How to approach the development of a new online training? There are many facets to consider and logical steps to follow.

It might be tempting to jump right into the fun part, e.g. nutting out topics or deciding the number of videos to be included — they are important design decisions that come later. To start, it is helpful to step back by understanding the audience’s needs and clearly articulate a set of measurable educational outcomes. As obvious as it may sound, there’s often a lack of this critical initial investment in practice.

Use the following five steps to kick start planning an online course :

  1. Understand the audience’s needs
  2. Use a ‘backward design’ approach
  3. Apply a pedagogical framework
  4. Create a course structure
  5. Adopt appropriate formats of delivery

One key element is “constructive alignment”, which is to ensure that objectives, measurements and learning content are meaningfully aligned. For example, learning content prepares learners for measurements, guided by the objectives.

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