Engaging online learning programs are built with empathy for both the teacher and the student--and the best online course design makes this a priority

Effective online course design starts with people


Engaging online learning programs are built with empathy for both the teacher and the student--and the best online course design makes this a priority

The shift to virtual learning in early 2020 put a spotlight on online course design, with all its flaws and inconsistencies. But there are good examples of effective online course design. First and foremost, engaging online learning programs are built with empathy for both the teacher and the student. If this foundational design philosophy is missing, engagement rates and true learning plummet.

As learning experts, we’re aware of new types of learning that are a leap for those who don’t say the word “pedagogy” every day. There’s a world where AI, analytics, micro-credentials, mixed reality media, and more all mingle for the good of advancing learning. Sometimes, we succeed in encouraging educators to try some of these new things that can move the needle for their learners. However, it can be tricky getting there.

Often, success lies on a narrow path. It starts with the emotional intelligence to examine multiple points of view. For example, the campus distance learning administrator who seeks input and feedback from teachers and students before mapping a virtual learning framework. Or a teacher who imagines what it’s like to be a student who is struggling as they plan their online course. Caring enough to examine multiple viewpoints leads to amazing learning.

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