1. Put students first

Crowley said one of the most important steps in online-course design is to put students at the center of every decision. She pointed to boring classroom lectures in which “students are checking their phones, dozing off, checking out,” and “talking-head” online lectures that produce similar effects, as examples of what universities and their professors should be avoiding.

“Start with learners — they need to come first as you imagine everything,” she said.

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