2 Planning your open online course

Introduction

Designing an online course can be a daunting prospect, particularly if you have never undertaken the development of a course in a digital environment before. Planning content in advance and deciding how your course will be delivered is vital if you are to successfully deliver your intended learning outcomes.

In this session, you will look at an overview of the key elements involved in planning.

Listen to the following audio recording in which Patrina Law introduces the session.

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Transcript: 2 Planning your open online course

Patrina Law
This session  introduces the key elements of course planning and construction. We’ve mainly focused on the approach used with our own courses that we’ve developed for OpenLearn, because these are open, online courses that reach millions each year, and from which we have learned a great deal.
It’s hard to imagine not considering any of the key planning elements described in this chapter when planning a new course, but if we had to focus on one, it would be getting your learning outcomes right.
Writing them out by hand in thick pen and sticking them to the wall is a good way of reminding yourself what you’re trying to achieve as you plan your course. If you’ve gone off on a tangent when researching images – refer to back to your learning outcomes. And if you’ve been sucked into watching home videos of cats on YouTube, again, refer back to your learning outcomes (no matter how funny the YouTube cat videos might be!).
In short, learning outcomes are the bedrock of your planning. They’ll inform your approach overall and provide a vital sanity check throughout your course creation.
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2.1 The early stages of planning