When you think about creating your online course, you should decide what type of online course it will be. There are several ways that your online course can operate, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.
This article will describe the four basic categories of online courses along with relevant pros and cons to help you figure out which type is right for your situation.
Online courses are broken up into two main categories: synchronous and asynchronous. They have unique differences that set them apart from one another.
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Synchronous courses require students to interact with the course material and instructors throughout specific periods of time. These usually take place in a chat room or virtual classroom.
Asynchronous courses are the complete opposite. They do not require any communication through times where other students will be logged on to engage in real-time conversation. Students can log on at their convenience and work autonomously from one another, but the course material must be learned at a pre-determined pace.
1. The Flipped Course
The flipped classroom model has been around for years, but it is gaining in popularity because of the rise in online learning. A student watches a pre-recorded video for an assignment, which can be completed outside of class time, and then class time is used for questions about the video or further discussions.
This relieves many students’ difficulties with understanding material, but it can be done poorly. The instructor must explain the lecture material outside of the video in order to ensure that everyone is paying attention and understands what is being taught.
2. Live Online Course
Live online course involves a teacher and students interacting with each other via webcam or landline phone. They can see and hear who they are talking to, but the courses tend to be more difficult because there is no visual aid other than a whiteboard or PowerPoint slides.
There may also be a chat box for everyone in the course to communicate with each other throughout the lecture. Some students prefer this method of learning because they are able to get one-on-one teaching instead of just listening to a teacher’s lecture.
3. The Hybrid Course
A hybrid course is considered to be a course that has both online and offline components. The online portion may consist of watching pre-recorded videos, reading documents posted on the class website, or just taking an exam.
This type of course is good for students who need some extra help with certain subjects, but they can also work on their own outside of class. The instructor will most likely have a set schedule for the course, with specific days and times that everyone is expected to meet online.
4. The Virtual Classroom
Many online courses may also take place in a virtual classroom setting. This type of learning can be very beneficial to students because it is like attending class in person, but they are also able to work at their own pace if they need more time on certain subjects.
This is an excellent method of teaching because the instructor can see who has questions and will be able to help them out immediately. The downside about virtual classrooms, however, is that there usually isn’t much group work or discussion in this type of learning.
Since these courses are designed for distance learning, live video and audio conferences are often used to simulate traditional classrooms where each student has their own desk. Since it is impossible to attend an in-person lecture, you will work with students over e-mail, phone or online chat to discuss course material or specific projects.