questions to ask when designing a course

by Loraine Torphy 10 min read

10 Killer Questions To Start Every eLearning Course Design

  1. What problem are you trying to solve? Believe it or not, many eLearning designers forget to identify and communicate...
  2. Who is the audience? Have you ever been introduced to someone that you’ve heard of only to be blown away but not to...
  3. What does the audience think about taking this training? At some...

Here are some questions to consider when designing a course.
Class by Class Plan:
  • What will I teach? ...
  • Do the students have pre-requisite knowledge or do I need to refresh them?
  • What will I teach each class? ...
  • How much time should I spend on each topic area?
  • What concepts are particularly important, difficult, or complex?

Full Answer

How do I design a course?

Designing a course can seem like a daunting task, so we break it down into a few easy steps to help you navigate creating a structure that's engaging and fun for your students. Have questions? Begin the process early, giving yourself as much time as you can to plan a new course. Successful courses require careful planning and continual revision.

What should I ask for in a course?

Don’t try to guess and fill in content for your course. It is important to ask for concrete sources, such as websites, blogs, pages on the intranet, emails, previous meeting notes, and more to help develop the information you include in the course.

Where do These CTE course design questions come from?

These questions stem from brainstorming sessions at CTE's Course Design Workshop as well as the literature on this topic. Exploring these questions should help you develop a detailed course plan.

What kind of questions should be included in a course evaluation?

While conducting a course evaluation survey, students are questioned in detail about various aspects of the course. But, here are twelve essential questions every course evaluation survey must contain. We’ve split them into three categories: Instructor specific survey questions Course material-specific survey questions


What do you need to design a course?

To design an effective course, you need to:Consider timing and logistics.Recognize who your students are.Identify the situational constraints.Articulate your learning objectives.Identify potential assessments.Identify appropriate instructional strategies.Plan your course content and schedule.

What are educational design questions?

Design Questions (Marzano)DQ4: What will I do to help students generate and test hypotheses about new knowledge?DQ7: What will I do to recognize and acknowledge adherence and lack of adherence to classroom rules and procedures?DQ8: What will I do to establish and maintain effective relationships with students?More items...

What are key elements of course design?

The course design triangle has three principal components: objectives, assessments, and instruction. To achieve a coherent learning experience, all three course components must closely align with one another and also consider the course context.

What are the best questions to ask for designing an online learning system?

Get To Know Your Online Learners: 10 Questions For eLearning ProfessionalsWhat skills do they currently possess? ... What is their preferred learning environment? ... Do they have any negative past eLearning experiences? ... What do they expect to take away from the eLearning course? ... Do they have the time to actively participate?More items...•

What is a design question?

Simply put, you're asking how to take an idea (Active Time Battles, Achievements) and actually make them a real, functioning system in your prototype or game. "How do I" is the earmark of such a question, and all of its variants, like "Can someone tell me how to..."

How do you ask a question in design thinking?

Here are some questions IT leaders should ask before pursuing design thinking:What's the impetus for exploring design thinking? ... How will we define design thinking? ... Can our organization embrace rapid testing, failure, and course correction? ... Will your IT culture support the design thinking mindset?

What are the 5 major components of course design?

The main elements of course design include;Need Analysis.Learning or Course Goal.Learning Objectives.Assessments.Delivery Methods and Strategies.Activities.

What is the focus of course design?

The focus of course design is on putting together the optimal learning experiences for students, in an environment that is supportive and appreciative of learning and intellectual development.

What is a structure of a course?

The course structure refers to the choice of topics and the organization and sequencing of course content. Remember that the choice of topics and their organization should always support the learning objectives for the course.

What are the key factors for making an online course effective?

Five Factors for Successful Online LearningUse a systems approach to course design. ... Provide professional development. ... Set student expectations. ... Create community. ... Take advantage of the online environment.

What questions should I ask about e learning?

10 questions we ask before we start any eLearning project:WHY do you need it? ... WHAT problems will it solve? ... WHO is it for, specifically? ... Have you done this BEFORE? ... What do staff need to KNOW after they've taken the course? ... What do staff need DO differently? ... How often are the different types of knowledge and skills used?More items...

What are good survey questions for students?

Top 16 student survey questions for academic feedbackWhich activities in the classroom do you enjoy the most? ... Given a chance, what is one change that you would like to see? ... Do you have supportive classmates? ... What motivates you to learn more? ... Do you think that the school provides you with adequate sports facilities?

How to teach chemistry?

Teach students problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Demonstrate how chemistry is used in other fields and in everyday situations. Teach students the beauty of chemistry. Determine course content. Select the major topics and determine the order in which you will teach them. Select the main topics to be covered.

How to teach more material than you can cover in the allotted time?

Instructors often plan initially to teach more material than they can cover in the allotted time. Determine the structure of the course; arrange the topics in a logical order. Developing a rationale that guides the structure of the course can help you explain the material more clearly to the students.

How to define course goals?

When you define the course goals, focus on student learning. One way to formulate these goals is to determine what students should be learning in terms of content, cognitive development, and personal development. Be as specific as you can and make sure that the goals define learning in ways that can be measured.

How to prepare for a new course?

Begin the process early , giving yourself as much time as you can to plan a new course. Successful courses require careful planning and continual revision. Consult with colleagues who have taught the same or similar courses to learn from their strategies and their general impressions of the students who typically take the course.

What is course planning?

Course planning is a continual process, as illustrated by the diagram below. Each of the steps is necessarily undertaken with the others in mind, and each will necessarily undergo revision each time you teach a particular course. As you plan and revise courses, remember the importance of teaching core concepts and critical-thinking skills.

How important is deadline for SME?

