As is the case with just about every other type of business that lives out its lifecycle online, online education has become somewhat of the focal point of a new digital gold rush. There used to be a time when the facilitation of education online was pretty much just an extension of the instructional infrastructure of existing academic institutions such as colleges and universities, but things have changed quite a bit recently.
The world of online education can be said to have been slightly tainted a bit in this way, simply because of some of the content which is offered and delivered as part of the many online courses in existence. What happens is that anybody who can use a word processor can now create an online course, with some of the better-presented of these online courses embellished by special effects, features and media such as videos.
The anatomy of an online course
It used to be that any online learning system was perhaps a learning-support system deployed by academic institutions, such as those I touched on. You were basically given access to a web portal through which you could access supplementary or core course material in addition to being able to upload your assignments. These days however pretty much anyone can create an online course and the anatomy of an online course typically has a certain structure.
The web portal
This is typically just a website which grants you access to the course material via something like a login interface and a subsequent members’ area, which of course you pay for. You will have naturally seen some or other presentation of the course which basically just outlines what you can expect and the best of these outlines give the appearance of telling it all before you even go on to sign up to the course.
In many instances online educational material producers such as those who create all manner of courses don’t even have a website of their own, electing to use open platforms such as the very popular Udemy. There are great advantages to this, not least of which is the fact that if you create an online course and it gets approved for inclusion on the platform, half your marketing work is done for you. People seeking the knowledge and information you want to share can quite easily find it just by running a search on the platform.
Now I might generally sound a bit negative about online courses, but it’s just a reflection of the reality which we’re all faced with. Most of the online courses people go on to sign up to aren’t quite what they’re made out to be and the “students” who come away from them often cannot shake that feeling of being slightly disappointed.
In any case, the content is usually delivered as somewhat of a walk-through video where the person delivering the course talks over some of the actions they’re demonstrating as part of the course. This is why there’s somewhat of an explosion in the popularity of screen recording software like Flashback Pro and the likes.