Skip main navigation

Planning your online activity

Plan an online learning activity.
© FutureLearn

In the previous step we provided some links to online resources to get you started. Now it’s time to start planning an online activity for your students: broadly similar to making a lesson or session plan.

Remember this does not need to be live delivery, and may mean doing something different to what you’d do face-to-face. You could be setting project work, challenging your students to complete physical activity tasks every day, or encouraging them to start a learning diary. Keep in mind your overall learning objectives and outcomes – this can really help refine your thinking and cut to the essentials.

Your presence

Part of planning is what we at FutureLearn call ‘educator presence’ – your students want to know you’re there, so how will you maintain your presence? You might want to keep in touch with your students regularly by email, directing them to resources you’ve found, or you might have access to a Learning Management System, or even a social media page, where you keep in touch. Be realistic – you don’t want to bombard your students or their parents from all angles.

We recommend you explore the resources out there and experiment. Remember to consider your own teaching style and think of ways to maintain this online.

Using Learning Designer

You’ll find this platform has features that allow you to plan learning activities according to the size of class and length of activity, which might be a one hour lesson or a series of weekly lectures across a semester, depending on your context.

When you create a series of activities in Learning Designer, you can save it offline and share it with other users via a web link or .docx download. We have included a Quickstart Online Lesson Plan template to get you started with the steps you might take to move your teaching online.

We would love for learners on the course to share plans they’re working with in Learning Designer: Image of the sharing button in Learning Designer

You can start by adding them to comments below.

If you’re using Learning Designer, share the link to your plan here, ideally also add the #FLTeachOnline tag to the name of your design so it’s quick to find. We’ve got a Teaching Continuity area on Learning designer where we’ll curate all the shared designs. Or, if you prefer; post a comment with an outline here. If you’ve found a particularly useful resource, share it here and explain how you will use or adapt it to your context.

Low-fi method: using a document template for session plans

If Learning Designer isn’t suitable for you right now you may want to chose a different method. We have created a template Session Plan for a teaching and learning activity for you to use. It contains all you need to start planning a session of any duration. The approach is similar to Learning Designer but you can complete it in any word processor.

A note on Creative Commons licensing

It’s important to remember that if you use online resources with your students, you should consider how to appropriately acknowledge where those resources came from. We’ve included a link to the Creative Commons website for more information on how to use Creative Commons attributions in the ‘see also’ section below.

© FutureLearn
This article is from the free online

How To Teach Online: Moving online post-pandemic

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education