Prime Position SEO Article Writing Consistency Is What Makes a Quality Online Course

Consistency Is What Makes a Quality Online Course

Enrollment in online courses is increasing. In 2018, nearly 7 million students enrolled in online courses. In 2020, 82% of K-12 students were enrolled in schools that offered some kind of remote instruction. What makes a quality online course? We know there are criteria for assessing good teaching practice, but online is different. It requires an integration of technology, communication, and learning that differs from traditional classroom instruction. The elements for evaluating an effective online program must be based on different criteria.
So how do you decide what is a validity model? Is it how many high marks or how many students passed? Is it the best rated course after course? Is this the most attractive course or the one with the most enrollments per semester? How about the most technical software or links? We should consider best practices and then design accordingly based on the needs of students and institutions. A good online course should align with the overall assessment goals of the school and school strategy.

Opinions vary on what constitutes a good and effective curriculum. Some argue that high-quality online courses should incorporate and review teacher-student connections, technology use, collaborative learning, diverse learning, active learning, expectations, time on task, and timely feedback. Others list appropriate cadences for students to study and work. Good programs provide a sense of community where students can interact with others, ask questions and form peer groups. They also include multimedia such as videos, interactive activities, podcasts, and have built-in opportunities for self-directed learning. Courses should be easy to navigate, offering alternative routes of exploration for students who may want to learn more and appealing to all learning styles and needs.

Does Technology Make a Good Course? It is often tempting to include a lot of high-tech elements in a course. However, good courses avoid having too much technology, as it can be overwhelming and actually interfere with learning. Some say adding video to your course will make it better. In-course videos allow instructors to create a sense of presence in online courses and present information in usable, smaller retainable chunks. They also encourage designing courses with accessibility and data collection in mind to measure and analyze opportunities for improvement.

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Course design is a very important component that affects online student performance and engagement. Several studies have shown that accessibility, evaluation and interaction are very important. How instructors chunk or organize material during lessons, interact with students, provide assessments, and align goals was highly rated. A quality course is one that includes additional reading, quizzes, video lectures, and opportunities for reflection and higher order thinking, and utilizes applied learning in many different ways. Other reports rank the teacher component as the most important assessment method. Teachers should know their material well so that they can answer questions and provide more information if needed. Curriculum design should consider all learning styles.

Communication is also important. Expectations should be clear, contact information for technical support should be provided, and guidance and resource files should be available on how to use discussion forums, social media, chat, and email. Syllabi and other course files should be easy to find and use, with simple course navigation. Yet another study ranked course facilitation skills as the most important factor for effective course participation. These strategies are designed to enhance teacher presence, connection, engagement, and student learning. Instructors suggest using a variety of assessments, grading scales, course templates, quality assurance review processes, and data collection for analysis.

Prompt response and feedback, availability and presence, and regular communication are some of the facilitation strategies used by award-winning instructors.
As you can see, the perspective of a school or institution can greatly influence an effective online course. If the goal is to measure learning, then surveys and post-event evaluations may be an appropriate measure. It could be as simple as student assessments of teacher performance or reviewing pass/fail rates for online courses or student completion/dropout rates. It could be ease of use and a positive response to the interface being used. An institution can also have a quality standard title with preset elements that should be included in online courses. The key is to align these standards with the school’s strategic plan and what is best for students. 

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