best Practice 36: Highest Quality Video

Course Creation Best Practice 35: Highest Quality Audio

Course Creation Best Practice 34: Get On Camera

Course Creation Best Practice 33: Appropriate Delivery

Course Creation Best Practice 32: Acknowledge Feedback

Course Creation Best Practice 31: Get Feedback

Course Creation Best Practice 30: Ask Open Questions

Course Creation Best Practice 29: Offer Direct Interaction

Course Creation Best Practice 28: Use Your Story

Course Creation Best Practice 27: Show A Friendly Face!

Course Creation Best Practice 26: Sources of Credibility

Course Creation Best Practice 25: Your USP

Course Creation Best Practice 24: Encourage Original Thinking

Course Creation Best Practice 23: Encourage Thinking Time

Course Creation Best Practice 22: Use Building Blocks

Course Creation Best Practice 21: Adjustable Delivery

Course Creation Best Practice 20: Deliver Insight Quickly

Course Creation Best Practice 19: Provide Learning Choices

Course Creation Best Practice 18: Give Browser Advice

Course Creation Best Practice 17: Use Responsive Design

Course Creation Best Practice 16: Monitoring Progress

Course Creation Best Practice 15: Describe the Learning Path

Course Creation Best Practice 14: Provide an Orientation Video

Course Creation Best Practice 13: Make Navigation Easy

Course Creation Best Practice 12: Have Clear Titles

Course Creation Best Practice 11: Balance Your Lessons

Course Creation Best Practice 10: Make Access Easy

Course Creation Best Practice 9: Match Your Style and Tone

Course Creation Best Practice 8: Behavioural Commitment

Course Creation Best Practice 7: Time Commitment

Course Creation Best Practice 6: Resources Needed

Course Creation Best Practice 5: Specify Skills Gained

Course Creation Best Practice 4: Specify the Skills Needed

Course Creation Best Practice 3: Use Learning Objectives to Motivate

Course Creation Best Practice 2: Benefits of Learning

Course Creation Best Practice 1: Clear Learning Objectives