Designing an online course is a big challenge. All the hours of work of a team can be lost in a single moment: that of the launch of the course. Often, each member focuses on only one aspect of the course, leaving out the big picture or other details. This means you'll probably need to withdraw the course immediately or make changes as you go along. The result? Extra work and, most importantly, a loss of customer confidence.
So how do you avoid getting too excited or rushed before the course launch and have time to assess that everything is on track? Here are a few items and tips to make an effective final check and present users with a course that matches your work and their needs:
1. Analyze ease of navigation
The student's first contact with the platform must be optimal, especially in terms of navigation. Is the course user-friendly? Does each button and menu actually lead to the corresponding page?
2. Clear instructions
A learner must be able to move independently within the platform. If he or she needs help, the course should provide a section devoted to instructions. Are these guides correct and easy to understand?
3. Functioning online support
Although guides and instructions can be found on the site, it is essential that, in case of need, the student can consult other resources such as FAQs, but above all chatbots or call centers that can put them in direct contact with course leaders. Do these tools work accurately?
4. Check punctuation and grammar
Even if your content has been vetted several times, it's best to do a thorough check of all text to make sure it doesn't contain typos, grammar or punctuation errors. The best strategy is to hire a proofreader for a final check.
5. Accessible documents and links
We all click on a PDF or a link and can't see the content. This setback can be very costly in terms of motivation and user satisfaction. Check that all links are correct and working.
6. Course consistency
Some errors in course content can surface in the very last control phase before launch. You need to make sure that all the content, from beginning to end, is consistent and actually contains all the information needed to achieve the proposed objectives.
7. Put yourself in the sponsor's shoes
If the course has a sponsor, it is important to make sure that the logo is visible and that there are no explicit references to competitors in the platform and content.
8. Ask for student feedback
Before launching the course, it may be useful to have some students test the platform. This test can be useful not only to receive feedback, but also to witness them navigating the platform in person to see how they actually experience it (too many clicks? unintuitive platform? too much time moving through content?).
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