Humanising Online Course Design


“At the end of the day, what learners look for in online learning, or any other learning approach for that matter, is care, attention, and love.”

Hikmatullah et al., (2023)

Extensive research has consistently demonstrated that although online learning offers the flexibility to learn at any time and from any location, distance remains a significant factor to consider.

Distance, despite the convenience of online learning, can sometimes lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation among learners. Recognising this, it becomes essential for online instructors and course designers to address these needs and foster a sense of connection and community within their online courses.

We conducted a study investigating an online course design and how it influences online learning experiences. The findings show that learners appreciate an online course that:

  • Welcoming and guiding
  • Stimulating and enriching
  • Connecting and engaging

Based on the findings, we provide a framework and design principles and examples for designing your online course that is socially and emotionally responsive. The framework is aligned with the Community of Inquiry framework by Garrison et al. (2000).

Click the button below to start, or click on any button on the right side to go through specific elements of the framework.


Nanak Hikmatullah, Santiana, Ratu Sarah Pujasari (2023)

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