Learning Unit

How to Design an Online Lecture

Time: 45 min    Goal: Prepare an online lecture

  • #E-Moderation
  • #eLearning
  • #eLearning Strategy
  • #Lecture Script
  • #Online Classes
  • #Online Course
  • #Online Education
  • #Online Lecture
  • #Online Teaching
  • #Synchronous and Asynchronous
  • #Toolkit Teaching Online
  • #Tools

Time: 20 min

How to Design a Good Online Lecture

Having a clear objective is central to effective eLearning – you need to know what you want to achieve. You also need to understand how incorporating eLearning will affect your course. Consider broad questions such as: How will you adapt your content? How will it change your interaction with the students as well the students' interaction with each other? Then there are more specific questions relating to assessment, quality control, and collaboration. Successful eLearning is based on good design and there are already many resources available to help you develop your eLearning strategy.

Effective eLearning begins with a very clear idea of its purpose – without having a clear idea of what you want to achieve it is very difficult to come up with a good design and plan. You also need to take into account what it means to adopt eLearning into your course offer and the impact this will have in many practical ways. How will you adapt your course content? What about interaction between you and your students and amongst students themselves? There are also questions to be answered in terms of assessment, quality control, collaboration, etc. Getting it right starts with good design and a sound overall approach: eLearning has come a long way in recent years, there are a lot of resources available to help you design your eLearning strategy.

While all of the sound pedagogical strategies that you have utilised in your face-to-face teaching still apply when moving online, eLearning brings its own considerations that you will need to take into account. First of all ‘There are many ways to get it right online. ‘Best Practice’ neglects context.‘ Indeed, while there are several common considerations when designing your own eLearning intervention, ‘no one size fits all’. Just because a design or approach works for one set of learning activities, there is no guarantee it will work in another context, it is always best to start anew when designing eLearning. Secondly, ‘text has been troubled; many modes matter in representing academic knowledge‘. Take a long hard look at the resources you want to adapt for online teaching to help you share the underlying knowledge that is at the heart of your course and consider how it can be represented in modes other than text. And finally, ‘Aesthetics matter; interface design shapes learning‘. Don’t underestimate the look, feel and functionality of every online artefact, tool, resource or service – it can make the difference to the overall success of your work.

How to begin when re-designing a course into an Online Intervention:

Define the purpose, scope, and goals of your eLearning intervention

  • What do you want to achieve with this eLearning intervention, including the relevant learning goals broken down into manageable elements?
  • What are your measurable objectives linked to these goals?

Understand your students and their readiness to take part in your eLearning intervention

  • Who are your students and what is their experience with eLearning?
  • What are they expecting from this module?
  • What technical resources do they have available?
  • What technical support is available to your students?

Review and adapt the content of your course

  • What are the building blocks of the course in terms of materials, resources and activities?
  • How can these building blocks be adapted for online delivery?
  • Who will be responsible for this adaptation? Do you have the resources to implement it?
  • Who else will be involved in this process?
  • How will you facilitate teacher/student and student/student interaction?

Plan access and assessment

  • How will students access the course building blocks?
  • Are you planning to track student activities online and if yes, then how?
  • How will you facilitate assessment of this module?
REFERENCE + LICENSE: The text “Design your own eLearning Intervention” by EduHack Consortium, Knowledge Innovation Centre, via, is licensed under CC BY 4.0, edited and shortened by SEA-EU.

In the following video, Michael Wesch shares his 10 tips for designing good online teaching.

License: not freely licensed

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Time: 10 min

Toolkit for Teaching Online

There are various forms of online lectures and teaching. For example, it can be synchronous or asynchronous, and preparation should vary accordingly. This tool can help you organise your online teaching, be it for live delivery in an online classroom or a file uploaded to a forum or virtual learning platform.

License: The work "Developing your teaching voice online. Communication at a distance" by School of Languages and Applied Linguistics, The Open University, via is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

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Time: 5 min

How to Write an Engaging Script

The first step in creating a presentation is to write a script. It is important that this script is well written as it can also offer the students textual reinforcement of the lecture's content. In addition, a well written script helps the learner engage more actively with its contents. The following video offers practical tips that will help you improve your script writing skills.

License: not freely licensed

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Time: 10 min

E-Moderation – Overview

Effective moderation of an online lecture is crucial to its success. Click on the link for an introduction to e-moderating.

License: not freely licensed

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