5 ways to create online courses that improve retention


Think back to the last online courses you completed. Do you remember what the learning objectives were? How were you assessed? How were you able to apply the content after completing the courses?

If you’re struggling to remember these basic aspects of the last course you completed, the course design could likely benefit from some improvement. Now ask yourself this question: What am I doing differently as a teacher or faculty member to create better learning experiences for my students?

Asynchronous online learning differs in one obvious way from traditional classroom learning: the teachers and students don’t have live, real-time interactions. However, this is no excuse for creating uninspiring, unengaging “Click Next” style eLearning courses that are completely forgettable and are far from meaningful learning experiences.

Try applying the following strategies the next time you create an online course to lead to higher student engagement throughout the learning experience and higher retention of the content after course completion.

Strategy 1: Apply the basic principles of instructional design

As an educator, you’re already familiar with the basics: write clear, measurable learning objectives, align your content to the objectives, and create assessments that measure students’ knowledge and skill relating to the objectives. And what about online course development? Is it completely different?

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