Skip main navigation

Course introduction

An overview of this short course on How to Create an Online Course.
The word 'Create' made out of wooden letters on a white table.

Hello and welcome! We are excited to have you on the course! Before we get stuck in, let’s look at what we’re going to cover, and why understanding these topics will be useful for creating an engaging, enjoyable online course.

The course is divided into four key topic areas:

1: Understanding Your Learners

We start by focusing on your learners – who is the target audience for your online course? Before you think about course content, it is a useful first step to explore ‘personas’ to understand the characteristics of a typical learner.

You will create your own persona in this section, which you can use to help direct and shape your content during the development process.

2: The Power of Active Learning and Narrative

Active learning and narrative voice are key to motivating and engaging your learners. In this section, we’ll look at the differences between passive and active learning, and you will discover how to design opportunities for active learning into your own course.

We’ll also look at the readability of content and how to create a strong narrative voice using language that will appeal to a global audience.

3: How to Make Content Engaging

In this section, we’re going to look at approaches to creating course content. We’ll discuss some of the tools and techniques you can use to get your learners interested, and to keep them focused and active.

We’ll share top tips for chunking information and making your content open and accessible, and we’ll have a look at learning outcomes and online assessments. You’ll also practise creating a short learning sequence of activities to get you thinking about content for your own course.

4: Your Digital Toolbox

In this final section, we’ll show you some of the digital tools available for creating online course materials. You will select from the digital tool wheel for your own learning sequence to see how this works in practice.

We’ll also introduce you to the key aspects of media production, and you’ll write a short trailer script to practise your skills. We’ll wrap up with useful resources to explore further and next steps you can take on the journey to creating your own online course.

This article is from the free online

How to Create an Online Course

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now