Preparing for Your First Online Class
Ready to teach your first online course? You’ve signed up for your Zeqr account and are ready to share your wealth of knowledge with the world but how do you go about creating a carefully planned, informative and valuable class?
The success of any online course is in careful preparation and organization of the material being taught. Preparing the course material ahead of time will ensure a positive experience for your students/clients and a clear path to follow to cover all points needed.
Below are 9 guidelines that will assist all experts and freelancers to organize their teaching material and ensure success in their first online class!
- Define your goal – Clearly defining the goal of the class will ensure that the material is directly related to what your student is looking to achieve. Decide what is the necessary content and ensure that the material is manageable for the length of the class.
- Create an outline – Once you have decided on your class, build a clear, concise, and comprehensive outline. Provide this outline to your students prior to the beginning of the course. This level of organization will ensure that you and your student can stay on topic and anticipate the topics covered.
- Be organized – Make sure that the outline has a logical flow that students can follow. This is an important aspect of the class because you don’t want to frustrate your students with loose material that does not follow any logic.
- Prepare visual aids – Consider the content of your material and how to best present it with visual aids such as charts, maps, comparisons, lists, and others. Certain individuals are visual learners and will benefit from visualizing the material. According to the University of Alabama, “Visual aids involve your students and require a change from one activity to another: from hearing to seeing. With pictures, the concepts or ideas that you present are no longer simply words – but words plus images. If students don’t clearly grasp the spoken word, a visual may help them to better absorb information.”
- Become the student – Record your session and replay it for yourself. Would you be satisfied with the material? You can also ask a friend to take the class and give you an unbiased opinion of the course.
- Anticipate Questions – Ask friends and family what questions they may have on your topic. A simple google search can also educate you on what people search for. Allocate enough time in the course for students to ask questions. You might want to ask your students to leave questions for the end so that you are not interrupted during the course.
- Assess your audience – Not all your students will have experience with online learning. Assess your students and determine if you will need to spend a few extra minutes explaining the online learning environment.
- Be Flexible – As much as you would like the course to flow in a smooth fashion, sometimes unexpected situations will occur where you will have to be flexible. Try to follow the outline as much as possible and cover the remaining material within the allotted time.
- Have fun – Teaching an online course is a wonderful way to meet new people, share your knowledge, and make a difference in many people’s lives. Have fun and make it a delightful experience for you and your students!