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How to Create an Effective Online Learning Environment

Gain confidence in planning, producing, and delivering online learning content.

A teacher with a face mask on, standing at a full size whiteboard, underlining sentences with a dry marker. In the foreground are two cameras which she is presenting to
  • Duration

    5 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 1 of 2
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Improve your eLearning and blended learning provision

Over recent years, learners have spent more time online as a result of the COVID pandemic and its continued impact on learning environments.

On this five-week course, you’ll learn how to facilitate successful online learning environments, whether they’re being used to support flipped learning, hybrid learning, or fully online education.

Examine online teaching and learning theories and perspectives

On this course, you’ll be introduced to a range of principles and perspectives to inform your online learning planning and delivery. You’ll explore procedures to carry out needs assessment and context analysis in relation to online environments.

This knowledge will inform your planning process and help you design a learning environment to meet the specific needs of your learners.

Learn to create an educational course with a learning management system

Learning management systems are responsible for the administration, monitoring, and delivery of educational courses.

You’ll evaluate a range of educational course management platforms and examine the tools available to enhance and improve your current online delivery.

With this understanding, you’ll be able to choose an appropriate learning management system for your setting and demonstrate how it could be embedded into your current processes.

Discover instructional design models for online teaching

Using pedagogical theory, you’ll be able to situate your online learning environment within your current frameworks and learning objectives.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a broad understanding of eLearning environments and theories. You’ll also have experience of learning management systems and be able to demonstrate how they can improve learning outcomes when used to support your online provision.


  • Week 1

    Online course design

    • Welcome to the course 'How to creating an effective online learning environment'

      The aim of this course is to learn about the theory and practice involved in creating an effective online learning environment. Your learning will take place in a community of practice where comments and discussion are valued.

    • Effective online learning

      What is effective learning? What factors contribute to effective online learning? How does effective online course design contribute to successful learning?

    • Reflection on Week 1

      Reflect on your learning from Week 1 of How to Create an Effective Online Learning Environment.

  • Week 2

    Instructional design models

    • Introduction

      The learning outcomes for this activity are to establish what an Instructional Design model is and develop your own ideas as to what you want from an Instructional Design model.

    • ADDIE model

      An introduction to the ADDIE design model; browse the resources and interact with your community of learners.

    • The S.A.M. model

      An introduction to the Successive Approximation Model.

    • Learning Management Systems

      In this activity, you'll explore the definition of a Learning Management System (LMS) as an online integrated software used for creating, delivering, tracking, and reporting educational courses and outcomes.

    • Conclusion

      The end of Week 2! Please look at the discussion topic and participate in it.

  • Week 3

    Creating an online course in a Learning Management System

    • Introduction

      Once you have used your Instructional Design model to plan your online course, you need to create the online learning activities and resources for your students. This week we look at putting the design theory into practice.

    • Creating an online course in Moodle

      In this activity you will learn how to create a new course in Moodle, organise the topics or weekly pages, and insert content and online learning activities onto the Moodle pages.

    • Conclusion

      Let's reflect on the week's learning and skills learnt.

  • Week 4

    Web 2.0 tools for planning and presenting of learning

    • Introduction

      Learning Outcome: Exploration of Web 2.0 tools that can be used in the collaborative process of designing an online course and presentation of learning material.

    • Collaborative planning tools

      Learning outcome: Explore tools that may be used to plan your online course in collaboration with others.

    • Presentation tools

      Aim: Explore Web 2.0 tools that can be used for presenting learning.

    • Readings

      Aim: Peruse readings that may further support you in choosing collaborative and presentation tools

    • Conclusion

      The end of Week 4. Please look at the discussion forum and participate.

  • Week 5

    Evaluation of online courses

    • Online course evaluation

      An introduction to online course evaluation. This involves measuring the quality of an online course. Why and what is course evaluation? The DIME evaluation model, pre-moderation checklists and evaluation tools.

    • Course Assessment

      A short test to assess your understanding of designing an effective online course.

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Synthesize design principles appropriate to the planning of an online course.
  • Explore theories and perspectives of the facilitation of eLearning and the development of a community of practice in an online learning environment.
  • Evaluate the key technologies used in online learning and the impact of these technologies on learning and teaching activities.
  • Discuss and reflect on the theoretical and practical perspectives of course evaluation and student assessment.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for teachers and educators in schools who want to develop their skill in creating online learning provision.

Who will you learn with?

I am a lecturer at Wintec Pūkenga located in Hamilton, New Zealand. I manage the Grad Dip of IT in Education programme which provides professional development for teachers in the integration of ICT.

I have been a classroom teacher for over 18 years, mainly digital with 1:1 devices. I am a tutor for te Pukenga: integrating IT in Education. I am also a mentor in mathematics with IT integration.

Who developed the course?


The Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) is a leading tertiary education provider and one of New Zealand’s largest Institutes of Technology. Established in 1924, Wintec delivers technical, vocational, and professional education across a broad range of qualifications, domestically and internationally.

About this ExpertTrack

Expand your knowledge of online teaching and learning perspectives and learn to create engaging, exciting eLearning content.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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