Saturday, 18 July 2015

Online course

I have recently done my first fully online course, this post is going to reflect on the structure and what I liked / disliked about the course rather than the content. 

The course consisted of 3 units that were subdivided into 3 - 5 sections and made up of text, video and interactive activities. The assessments were free text questions relating to the content immediately previous. Along the way there were revision questions usually a choose the correct option(s) type and free text boxes to record your examples. There was also a notes section, for any notes you wanted to record.

I quickly found that I prefered to make handwritten notes, so that I had them visible alongside the course information rather than having multiple windows open or flipping between the notes and content on screen.

The size of the units and sections varied greatly, ranging from bitesize to overwhelming. I would have prefered more bitesize sections even though this would mean more of them, as the largest sections were off-putting.

I did like the way the sections were set out though, they were clear and easy to use. There were a variety of tasks, different ways to provide the information and revision questions, all which I found useful and engaging. The parts where I had to add my own examples, I quickly started to ignore, as I discovered that I didn't need to fill them in to progress.

The assessment questions were all in the same format and this was disappointing given the different variety of tasks on offer in the actual course. I thought that some of the questions could have been multi choice like the revision questions, or the own examples sections could have been used as part of the assessments (this would make me do them!). 

Sometimes the assessment questions weren't all that clear either, some answers required examples but didn't say so. This led to me having to resubmit some of the assessments. One of my assessment questions was missed out of the unit too. I only discovered this when I was reviewing my answers and found I hadn't answered one. I then wondered how I'd missed it because the course was set up to move on only after you had answered the assessment questions.

After this experience, would I do another online course? I'm not sure. I would have to really look closely at how it was set up before making that choice. It was a different experience rather than a good or bad one. It has made me reflect on what I liked about the course and what I didn't, so in the future I have a good base to make a decision over whether other online courses would be suitable for me or not.

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