One major difference in teaching an online course versus a face-to-face course is the audience. While students in a face-to-face course are generally all of similar age and circumstance, those that take online courses tend to be much more varied. Below are a list of questions to consider about the audience of your online course, as well as some tips on how to develop your online course so it can work for your diverse audience.
Questions to consider
- Does your course meet a general education requirement, or is it required for majors?
- What are the pre-requisites for your course?
- How many students will be in your class?
- How many students are off-campus vs. on-campus?
- How old is the typical student in your course?
- What year in school are your students?
- Be Flexible. Take these typical scenarios into consideration when you are planning your course's deadlines, live sessions, and office hours.
- Consider the working professionals. Many students taking online courses are not full-time students. They have full-time jobs, families, and lives outside of school that can impact how long and when they can commit time to your course.
- Consider time zones. Often times, students taking an online course are doing so remotely. While they may be in state but out-of-town, it is possible that you'll have students from all over the country, or all over the world.
- Consider language barriers. Online courses enable students from all over the world to learn from you. Because of this, it's important to consider that there may be language barriers between you and your students.