2.1 The early stages of planning

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Figure 1 Teach everything that anyone is interested in learning.

Ask yourself a few questions at the planning stage that will help focus your thoughts:

  • What is the main focus of my course?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What problem am I trying to solve?

Ensure that these points are made clear at the beginning of the course and refer to them when selecting your resources. Whatever the size of audience for your course, you should have a good understanding of existing literature on the subject. This not only demonstrates that you have researched the subject, but provides a broader view and routes for further exploration for your learners.

Having a clear understanding of who your learners are and how they will benefit from the course being taught in an online format is also important. If your course has been taught in the past as a face-to-face or mixed method endeavour, consider the successes and failures of that approach.

2.2 What do we mean by an open online course?