Online Course Design and Marketing In Nursing Education

Nurses Educator 2

 Marketing and Good Online Course Design In Nursing Education

Online Course Design and Marketing In Nursing Education

Tips For Good Web Course Design,Marketing throughout the course.

Tips For Good Web Course Design

Don't get too fancy

    A good design is a simple one. Limit the use of frames technology unless it is central to the navigation scheme.

Legibility is extremely important

    The user should not have to squint to read your text. Large, familiar, readable serif fonts (such as Times Roman) or sans serif fonts (such as Arial) work best.

    Provide users with a guide to where they are in relation to the entire page. This can be accomplished with visual indicators, page numbers, and a variety of other techniques.

Be consistent

    Provide users with the same navigation features in predictable locations on the screen. Don't get fancy or move things around. Decide on a template and stick with it.

Provide basic information about the course and instructor

    For instance, an instructor bio with information on how to contact the instructor by e-mail and phone is critical. Use the school or company logo on the opening page. Identify the course and provide an area for visitors to e-mail for further information.

Create an index page that provides users with an easy way to get to specific information.

Provide users with links to support services

    Embedded into your course; for instance, links to the library, bookstore, registrar's office, financial aid, and the like.

    Avoid embedding fancy things like Java based applets (calculators, etc.) unless you are sure the students have a browser that is Java enabled.

Make the course multi sensory, multidimensional

    Do not limit the course to being a “computer textbook” but instead consider using the power of the Internet to enhance the course with audio, video, photos, animation, interactive testing, and so on. Develop an evaluation/feedback instrument for the course. Encourage feedback following every unit or module. 

The course home page is a marketing tool

    Obtain professional consultation and design services to be sure it is very attractive and interesting. Of course, it must be easy to find. 

Market Your Course

    Faculty responsible for the course should ensure that an attractive, informative course home page is created and maintained as a marketing tool.

Register the course with as many search engines as possible.

Register the course with The World Lecture Hall.

Be sure that program flyers and other promotional materials include the course home-page address as well as a course listing and course description, and a phone number for the customer to call.

Try to get a paper or news article about your course published in local, regional, and national professional newspapers or journals.

Advertise your Web-based educational offerings in magazines and journals targeted at your potential student audience.

Be sure that your university, college, and department home pages have prominent links to your course.

Be sure that your course home page has links to the school's admissions and enrollment Web pages.

Your home page should have a clearly marked link to online course registration (if it exists) or to an e-mail address where potential students can request enrollment forms.

Marketing Throughout The Course

    Make sure you provide the personal touch to your students throughout the teaching of the course.

Communicate regularly on the conference center. 

Be liberal with personal emails to your students. If any student's participation begins to lag, communicate personally to let them know you care about them and do not want to lose them. Find out what is wrong and what you need to do or can do to make it possible for that student to continue in the course.

Be supportive. These are adults and very difficult life situations sometimes happen to them. Parents get sick or die, they themselves (perhaps being older) may get sick or need surgery, or some may lose their jobs during a course—any number of disasters can happen. It is almost never useful for them to drop out of the course. So, extend deadlines or do whatever you can to help them complete the course and earn the academic credit they have paid for.

Be kind. These are adult learners. They need a coach, facilitator, guide, and friend along their learning path.

    The purpose of assignment due dates is twofold. First, they are there to help the students self-regulate and get work done in a timely, step-by-step fashion. Second, they are there to help you give regular feedback to students. Neither of those purposes is consistent with a stern or punitive “parental” stance. So, if a student has a problem with a due date, be liberal with extensions. But to be consistent with the purpose, be sure to have them set new, reasonable due dates and stick with them.

    A rule of thumb for graduate school is as follows: For every credit hour, allow 3 hours of work outside class for homework, reading, library time, and student projects. Therefore, a 3-credit course should take the student 12 hours per week-3 hours of class time and 9 hours outside class. The rule for undergraduate courses is generally 2 hours of work for every credit hour plus in class time. These are only general rules; students who have difficulty with the material may need more time, and students with a special aptitude or prior training may need less time.

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