1.3.4 Create a Course Guide

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1. Create a course guide

An online course (or any course for that matter) can be an intimidating place for learners. It can be full of challenging ideas and difficult tasks, so it is important to make the participants in courses feel welcomed and comfortable within it, but also made curious and motivated by the challenges. 

One very good way to reduce the intimidation of a course is to provide a clear Course Guide. This resource should communicate the essential information all participants need to know to succeed in their learning. A Course Guide functions much like a good course syllabus, but might be even broader in the information it provides.

Learners should be able to easily find and access the Course Guide at all times. Be strategic when deciding where to place the course guide. For example, if your course is face-to-face, then you may consider sending a copy of the guide together with the confirmation of enrollment or any hard-copy material that will be given to participants. This would increase the chances of learners being already familiar with the document before meeting for the first class. For online courses (and online environments of blended courses) make sure the guide is visible in the course website and also that it is provided in a format that can be easily read, printed and saved.

The following pages present information that you might consider to include in a Course Guide. They are provided to you as suggestions, because the information to include in the guide will depend on specific details of the course, like the delivery format for example. As a general rule, include all information that you feel will be of help to learners taking the course. If you are re-offering a course, remember to consider questions that were already asked by learners in previous presentations.