Deadlines are very important, so partner with your SME to set a hard deadline, even if they have a more laid back approach . Also, always be honest with yourself about how much you currently have in your workload or how much you anticipate coming.

Why is it important to ask for concrete sources?

It is important to ask for concrete sources, such as websites, blogs, pages on the intranet, emails, previous meeting notes, and more to help develop the information you include in the course. Broadening your source of information beyond the SME allows you to not only better educate yourself, but also the learner.

Why is understanding the audience important?

Understanding the audience will help you to adjust the style and tone of your course design. Speaking to the understanding of the individuals that make up the "learners" will help to create buy-in, and can act as a motivating factor for the learner.

What is the importance of planning and research for online training?

Planning and research are vital to the success of your online training program. You should learn as much as possible about the background of your online learners, the goals that must be achieved, as well as the performance gaps that need to be filled if you want to develop a succinct and successful online training course for your organization.

What should every piece of online training content you include?

Keep in mind that every piece of online training content you include should tie into the goals and offer real world value. In other words, it needs be applicable on the job. Conduct online surveys, assessments, and interviews to get a clear idea of what knowledge they really need to absorb and retain in a practical sense.

Why is it important to have viable criteria in place?

It’s important to have viable criteria in place so that you can measure the effectiveness of your online training program. Every goal and objective should also be realistic and attainable, or your online training initiatives will never be truly successful.

Who is Christopher Pappas?

Christopher Pappas is founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Christopher holds an MBA, and an MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU. eLearning Blogger | EduTechpreneur | eLearning Analyst | Speaker | Social Media Addict

Is online training part of ongoing training?

In fact, it should be a part of an ongoing online training initiative that involves a supportive online training community. Stress the importance of your online training courses and make your employees feel like they play an important role in the online training process.

What is the "must read" category?

Here’s something to file under the ‘Must Read’ category for instructional designers and anyone else tasked with creating training; a great list of questions to consider before you start working on any training program.

What is a performance problem?

Notice the keyword “symptoms.” Very often what presents itself to be a performance problem is truly a symptom of a deeper or related organizational problem. For instance, a large publishing company believed it needed customer service training because it came in dead-last, in the customer service category, in a survey published by its industry magazine. When more investigation was done, it was determined that the organization was suffering from an inadequate technology system that led to the symptom of poor customer service.

What happens if there is no business outcome expected from the training?

If there is no business outcome expected from the training, it will be hard to enlist the support of the organization and it’s possible that your project will be canceled if it seems to be a “nice to know topic.” Your time and effort are valuable commodities, so you will want to ensure that there is a true business goal such as increased sales, decreased accidents, reduction in personnel, or the like, that it is associated with the training.

What happens when an organization is in flux?

When organizations are in flux, a sense of ennui trickles down to every individual’s performance. If the organization has been talking about an acquisition or merger, it can cause people to change their work habits. If a downsizing has occurred and more work needs to be accomplished with less people, it’s logical that poor performance will follow. Perhaps the department has had three different managers in the last 18 months, and every manager has a different perspective on how the work should be done; eventually people start to second-guess their abilities and perform at a minimal level in order to “play it safe.”

How does the work environment affect performance?

The work environment can have a large impact on performance ability. Perhaps tools aren’t where they are supposed to be kept. Perhaps processes that are interrelated are hundreds of yards apart. Perhaps the work environment is so noisy that communication frequently breaks down.

Why did a manufacturing firm conduct cross training?

For example, a manufacturing firm intended to conduct cross-training because its machinery broke down so often that many of its personnel simply had nothing to do until their machine was fixed. It was discovered that the machinists were not doing preventative maintenance, as was expected.

Can performance problems be solved?

There are a lot of different causes for performance problems and most of them can NOT be solved by training. These questions can help you identify the source of a performance problem and avoid building a training program that is doomed to fail from the beginning.

Why is feedback important in learning?

Feedback helps students understand the areas they lack in and in what areas they need to pull up their socks. Timely feedback helps students improve their learning experience. A learning process is always messy. Mistakes are made, and there is still room for improvement.

Why do professors give feedback?

Professors must give timely, constructive feedback so that students can understand where they stand and what steps they must take to improve. Feedback must always be goal-oriented, prioritized, actionable, student-friendly, ongoing, consistent, and timely.

Why are course materials important?

Course materials are crucial because they can remarkably improve a student’s achievement and understanding by supporting student learning.

What are instructional materials?

The instructional materials (i.e., books, readings, handouts, study guides, lab manuals, multimedia, software) increased my knowledge and skills in the subject matter. Ensure that all the learning aspects like books, reading material, handouts, study guides, etc. are kept updated.


Intended Learning Outcomes

Identifying and articulating intended learning outcomes is key to successful course planning. To identify the learning outcomes for a course, consider what you want your students to leave the course knowing, thinking, feeling, and/or able to do. List four to six main outcomes and be as specific as possible. The time you spend ide…
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Contextual Issues

  • There are many contextual issues that will affect how you shape your course. You should take time to think about who you will be teaching, how your course fits within their studies, and about the facilities and resources that you have access to as an instructor.
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Content Issues

  • Choosing what to cover in a course can be very intimidating – there are often so many different ideas and perspectives to choose from within each topic! Here are a few questions to think about when you are narrowing down your choices.
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Teaching Methods Issues

  • Teaching methods include lecturing, facilitating discussions, inviting in guest lecturers, guiding group activities, and organizing many different types of active learning exercises both in and out of the classroom. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. You need to select methods that support your plans for the course and that help students be able to do the assess…
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  1. CTE Teaching Tip: Course Design Heuristic
  2. CTE Teaching Tip: Course Content Selection and Organization
  3. CTE Teaching Tip: Creating Course Outlines
  4. CTE Teaching Tip: Course Design: Planning a Class
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