Creating an Online Course

Compiling and Organizing Content for Online Courses - Simple Guide with Examples & More

Table of Contents

When it comes to creating an online course, the compiling and organizing of information is very crucial.

The key to an efficient compiling process comes from learning the basics of organizing information.

You have to determine the order of course items and you might have faced some difficulties to select the important stuff.

By the end of this article, you will be able to effectively organize and compile different parts of your online course.

compiling content

Draw a Basic Map of the Course

The first and foremost step to compile and organize your online course content is an information map.

It is basically a guide to help you differentiate between the topics of your course content.

You can organize your lessons in various segments depending on their priority.

How can I organize my course material?

There are various tools available in the market that can assist you to create a proper structure for your online course content.

These tools will not only help you to organize your course material but also keep track of the deadlines.

The leading tool for such a purpose is Google Keep. It is a complete tool that can help you organize your course content in bulletins and lists.

google keep

You can check it out by reading our Google Keep review.

Some other tools that you can use to streamline your research are WorkFlowy and Todoist. 

WorkFlowy will enable you to compile your information in a list-oriented way.

While on the other hand, Todoist is suited best for task-oriented individuals.

You can check these out by clicking the following links.

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Multiple studies have shown that the productivity of people increases by 20% when they divide their tasks into lists and objectives.

Segmentation of Important Topics

When you start to organize your course, the next step is to divide your online course content into modules.

You might be wondering what a module is?

A module is a topic with all the related information in it. You can maximize the learning on the student’s end by dividing the course into smaller parts.

It is recommended that you divide your online courses into a variety of different modules. Some can be informational while some can be engaging with multiple assessments and assignments.

Students need organized access to their course material. Modules do an efficient job to support such tasks.

Besides that, it also makes it for the instructor to keep the teaching process less hectic and ensure that the students are learning efficiently.

Course Layout

You might have noticed that there are several topics in your online course that overlap each other.

Some people tend to add completely different sections even for overlapping topics. This only makes the course material longer.

One easy way to ensure that your resources aren’t wasted on compiling extra information is by organizing your modules in a sequential framework.

Following are the two examples of course content layouts, word-oriented and visuals-oriented respectively.

course layout

On the other hand, people tend to make some other common mistakes when organizing online courses.

What are these common mistakes?

You can check multiple examples by reading our article on Common Mistakes Presenters do when they organize a presentation.

With some practice, you can easily minimize these mistakes and make sure that your course is designed to suit your targeted audience.

Overlapping Topics

It is a natural thing that your online course material might contain a module or multiple modules that have overlapping information.

It is a common practice among instructors to create a flow that smoothly transitions from one module to the other.

You can also adapt to this method and structure your course in such a way that students can easily move from one topic to the other.

We think that the best way to do so is by compiling overlapping course material one after the other

It will not only make it easier for the instructor to teach but also for the student to conveniently access their course files.

Assessments and Assignments

Instructors and teachers often prefer online courses and modules that come with their built-in assessments and assignments.

We must mention that:

A well-detailed assignment structure will create a consistent course track for the students and learners.

How can I increase engagement from students?

You should devise a daily or weekly content assessment phase depending on the course tasks and objectives.

Students can easily determine how much knowledge they have gained from each module with a step-by-step assessment.

Besides being beneficial for the students, you can greatly assist instructors by adding concise objectives in your online course.

You need to keep in mind:

Assessments and assignments shouldn’t be too wordy. While creating an assessment for a new course, you need to keep it highly relevant to the module topic.

Choose the Presentation Method

There are multiple ways to present your course materials for a class or a group discussion.

You can even structure your content for each individual module depending on the type of information it contains.

What layout should I use for my module?

Some of your modules might be suitable for a text-oriented layout or a visuals-oriented layout. It can add a lot of value to the student’s learning process if you select the right layout.

To determine the layout:

You can check the Layout Section of our article on Common Mistakes to learn the basics of layout differentiation.

You can further enhance your modules by adding narration and audio speech to your presentations.

In order to do that, you can check our detailed guide on How to add Narration to your Presentations

Narration can add a lot of value to your online course while also accommodating teaching and learning processes.


One important thing you must pay attention to when you organize your online course content is the Transition.

More than often instructors find it hard to switch from one-course topic to another if they aren’t related.

You have to keep in mind:

Each of your modules should be connected to the module before it in one way or another.

This will help you organize the majority of your course resources in a linear way.

Besides that, it will also accommodate students to search their course for specific segments.

Google Keep is an excellent tool if you want to group up your course materials.

Sequential and Non-Sequential Order

It might be confusing for you to determine the best way to organize your modules.

There are two main ways to do so:

  • Sequential Order
  • Non-Sequential Order

Both these ways serve their own purposes and can help you form a complete online course.

Sequential Order

You can use sequential order if your course has a module or multiple modules with similar topics.

It serves the purpose of a step-by-step guide to keep the class focused and attached to the topic.

Prioritization of topics isn’t that important in a sequential layout. Since all the topics are related, you can add multiple secondary topics to compliment your main topic. 

Non-Sequential Order

While on the other hand, the non-sequential order is for modules that are related to discussion topics and minimum overlapping information.

For such a module, you will have to compile a lot of information in one segment. 

For example, if your module is a discussion topic then you might have to add an assignment and assessment section in it as well.

non sequential

Important Note:

You should keep in mind that the prioritization of topics is highly crucial in a non-sequential layout. You have to carefully place your different topics based on their importance.

Even so, both of these ways can help you create and organize your course content efficiently; we recommend using the sequential order.

Important Note:

When dealing with large amounts of information, sequential order is preferred because it makes compiling easier.

Important Tips

While all the aforementioned things are highly important and you should always keep them in mind.

There are some basic tips you can implement in order to enhance the outlook of your course content.

  • Always prepare and note down important things you want to add to your course.
  • It is better to highlight important information throughout the course.
  • Organize your course content for a beginner. It will help the students and teachers as well.
  • Keep it simple and streamlined.
  • Practice your tools beforehand in order to maximize efficiency.
  • Always add short assignments and assessments for the students.
  • Add clear objectives for teachers.

Wrapping Things Up…

Paying close attention to compiling and organizing your content can go a long way in creating a well-selling online course.

If your course isn’t oriented to meet the requirements of teachers and especially the students, it can create weak links in the process of learning.

Therefore, you should be aware of all the aspects of your course when you are organizing it.

We hope that this information helps you minimize your workload and enable you to efficiently develop an online course. 

Do let us know if we missed any important tricks to compile content for an online course.