When making online content for either a completely online or a blended learning course there are some online content mistakes to avoid.
Creating Online Content Mistakes to Avoid:
- Listing of links, just links, nothing but the links, so help me God. If you have a HTML editor in your online delivery platform, use it man! Embed that content! When you allow, or worse yet lead, your participants away from the content nothing good happens. (feels like we need a post dedicated to “light HTML coping strategies“)
- If you do lead them from your content, do so via “open in a new tab” – NEVER give away the tab you are on to another website.
- Text features can provide a guide through the written content – use them. Headers, bulletting, fonts, and chunking text can all guide the reader to important information. But chunk text especially.
- Password Piracy. Giving out passwords in a non-secure environment (where students do not have to log in to view) or usernames/passwords which you do not have rights to.
- No pattern to a unit/module. This is a functional component for students; if students can predict what comes next they are thinking about their learning. If you are just starting out, consider either creating one complete unit first or adding the same element/item to each unit at once. For instance add all discussion posts first, then go back and add all submissions to each unit – keep that symmetry as it equals predictability! Consider 3 Things your Online Content Says about You.
- No theme. Color, style, and predictable components of organization (aesthetic) all lead up to a theme, the look and feel of intentionality. Consider the easiest, least academic, way to provide a theme to your course – color it so.
- No personalized touch by the teacher – where exactly is this relationship going? Most students give that extra effort for their teacher. If you’ve abandoned being Present in your Online Classroom expect disappointing effort from participants.