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How To Create An Online Course

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  1. Welcome To How To Create An Online Course
    1 Topic
  2. Start Here: Building An Effective Course
    6 Topics
  3. Fundamentals Of Creating An Online Course
    8 Topics
  4. What Do You Need To Create An Online Course?
    6 Topics
  5. Setting The Stage For Your Online Course
    7 Topics
  6. How To Create An Online Course
    8 Topics
  7. What To Do After Your Course Goes Live
    4 Topics
  8. A Summary Of Creating An Online Course
    1 Topic
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Having a course that looks good is cool, but it’s not the only reason to apply visual design.

Visual design allow you to get the best out of your instructional design by catering for visual
leaners, controlling attention and focus, conveying emotion and building trust and recognition
through brand.

This lesson will touch on a few visual design elements and principles that you can apply to your course.

Consider The Design Principles of Color

The first is color and you can use this to convey emotions. You might want the energy of red or
the calmness of blue.

A great way to look at color is on a color wheel. The warmer colors are on the opposite side of the cooler colours.

Using colors opposite on the color wheel will contrast which is a great way to create emphasis and focus. Another way to create contrast is using large value shifts of light and dark.

Carefully Use Shapes and Space

You will also want to consider how you are using shape and space. Particularly negative space which is the space around a shape.

Having this space allows us to focus on the shape. It’s one of the reasons why slides with less are best.

To make your students feel at ease you’ll want the visual elements to feel balanced.

A great way to add balance is symmetry or using the rule of thirds. For example being central on the camera or placing elements at the one third intersection.

To ensure the visual design elements combine well, you need unity. You’ll want each module and the course as a whole to feel like one harmonious piece and to help do this you should “lock in your look”.

Choosing the Right Colors

You’ll want to pick a limited color pallete to use. I usually use white and a really dark grey and maybe at most 2 similar colors and one contrasting color.

Luckily there are few websites that you can use to help create your color palette. But make sure to take note of the hex codes that represent your chosen colors.

Also, when choosing your palette, consider colors that are color blind friendly to be more

Selecting Appropriate Typography

You’ll also want to lock in your Typography. The most important part of text is to ensure that it is easy to read.

The less curly san serif fonts are easiest to read so lock one of these in for your main text and use bold for emphasis. You can then choose a font that’s little more dynamic for your headings.

As far as specific font size goes there is no hard and fast rule. Besides being big enough to read you should choose whatever best suits the content.

Also note that text will form a shape and so it is important to consider the negative space by breaking text up and this can be done for example with paragraphs and dot points.

Use a Template

Creating a template is a great way to lock in your look. This will ensure not only will your colors and fonts be consistent but the placement of visual elements will be too.

And as an added bonus locking in your look will limit your choices which will save you on development time.


Now one final note…do not go overboard with visual design. You don’t use visual design to steal the show but rather to make your content the star.

Action For You

As you create your course think about the application of visual design. Lock in your look by choosing a limited color palette, a heading and body text font.

Let Us Know In The Comments

Blue is most people’s favourite color while brown is the least. What is your favourite color and why?

  • Red – energy, important
  • Orange – positive, Warm
  • Yellow – Happy, friendly
  • Green – natural, peace
  • Blue – calm, cold
  • Purple – luxury, mystery
  • Pink – love, sensitive
  • Brown – earthy, support
  • Black – Powerful, edgy
  • White – Clean, pure
  • Grey – Neutral, gloomy



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