The number of students enrolling in online classes continues to rise. In 2018, there were around seven million students who signed up for online classes. By the year 2020, 82% of students in grades K-12 were enrolled in schools that provided some form of remote instruction. But what really constitutes an excellent and high-quality online course?
We are aware that there are criteria for evaluating effective teaching practices, but the online environment presents unique challenges. It is not the same as learning in traditional classrooms because it needs the combination of technology, communication, and learning. It is necessary to use a variety of factors while doing an evaluation of what constitutes a successful online course.
The question then becomes, “How do you choose which model best demonstrates effectiveness?” Is it the number of pupils who pass or the percentage of those who get high grades? Is it the class that receives the highest post-class ratings the most often? Is it the instructor with the most successful students or the course that’s the most popular overall?
What about the one that is the most technically advanced and has some fancy software or links? We ought to take best practice into account and then design in accordance with the requirements posed by the institution and the requirements of the students. The characteristics of a good online course should be compatible with the general evaluation goals of the school as well as the methodologies employed by the school.
Different people have different ideas on what makes a good and successful course. Some people believe that a decent online course should include and cover topics such as student-faculty communication, application of technology, collaborative learning, diverse learning, active learning, expectations, time spent on tasks, and prompt feedback. Some people believe that this is an ideal pace for students to work at in order for them to learn properly. Students are encouraged to connect with one another, form peer groups, and ask questions in well-designed classes that provide a sense of community. They also incorporate other forms of multimedia, such as movies, interactive activities, and podcasts, and have chances for self-directed learning already built into them. The courses should be straightforward to navigate, provide multiple avenues of investigation for students who might be interested in acquiring further knowledge, and cater to a variety of learning preferences and requirements.
Is it the equipment that determines the quality of the course? It is frequently tempting to incorporate a large number of high-tech components into a course. The best educational programs, on the other hand, steer clear of using an excessive amount of technology because doing so can be confusing and actually hinders the learning process.
Some people believe that integrating movies in your class will make it more engaging. Videos in classes give teachers the ability to give students the impression that they are physically there in an online learning environment while also delivering material in manageable and more easily retained bites. They also support the development of courses with accessibility and data collecting in mind, with the goal of measuring and analyzing areas in which there is room for growth.
The design of the course is an extremely essential factor that has an effect on the performance and engagement of online students. According to the findings of some studies, accessibility, assessment, and engagement are of the utmost significance. High marks were given to the ways in which the instructor chunked or arranged the content in the class, interacted with the students, offered assessment, and aligned the objectives. The quality of a course can be judged by whether or not it features supplemental readings, quizzes, video lectures, opportunities for reflection and higher order thinking, and makes use of a variety of various ways to apply what students have learned.
According to several reports, the most essential aspect of the evaluation technique is the components for the teachers. It is essential for instructors to have a solid grasp of the content they are teaching in order to field student inquiries and supply supplementary material as required. The design of the course should take into account various learning styles.
Communication is also an extremely vital component. The instructor, as well as any relevant resource documents, should make it clear what is expected of them, as well as providing contact information for technology help. Additionally, advice on how to use discussion forums, social media, chats, and email should be provided. It should not be difficult to locate and use the course syllabus and associated papers, and the course itself should be straightforward to navigate.
The ability to effectively facilitate a course was identified as the single most critical factor in another study as being directly related to student involvement. These tactics have the goal of improving the presence, connection, and engagement of the instructor, as well as the learning of the students. The faculty strongly suggested implementing a wide array of exams, rubrics, course templates, as well as a quality assurance review procedure and data collecting for analytics.
Some of the facilitation tactics that award-winning teachers utilized with their students were timely reaction and feedback, availability and presence, as well as frequent communication.
As you can see, the perspective of a school or institution has a significant impact on the characteristics of a good online course. If the purpose is to evaluate the level of learning that has taken place, then questionnaires and post-tests might be an appropriate indicator. It could be anything as straightforward as having students judge the performance of their instructors or looking at the pass/fail rates or completion/dropout rates of students in online classes. It could be how simple it is to utilize, as well as how positively people respond to the interface that is being employed.
It’s also possible for a school to establish a checklist of quality standards with predetermined components that are required to be included in an online class. The most important thing is to make sure that these standards are in line with the strategic planning that the school is doing and with what would be of the most benefit to the kids. This plan must to be implemented consistently to each existing course as well as any new courses, along with a method for measuring progress from year to year. After a period of time, reviews ought to be carried out in order to guarantee that these procedures continue to adhere to the criteria and that they are accurate.
The bottom line is that you can choose any component that you want, but utilizing a consistent strategy is ultimately what ensures that an online course will be productive and that an online learning program will be successful.