January 24, 2023

Top practices for designing an online course

Exploring the notion that learning is a lifetime process and that several ways to learn. Expand your wisdom through our new blog post and learn the top practices for designing an online course.

In designing an online course, it is important to consider micro-learning, the setups you will use, your design and visuals, accessibility, and methods for improvement. These top practices have been proven effective in engaging students or mentees, especially for remote learning.

When compared to conventional learning methods, micro-learning is a technique for delivering instruction in small, manageable bits. Exploring the notion that learning is a lifetime process and that several ways to learn have various advantages is more important than merely enrolling in a course and memorizing the material. Here, we'll look at the best practices for creating an online course that uses microlearning to impart knowledge in a fun and efficient way. Utilizing both synchronous and asynchronous settings, including branding assets and adding captions for video content, are also ways to do so. This can help course developers in creating a reputable online course that offers worthwhile instruction in a style that is simple to use.


Micro-learning has become a popular area of study for those who want to explore the benefits of learning over time. It's not just about taking a course and learning the content—it's about exploring the idea that learning is a lifelong process, and that there are different ways to learn that have different benefits. Some people learn by watching or reading, while others learn best through doing. Some people need information in chunks, while others need it in a long string. Some people can only learn if it's sequential, while others can take in information as it comes to them.

Utilize both synchronous and asynchronous setups

When you're designing your course brand, there are a lot of important questions that you have to consider. What kind of voice will the courses have? Will they feel original and genuine in their tone or manufactured? What format should the courses take? Should they be primarily synchronous, with each interaction happening simultaneously, or should they be asynchronous, with interactions spaced out over time? How much value will students gain from these interactions?

We're here to help you answer these questions by sharing what we've learned from our work with clients who want to build their brands. Some things that we've discovered about designing an online course brand are:

  • Synchronous communication is more effective for building relationships
  • Asynchronous communication is more effective for digesting information

This means that it's best to have both a synchronous and asynchronous setup for your online course brand. This way, you can use the strengths of each type of setup to effectively promote your online course brand's growth.

Incorporate your branding assets

So, you're starting an online course. The first thing you'll want to do is get a handle on your branding. You've got a few choices: You can either create a new brand for your course, or you can use an existing brand that you already have. If it's the latter, then you'll want to make sure that using your main brand isn't going to impact the perception of your course negatively.

For example, if you have an established reputation as a food blogger and you start selling fashion-related eBooks, people who know about the eBooks but aren't interested in baking might be confused by seeing your name and logo associated with this new product line. However, if you're starting an online course specifically because of its connection to your blog or another recognizable brand that people already know and trust, then there's no reason not to incorporate those things as part of your new venture.

Add captioning for video content

When it comes to engaging viewers with video content, many e-learning developers and designers neglect a basic but critical step: captioning. Video is a great way to reach learners emotionally, but without captions, most of your audience will not be able to access your videos. According to the National Association of the Deaf, only 20 percent of deaf and hard-of-hearing people can access captioning in their homes. Even if all of your audience can hear perfectly, captions are still helpful for learners who speak a different language or prefer to study in silence.

Captions also make it easier for learners who want to pause the video for any reason, as well as people who want to review your content later. With captions, learners can pause and rewind at any point. This is especially useful for courses that offer more than one video per lesson, as it gives students flexibility in their learning process. Captions are also great for learners who want to review content later or who don’t have time to watch a video all the way through during the first viewing.

Allow interaction, feedback, and assessment

The term "online course" conjures up a lot of images that could be both helpful and harmful to the design of your brand. One of the most important steps is taking a look at what you want your brand to communicate and how you want it to be perceived.

As you work through the design process, remember not to underestimate the value of being open to feedback from others. Your students, who will be part of your brand's community, may have great insight into what they would like to see in your online course platform and what they expect from an online course. They'll also have their own expectations based on their experience with other brands or platforms, so take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about your audience.

Take into account all the ways you want people to interact with your brand and work them into your design. Are there forums where students can connect with each other? Is there an opportunity for them to provide feedback on assignments? Do you want them to be able to ask questions via instant messenger? Consider providing multiple ways for students to interact with your brand so that they feel as though they are getting the full experience of being part of a community.

Here’s an exercise to help you on Designing an Online Course Brand


  1. Who are the people or organizations who will be interested in your online course? Describe your target audience. Take into account your audience's age, education, employment, hobbies, and problems.
  2. Develop a visual design that will be used consistently throughout all of your marketing materials, including your website, social media accounts, and course content. This has to have a colour scheme, fonts, and a logo.
  3. Create a compelling course name and slogan that potential students will remember. These elements should appropriately reflect the subject matter and educational value of your course.
  4. Highlight your course's unique selling point by outlining its advantages and how it will assist prospective students in achieving their objectives.
  5. Share case studies and testimonials from previous clients to establish credibility and trust with prospective clients.

The secret to success is to define your target audience precisely, develop a consistent visual style, develop a compelling and memorable course title and tagline, emphasize the special value that your course offers, and use case studies and testimonials, and continually collect and incorporate student feedback. By adhering to these best practices, you can develop a brand for your online course that is customized to the requirements of your target market and provides worthwhile instruction in a style that is simple to access, comprehend, and implement. The effectiveness and engagement of your online course brand will also be boosted by including both synchronous and asynchronous configurations, using your branding assets, and adding captions for video content. Overall, you can create a successful and productive online course by keeping these best practices in mind.