What is the best way to create an online course?

Kiana Danial CEO of Invest Diva | Award winning Investing Advisor, Author, Media Producer

June 1st, 2016

I have an online education company and now working on adding new courses.
When we first started, we designed the course from scratch.

However there seems to be tools like BlackBoard and Moodle which give you the template to create your course.

Has anyone tried any of these tools? Which one do you recommend for a recorded-webinar-based course which also allows you to design questions?

Clark Quinn Executive Director at Quinnovation

June 1st, 2016

What Hap Aziz said, separate out your authoring tool from your learning delivery platform (aka LMS).  But also, I query your pedagogy; recorded lectures and questions are unlikely to lead to any meaningful difference in ability to do. Not sure what your educational goals are, but I'd suggest that you might be wanting to think about more meaningful engagement for your learners if they need to leave with new abilities, not just knowledge.

Hap Aziz On a lifelong journey of imagination, play, and learning.

June 1st, 2016

Kiana, That's a very broad question that deals with quite a few variables! Creating online courses certainly depends on the type of course and audience, but it also depends on the course delivery mechanism, the instructional design model, whether separate subject matter experts will be engaged, and so on. Blackboard and Moodle are two examples of Learning Management System (LMS) solutions for providing courses in an online format. They do not provide you templates per se, other than the categories of course content to be included (syllabus, discussion forum, gradebook, calendar, content modules, etc.). However, you still need to specify which of these categories you will utilize, and then you will need to populate the categories with appropriate materials. LMSs are not really content creation tools, though. For that task, you will look at software such as Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline in addition to standard productivity and media content creation software. To make use of Blackboard, typically the learning organization (university, for example) will have purchased the right to use Blackboard. This is not an inexpensive solution. Once the institution is running Blackboard, you as a course developer will be able to make use of the system to develop courses. Again, you will need to use other software to actually create engaging content that you would import into Blackboard. There are other software products such as Canvas, D2L/Brightspace, etc. that are LMSs. There are also freely available LMS-like products that you can use. Moodle is an open source product, which means use can use if for free, but you will have to pay a host service and possibly Moodle-skilled admins to set it up and maintain it for you. A little more description on what you are trying to accomplish, your client's profile, and your anticipated or desired audience would be very helpful. Feel free to contact me directly if you have more questions. Hap Aziz, Ed.D. @digitalhap http://hapaziz.wordpress.com hapaziz@gmail.com

David McKeen

June 1st, 2016

Have you looked at Teachable.com?

Arthur Veytsman Founder at Immerss, 6x Entrepreneur & Angel Investor. Building relationships with Angel Investors worldwide.

June 4th, 2016

Hi Kiana.  Ping me directly to discuss your business model.  It sounds like the platform I am creating may fit your business model. 

Thank you,
Arthur Veytsman


June 1st, 2016

Kiana, based on your clarification that you already have the content, I recommend Blackboard but it's not cheap for larger institutions. 
Moodle is a an open-source Learning Management System (LMS) but it will take time to modify it to your needs, while Bb is much more robust. Bb does have a Small Business program (link below). Overall, I've designed and deployed many courses on both Blackboard and Moodle, and hands down Blackboard has been the best - at least for me - mainly in terms of ease of use and customization. 



June 2nd, 2016

I have used Moddle, Udemy, Open edX, Wordpress and others, however, I prefer Teachery.co for content creation in the classroom setting. Read more on the features here: blog.teachery.co/teachery-features

Kiana Danial CEO of Invest Diva | Award winning Investing Advisor, Author, Media Producer

June 1st, 2016

Thank you Hap Aziz. I already have the created the content. All I need is to sort them into progressive chapters (i.e. the learner can move on to the next presentation after passing the test).

This pre-recorded course is required to be completed by students before they can start our live webinar courses. We already have a solution for live webinars.

Additionally, we need to be able to link the course to our website, so that it's hosted on our website...

Shobhit Verma

June 2nd, 2016

We played with several alternatives for months including OpenEdx. In the end we decided to build our own lightweight/ more customisable version.
We can create a custom solution for you for free if you join the beta program.

Dr. Bonkowski Online ESL academic & business writing specialist / eLearning Consultant / founder of Business SchoolHQ.com

June 2nd, 2016

Hi Kiana, Although I am not active in FD, I saw your request about tools for creating

Scott Gray CEO & Founder Zoku, inc.

June 1st, 2016

Depends on what you are teaching. Anything remotely mathematical including coding should be "useractive". In other words, you should provide online production tools related to subject at hand and use TEXT content to get students DOING examples and playing with the code at all times. In mathematics use a mathematical coding tool like Mathematica to get students playing and working with the mathematical models. For coding, use an online coding editor. It is imperitive that you have mentors who give feedback to students who should be handing in projects from time to time. Given these requirements an off the shelf LMS is inadequate. They all suck and only are capable of delivering the worst aspects of a brick and mortar class (lectures, multiple choice quizzes). Scott