How to Write an Online Course: From concept to completion one step at a time is not intended to be an actual how-to guide to developing an online course. Rather, it is a journal of one writing teacher’s exploration of a new and better way to help aspiring authors write, publish, and promote their nonfiction books. When I started blogging about my first tentative steps down this path of writing an online course, it was not my intention to combine the posts into a book. By the time I reached Blog # 48, however, I realized that these musings might be of help to others who are starting from scratch as I was.
For today’s educator, an understanding of e-learning is essential. This is not a fad; it is the direction in which education is moving … very quickly. For many institutions e-learning is already delivering major segments of the curriculum. Online courses have so many advantages. For teachers, they make it possible to reach many more students and to present material in ways that meet the diverse ways in which people of all ages take in information.
There is a steep learning curve for the uninitiated. For adult students, who may be new to online learning, their first experience may seem confusing and overwhelming until they learn their way around this unfamiliar terrain. For educators, writing and facilitating an online course requires lots of time; knowledge of the subject matter, learning styles, presentation techniques, and e-learning technology; as well as the psychology of keeping students interested in the material and motivated enough to remain in the course. Sometimes, that is the greatest challenge.