A good online course is engaging, both in

Presentation (using many modes:  video, etc) and


Much more variety ornaments college courses today than in the past.   There are videos, cases, projects, simulations, etc.   Online courses should have such features.   Courses presented on the computer are especially suitable to simulations and quantitative modeling, both of which have already earned a presence in courses taught in many classrooms.

It is likely that an instructor will have more difficulty in keeping students engaged in learning activity when she or he is teaching online than he or she would have in the classroom.   This is true despite the tendency of many students to let their minds wander in the classroom, or to nap after lunch while an instructor lectures.   Students are nonetheless in the instructor’s sight in a classroom and subject to some direct discipline for inattention.   This is much less so in an online environment, even when the instructor is visible to students and vice versa.   Hence, an online course itself must attempt to engage each student’s attention by a variety of interesting devices in presentation.  In effect, the instructor is less important as a focus of engagement online than she or he is in a classroom.   This observation raises the difficult question as to whether the face-to-face interaction of the physical classroom which is often said to be of such value to students is actually so; or whether it is of more interest and value to the instructors, to whom it gives authority and an audience.

Fortunately, there have been developed for online courses many devices to engage students’ attention.    Good online courses have a variety of presentation devices, many of which are awkward to use in a classroom.   Traditional devices used in the classroom, such as flipcharts, can be made much more visually interesting than in a classroom – unless, for example, the classroom instructor uses the computer to replace the simple paper flipchart.

Online courses should have activities for students including group activities, when more than a single person is taking the course at the same time.   Class discussions and projects can be done online as well as in a classroom setting.   A good online course has all these elements, and employs them in a well thought-out manner to attract the attention and engagement of each student.


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

Find our complete online course catalog by clicking here. You can learn more about MindEdge by clicking here.

2 Replies to “A Good Online Course Is Engaging”

  1. Mobile Devices in the Classroom: is this really mbloie learning In my first post for this blog, on Aug. 8th, I outlined how the definition of mbloie learning has changed over the last 15 years or so. We have moved from defining mbloie learning (or ‘mlearning’) in terms of Source: floatlearning.com

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