Pearson Creating online course content on a tight deadline

Creating online course content on a tight deadline


Creating an online course from conception to delivery can take anywhere between 6 to 12 months and requires a whole team of people, but if you don’t have these resources or that amount of time, it’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve.

Moving content online from an in-person course quickly can seem like an impossible task, but we’ve got some practical tips to help you adapt your course to an online format when you’re on a tight deadline.

What do you already have?

Chances are many of your teaching resources are already in a digital format and can be adapted relatively quickly for online, rather than in-person, delivery. However, the slides you would have used in lectures or seminars might be too brief to be understood on their own and may need adapting to be the most effective they can be. You can include further explanations, links on the slides themselves or use the notes area underneath the slides to your advantage. This is a great space to expand on any critical information and include links to other useful resources.

As with any aspects of course creation, it’s important to keep accessibility in mind when adapting any of your resources to support inclusive learning. Things like font size, graph or chart size, colours and clarity of images are all important considerations to making your resources useable by everyone.

Pre-recorded Video

For key pieces of course content, you could use pre-recorded video. You could create these yourself using a laptop with a web cam or mobile phone or find some that are already made and available online. They could be short and low production, explaining key concepts such as the structure of a plant cell or the 7 Ps of the marketing mix. These can then be referred to by students for future assessment preparation.

If you do choose to include video in your online course, then adding captions and a transcript will help ensure your videos are accessible to more students.

Live online sessions

Live online sessions may seem like a new and daunting prospect to anyone who is unfamiliar with hosting them, but they are a great alternative to in-person lecturers and are an effective way of remaining connected to your learners. Your institution will have a chosen software to host your online sessions with additional resources to support you when using them.

Running live sessions is a great way to maintain familiarity of on campus lectures and expand upon the online resources you have provided. There are also many features included in platforms like Zoom and Microsoft teams that can make the sessions more interactive and engaging for students. Using the chat box for questions or quick polls to check their knowledge are easily implemented tactics to make sure students are following the content. If you’re teaching a larger cohort, making use of the breakout room features can help facilitate peer learning and connection with each other. It will also allow you to check in with students on a personal level and identify those that might need more support.

Potential blockers to hosting effective live sessions are learners not having access to the same technology that they might on campus. Not everyone will have a webcam or even a computer that isn’t shared by the household. Some may also not have their own space for study, and so may be quieter and less likely to interact. Recording live sessions can help some way to making sure the content is accessible to all learners enabling them to catch up at a time that suits them.

Next steps

These are simple actions you can take if you’re in a situation where your course must be moved online quickly, but there might be a time when you create an online course entirely from scratch. While these steps are a great place to start, there’s much more that can be done to make an effective and engaging online course.

Are you looking for resource to support online course creation?

Pearson’s course design experts can help. Their specialist knowledge can assist you in creating an immersive and engaging online course that is accessible to all students. Discover what Pearson’s course development service can do for your institution and get in touch for a consultation.

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