A good online course has content that is:

Up to date

A minor scandal in academe concerns the professor who lectures to his or her students from notes on paper yellowed with age.   The instructor is teaching a course for the nth time without significant updating as to fact, theory, analysis or presentation style.  A good online course is different from this – it is up-to-date in facts, theory, analysis and presentation style.   In practice being up-to-date means that a course must be continually updated from the results of new research and commentary in the field; it means that theory must be refined or modified as new developments occur; it means that analytic techniques must be modernized; and it means that presentation style must be modernized as students’ learning preferences change.   In the modern world, this final requirement means that more and more video and less and less text is required.


A good online course should cover the topic or field completely.   A student finishing the course should have grasp of the entire field.  Some courses are broad – survey-like  in nature; and some courses are very specific.   A good course is comprehensive in whatever scope it defines for itself.

Appropriate to the instructor’s knowledge

Some instructors are prominent contributors to research and theorizing in their fields; others are not.  Some know their fields extremely well; some are only partially knowledgeable.   An instructor should seek the level of material with which she or he is conversant – and the online course he or she teaches should be appropriate to the instructor’s competence.

Appropriate to the students’ knowledge base and learning potential.

Students come to courses with varying levels of preparation and potential for mastering the subject matter.   A good online course fits the students’ preparation and potential.   MOOCs which originate at top tier schools may be far too complex and demanding for the students of a different academic background and purpose.   Not everyone prefers classical music, or has need of it.

All this means that there is room for several good online courses in each field covering what is in some ways the same material.


MindEdge offers self-paced courses and simulations in project management. Our courses are designed to engage and inform!

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