Here are some tips that instructors can use to provide clear, well-organized courses:
  • State Course Objectives.The first thing you should do on your course page is state the objectives. What will the student gain by taking your course? How will it enrich their lives?
  • Stick to one concept per lesson. Don’t try to cover too much in a single lecture. Keep it simple, stick to one specific concept and address 3-5 topics about that concept.
  • Address one skill per lesson. Give students a chance to make progress with every lesson. A section should contain about 3-5 topics and focus on helping students acquire one new relevant skill that pertains to the course objectives.
  • Make sure your sections cover all of your stated course objectives. While each lesson should help students acquire one new skill, all the lessons together should add up to deliver on all the skills your course promises to address. So make sure your content adds up to course’s stated goals.
  • Include a summary in each lecture. Start or end each lecture with a summary of what students should learn from that lecture.
  • Always address your target student. Make sure your course content is designed with a target student in mind and that you address that student directly.
  • Avoid tangents. Avoid talking about things that aren’t relevant to the topic of the lecture.
  • Explain all terms. When you talk about a new term, define that term.
  • Don’t make the course too long. An hour or two is sufficient and makes the student feel like they have accomplished something by completing your course. 
  • Keep lessons modular. Each section should be devoted to a particular skill.
Create  an introductory lecture that answers the following questions for students:
  1. Who is this course for?
  2. What am I going to learn?
  3. Why are you the right instructor to learn from? What credentials do you bring to the table
  4. Why this course is going to be interesting and/or fun?

 

Instructor Delivery
  • Speak clearly. Students shouldn’t have to struggle to understand an instructor. Speak clearly with careful and accurate pronunciation.
  • Show genuine interest in the topic. Don’t be afraid to show your passion for the topic! Students can see right through a fake facade.
  • Be enthusiastic and help people learn the topic. Let your students know you want to help them learn. Identify their concerns and address them.
  • Edit out all verbal mistakes. Keep your videos clean and free of mistakes. These can be small “ummms”, “ahhhs”, or anything that distracts from the lecture. I’m really good at ummms and so’s, These can also be large blowing your nose, dropping a prop, leaving the frame. These are extremely distracting and incredibly unprofessional. Use good video software so that you can easily edit these. Also record several takes so that you can choose the best one that is as clear and concise as possible.
  • Consider closed captioning. This is totally optional, but it is something to consider to make your content more easy to access.
  • Answer questions in the discussion forums. Take time to answer student questions in the forums or through email. Students are more satisfied with one on one interaction and help so that they can be successful.
Practical Exercises
  • Include an exercise or activity per topic. For each lesson of your course, include one learning activity (quiz, exercise, project, and/or discussion prompt) that helps a student apply their knowledge.
  • Describe how the activity is relevant. Describe how each activity is related to the course objective and what students should learn from completing it.
  • How is the activity to relevant to the course goals. Students have goals and want to know that an activity is going to help them achieve those goals. Describe how each activity they complete will get them closer to their goals.
  • Provide resources for each activity. Providing all needed resources for students to easily start and complete each exercise gives them the tools they need to reach their goals. With Guitar courses, this could be a play along video, downloadably exercises, or what ever helps them learn guitar.
Audio and Video
  • Audio in each lecture is normalized and consistent. Large differences in volume or inconsistency in the audio recordings across lectures makes for a poor student experience. Avoid this by making sure you have a constant amount of gain to you audios that you bring the amplitude to a target level or the norm. 
  • Video in each lecture is HD. Record everything in 720p or greater resolution.
  • Video is neither too bright, nor too dark. Get the lighting just. Use photographic lights as they have the proper balance. Fluorescent lights generate a yellow Hugh and do not work for photography of any kind.
  • Make all text legible on multiple devices. If a student uses mobile devices make sure they see the text and images in your lectures clearly on their device.