With more and more college courses being offered entirely online, education is finally proceeding into the future. For centuries, education was always presented the same way in college: An instructor in the front of the class with the students listening intently, sometimes in a huge lecture hall with a couple other hundred students. With the creation of the internet, the playing field has been changed dramatically, and it was about time.
However, it is difficult to keep a student’s attention in a normal college classroom, so coming up with the best courseware for online classes or tutorials is essential. For those that are unaware, courseware is basically educational material and technology combined either through software or the internet. It is intended as either kits or packets for educators or actual eLearning independent lessons for students. As a teacher that has created courseware for my own college students and as a student that received my entire Master's degree online, I have experience in both fields. Listed below are four necessary steps for creating the perfect courseware for your intended audience.
Step 1: Set a Goal
The first thing that you need to do is set a goal that you want the courseware to accomplish. For example, educating the college students on the fine points of the Civil War or how to use a certain new technology that they have never experienced. After you have that established, work backward from the goal and create lessons that will achieve this. This is called Backwards Design. The idea behind this is to teach and plan towards the “end goal” or learning point.
Step 2: Use Various Media
We all learn in different ways. Some are visual learners while others may be auditory learners. This is something that starts in childhood and continues into our adulthood. There are people that can learn solely from reading the words while others might need a video explaining it. Keep this in mind when planning your perfect courseware. Have something in place for each learning style possible. Include links to various sites and videos that you believe will be beneficial for their learning.
Step 3: Ways to Assess
It is always a good move to have a few different ways to assess your college students through the courseware. Of course, there are the basic quizzes and final test that every teacher uses, but this is the 21st century. Be more creative than this. There are too many courses that are forgettable just a couple months down the road. Stand out from the rest. Colleges are supposed to inspire growth within the young adults and having them think outside the box, straying from the norm, is part of this process.
I always enjoyed having my students do a podcast showing what they learned from the course. They could either do the podcast by themselves or with a partner from the class. They had to include essential information, but also keep it entertaining with a good speaking voice, background music, and even sound effects. I did the same thing with having them video a “newscast” or an infomercial detailing what they learned and how they can apply it in the future. As a college instructor, it is nice to be able to grade assessments that require more than just answering questions. Both of these ways to assess can be accomplished entirely online and through email or forums.
Step 4: Let Them Leave Their Opinion
Include an exit slip or some poll to be filled out electronically once the courseware is finished where people can leave their opinion of it. By examining their likes and dislikes of the course, you might just figure out new ways to make the courseware even more educational and entertaining. Education is constantly evolving on every level and you have to be sure to change appropriately with the times.
Start Creating Remarkable Content
MyEcontentFactory allows for you to create amazing courseware with many different media types as well as reusing content and updating your courseware when you need to. For example, you can add your student's podcast directly into MEF and publish it in real time. The software also allows for students to learn