Building quality and sustainable online educational offerings in a digital learning environment

This article was originally published on the Oppida blog

For many education institutions around the world, the lockdowns of 2020 meant face-to-face teaching had to be replaced by online learning. Institutions rose to the challenge for the sake of their learners, and explored new ways of teaching, learning and maintaining classroom communities and relationships in a digital learning environment.

However heroic and important they were at the time, these hastily cobbled-together forays into online learning taught us all that there’s far more to creating quality digital education than simply trying to replicate the classroom experience by providing videos of lectures and pdfs of handouts.

The popular Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) go further — they do actually design their offerings specifically for the digital learning environment.Even so, completion rates for self paced MOOC’s sit at around 5%, suggesting there’s still something missing in the typical recipe for online courses.

There has been no shortage of entrepreneurs and thought leaders who have decided to monetise their expertise by offering online courses in everything from mindfulness to art and craft, business to beauty. The platforms for digital learning are more accessible and affordable than ever before which seems to have created a view that offering online courses is a way of creating passive income for the course creator: build it and they will come. All you have to do is sit back and count the money as it rolls in. If only it was that easy.

We are now in a digital world, interconnected at every moment, and education must work with digital tools. Every one of us is potentially an educator — that’s great news for learners in terms of variety, but it means we have to up our game as educators to raise the bar. We have to understand what quality online education is and how it’s best created, as well as adapt to the different financial model on which it must operate.

How do we create experiences that hook students in, foster authentic learning communities, and, ultimately, lead them to learn the intended course outcomes? At Oppida, we’re answering these questions every day — our core business is designing and developing digital learning environments that are both sustainable and high quality. Wherever you are with online learning and creating online courses, we can help.



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