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September 15, 2016

Designing your Online Units

In the previous article, we wrote the main scenario for your asynchronous online training. Now, let’s see what we can do about organizing a specific unit that will work as your prototype. This is the detailed scenario stage.

Select a unit, one with a content you are very comfortable with and for which you have a lot of educational material (texts, charts, quizzes, etc.). I am not going to tell you to work on the first or last unit because they will be slightly different, but rather select the second, third, fourth or fifth one…as you please.

Starting from the specific objective you have previously written and from the educational resources you already have in your hands, you will now organize your teaching units that will allow your student to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. A unit is always a set of structured educational resources and activities put together to reach a goal or objective. In a unit, you have to give four to five resources at least. For example:

  • Unit 
    • A video clip with original content
    • A newspaper article
    • A quiz
    • A detailed feedback
    • A podcast

It’s possible that during this organizational stage, some data or information might still be missing to reach the educational objective. It’s now that you will have to write the connecting elements, to research the opinion of an expert you want to add and to change the feedback you had initially planned

You will put a lot of hours into this unit, your prototype. Don’t feel discouraged by this stage, I know it’s tedious and sometimes frustrating but it will allow you to advance quickly afterwards.

This unit will be the inspiration behind your other units. They don’t have to be identical, but there needs to be a certain harmony, because you don’t want your students to be lost and waste time on each new unit. In any case, all of your units have to follow this rule: offer a wide range of resources (texts, videos, etc..) and activities (quizzes, exercises, forums, etc…) to benefit your educational strategy and reach the objective.

Of course, you will still have to add a few things (introductory unit, help tools, etc.) to finish up, but the structure of your units is the most important stage of your educational design.

I wish you great educational designs and fun! Until next time.

Nadine Cambefort

Specialist in Educational Technologies