In the past 18 months I have taught 8 online courses. Here’s what I can tell you:
1) People bring their prior experience of education to every course. Tread carefully.
2) This means your no.1 task is making sure learners are seen and are safe. No examples. No singling out.
3) Laddering and depersonalisation are great. When asking for feedback ask learners to try and build on the previous comments. Also remove names when giving feedback “the learner we just saw might want to consider…”
4) When you ask someone to do a task, be clear about why you are asking them to do it.
5) Keep it fun. Even if this involves self deprecating comments. But only in small doses.
6) Avoid email, WhatsApp and text course communication. Instead use a hidden page on a website for course materials. Ask people not to read ahead.
7) If someone is not engaging, don’t call them out in the session, contact them afterward and ask an open question on the course.
8) If a session, segment or element of a course doesn’t work. Learn from it. Change it and trial it in your next cohort. After all we’re all learning everyday.