The Value of an Online Course
Being a cloud-based platform for training, many clients, especially those that are training their people for the first time, often ask us how valuable online courses can be. At Courseplay, we have prepared a little note to understand the value of an online course. Understanding the value comes down to two main factors: the course and the learner.
The first factor is about whether the course brings together the adequate amount of information and goes deep enough into the subject matter. It’s easy to make a cluttered course with tons of unnecessary information without a logical structure. The real challenge comes in creating the course that is well structured and only contains the required content. There is also the risk of going too far on the other end of the spectrum and making the course too vague and not going deep enough into the subject.
An additional point about course creation worth noting is that factors like information accessibility, choice of words, methods of evaluation, and media types go a long way in improving the value of a course and have a tremendous impact on how information is retained.
This is something that many may find counter-intuitive, but the learner plays a big role in creating value for a particular course. If there is a mismatch between the course and the learner, it is an exercise in futility.
The learner’s attitudes, preferred methods of learning, and willingness to learn come into play here. If they are being forced to take the course, are not being engaged by the content, and would rather be taught in a classroom, there is no value in the course for them. Learners must understand how they learn most effectively and leverage that to maximise the value of a particular course.
Just as important is the learner’s ability and willingness to set aside time, log in to the program and FOCUS.
The Big Question
At the end of the day, administrators, authors and learners have only one question to ask to understand the value of an online course:
How did this course help the learner gain new skills and apply them in a real-life situation for their benefit?
In order to get the answer to this question, it is important to track the skill level of a learner before taking the course and then record the skill level after the course has been completed. This is the best way to measure tangible outcomes from any learning program.
Additional points to consider:
- Is the course material relevant to the skill that the learner is looking to obtain?
- How will the course benefit the learner?
- Do the learner have a choice in taking the course?
- Is the course worth the time and effort for the creator and the learner?
With Courseplay, course authors can create surveys and quizzes that can gauge the skills of a learner before and after a course and use that data to measure the value and impact of a course. To learn more about how you can use Courseplay at your organisation, contact us.