Please follow the recommendations below in order to create a popular course for learners to successfully pass.
- Optimal length of the course is 3 to 6 modules, where each module is 1 week of 3 to 5 hours. If there are more than 10 modules in your course, consider making it in two separate ones.
- Follow the logic of learning. Think about better structuring the materials and create a consistent plan of the course to see whether all modules, lessons and steps are interrelated and correspond to the same purpose and intent.
- Make an introduction lesson to show how to work with Stepik and present the special features of your course. If you have any vital technical points to tell the learners – do it in this lesson as well. You can create both a video lecture and a text step to double its content.
- It is a good idea to make the first step of a lesson into a text description of the following, or with links to separate important steps.
- Careful attention should be given to the first module of the course. It is the first lessons of the course that will make learners decide whether or not they want to complete it. Any spelling mistakes, omissions and minor flaws in the first module may form a negative rating of the course.
- The last lesson of the last module should be a summary. Thank learners, share additional info, tell about certificates (if any), ask for feedback. You can ask learners’ opinion by making a survey with the standard Stepik assignment form.
Content of a course
- Be sure to add only verified and relevant information. Share links to borrowed content, check the authorship and limits of use before adding video, texts and images to the course.
- It is better to avoid using images (such as presentation screenshots) to upload text, as this format prevents learners from comfortable searching, copying and editing of information.
- The main thing that distinguishes an online course from a set of videos is practical assignments. It is important that a learner spends at least half of the course time on them. A lesson should contain both informational and assignment steps.
- Assignments in your course should be of different types. There are more than 20 various types of assignments at Stepik, so please use them.
- If your course requires use of special software or you can predict what difficulties your learners might face, create a dedicated lesson or a step with FAQ (you would also want to include the relevancy date).
At Stepik you can create courses with or without video. If you want to add video materials, you should pay attention to the rules and requirements for video recording.
- Information is processed better if in the beginning of the video lesson a course teacher appears for at least 10-20 seconds. It establishes more personal contact with learners and lets them understand who they address their questions in the comments. If the teacher does not introduce themselves, or is not shown in the video, it is better to inform learners of their teacher's name in the first lesson.
- It is important to present material in free modern language without excessively formal constructions. Think about engaging learners – ask them questions and invite them to discussion in comments below.
- It is easier for learners to keep attention when a teacher speaks fast and vigorously enough. Enthusiasm and smile are the best helpers.
- The most important part of a video is sound. Please make sure its quality is high enough.
- Focus on the needs of your target audience: cover relevant topics, use new data.
- Verify your information: cite sources, acknowledge authorship of materials you use, correct mistakes if they are spotted by learners.
- Use outside perspective: ask your students or colleagues to have a look at the materials and solve the assignments. At Stepik, you can add people to your course as testers.
- Deadlines can motivate learners to do assignments on time, yet generally, it reduces a number of those who will be able to pass your course, so consider this as well.
- Compile and upload the list of references you used or may recommend. It can be done in the first or the final lesson, or in the end of each module. You can also engage learners in forming such a list themselves in the comments. If you have an opportunity to provide materials for self-study, upload them to the Files section so you will be able to give the link to learners.