How to Design an Effective Online Course

The trend of online learning has taken the world by storm. After the worldwide pandemic hit the masses in 2020, the need for online courses became inevitable.

With every instructor jumping into this area with their courses, the pattern has turned monotonous. Only a few providers stand out from the others because of their strategically designed online methodologies.

But how do you design versatile and compelling online lectures? Here is a quick guide to help you in this endeavor.

Steps of Designing an Effective Online Course

  1. Understand Your Target Group of Learners

When you present your course online, it becomes available to a wide audience from around the world. You must first determine your target group audience and plan your course accordingly. 

For example, let’s say your course is specifically for working professionals. Then, you may want to break the lessons into small fractions so that an individual can finish one or maybe two short videos whenever they get time.

Students who cannot handle many college assignments usually ask someone to “write my paper for me” to free some time for additional education. So, you should find out what would work best for your target group to launch your course successfully. 

  1. Create, Arrange, or Assemble the Study Material

Before you shoot your video lectures, you must arrange all the study materials. Your video class, be it live or recorded, must be well-structured, comprehensive, and engaging. Your manner of addressing a topic will impact the course’s perception and attractiveness for students. 

All the charts, graphs, and images should be collected in one place so that while teaching, you can easily demonstrate them. You should design your session in an interactive way

  1. Set Timeframe and Goals for Each Session

So, now that you are done with selecting the course category, identifying the target audience, and arranging the learning material, it’s time to map out the curriculum. Pick the topics that you would cover in the course and dedicate timeframes to each session. You should also attach corresponding learning objectives that you want your students to achieve at the end of a class. These objectives should align with the primary goal of your course. 

  1. Divide Your Course Into Meaningful Modules

A disarrayed online program will hardly be interesting. To make the online course easily comprehensible, divide it into small modules. Each module can comprise topics related to a particular unit. 

The students should be able to go back to the module for revision of a topic with easy navigation. Also, when mapping out modules, you must include activities and content that allow students to engage with it, as well as with each other. Assignments are also a great tool to involve students in productive activities. 

  1. Map Out Activities for Each Session

To make your online session the same quality as an offline class, end each lesson with a questionnaire and a few quick assessments. These quizzes and assessments would allow you and the students to evaluate how much they have understood from the session. 

This way, you can work out weak concepts and revisit the related topics. The assessment would also help you identify the weaknesses of your teaching methodologies and allow you to amend them. 

Written study material can also be made available for download for those students who like to revise by reading. 

  1. Pick Schedules for Discussions and Query Sessions

While designing your online course, you must not forget to schedule discussion and doubt-clearing sessions. You can pick a session or two after each module or after a few classes. 

One of the major concerns in regular online classes is problem-solving. You can address that with such additional query sessions. Besides, it will help you gain the trust of your students.

Useful Tips for an Impressive Online Course Design

  • Make your online course content interactive.
  • Keep your sessions short, engaging, and fun. 
  • Include real-time tasks during the session for a better understanding of the concepts that you are teaching. 
  • Plan out group activities and discussions to keep your class as realistic and effective as an offline one. 
  • Review other online courses to stay updated about ongoing trends and methods of teaching. It will help you in self-evaluation and give a clear sight of where your course stands.
  • Keep polishing your technical proficiency and modifying your platform with the latest advancements. 
  • Select from a variety of multimedia tools to make your classes more interesting. Some of the types of online classes that you can offer are the following:
  • recorded lectures where you are writing on a whiteboard or typing via an online tool;
  • video lectures;
  • narrated animations;
  • humorous yet educational videos;
  • PowerPoint slides the students read while you explain the topic;
  • posts in discussion forums to add new information to a topic or clarify a common confusion;
  • real-time question-and-answer sessions where students can communicate with you through an integrated live chat messenger. 


You see, designing an effective online course is not an uphill battle. But it requires a lot of effort, consistency, and research. When you provide simple and convenient solutions to your target audience, no one can stop you from scaling the mountains of success.

Thank you for being patient and staying with us till the end.


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