This week I have been putting it all together as I create my online course. I started with my course goals and outlines and have spent the past week putting together modules for the first half of m course. I am using Canvas as my LMS, and I have to say it has been an extremely user-friendly platform. From the design point of view, everything is where it should be and linking and embedding have been a breeze.
I have spent most of my time locating quality media to add to my course as well as activities that I think are valuable for my sixth graders. One thing I have noticed is the amount of attention to detail that has to be paid to every aspect of creating an online course. Not only do the activities need to be quality, but the course instructions must be detailed and organized.
I tried to look at my course through the eyes of my students. I wanted them to know where everything was located and how to use it all. I added a few how-to videos to help my students as well as an introduction video that gives them a tour of the course. It really is amazing to go through the process and realize how much you cannot assume. I had to look at it as though the students who will be using it had no experience with the platform or any of the tools they would be using.
My advice to anyone creating an online course is to consider first who will be taking the course and think through anything they may not know. If possible, invite people to view and explore the course to help trouble-shoot anything that may be unclear. Finally, I would say there is no such thing as too much detail when creating a new online course. You have students of varying abilities with technology and there will be students who benefit from those extra helpful hints and tutorials.