Online Course Design: A Roundup of Tips, Strategies, and Best Practices

Simply delivering a traditional course via the internet is not enough for today’s students. Online learning needs to actively engage students if higher education leaders are going to expand access, improve learning outcomes, and close the degree attainment gap.

The Online Learning Initiative (OLI) at Carnegie Mellon University was founded to tackle exactly that question: How can learning science be used to inform online learning course design? Over 12 years of research, OLI found that by coupling effective learning practices (such as goal-directed practice and timely and targeted feedback) with predictive analytics and instructional design, they could create highly effective learning experiences tailored to the needs of each individual student based on data-validated knowledge gaps.

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