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Create Your Course

Practice Activities

Are you looking for more advanced training to really help you take your course to the next level? Learn how to add practice activities throughout your course to truly engage your students.

We’ve created some great resources to get you started. We’ve provided you with two different ways to learn – a video course, or a written overview. (Feel free to do both!)

Option 1: Enroll in this Official Udemy Insights Course: Adding Practice Activities

In this course you’ll learn everything you need to know about adding in practice activities throughout your course. As a bonus, you’ll also learn about your specific course style so you can target the practice activities directly to what you are planning on teaching.

 


Option 2:
Continue Reading
Follow the steps below and learn how to add practice activities to your course. We’ve provided information, resources, and activities to get you going.

ADDING PRACTICE TO YOUR COURSE:

What is a Practice Activity?
Practice activities can be anything that makes a student apply their learning. It can be a reflection question, coding exercise, project, worksheet, or quiz.

Why should you care?
We all know how it feels to be lectured endlessly on theory without any opportunities to actually get your hands dirty. Practice Activities help you make your content relatable for students. Practice activities can be anything that makes a student apply their learning. It can be a reflection question, coding exercise, project, worksheet, or quiz.

When you help students take the content they’ve learned and apply it to their own world, it makes the content much more engaging and valuable. Helping your students apply their knowledge in real-world ways is the most important part of teaching on Udemy.

Students come to Udemy because they want to learn things that will impact their day-to-day life and see results. In fact, a lack of practical activities is the BIGGEST reason why students leave negative reviews.

What makes good practice:
When including practice activities in your course, follow the “virtuous circle” for engaging your students. This circle consists of four steps:


WHAT IS YOUR COURSE STYLE?

Udemy’s Quality Research team has designed a personalized quiz to help you figure out what style is right for your new course. Depending on your course style, different practice activities might fit your course better. Keep in mind, your “course style” can change from course to course.

Are you ready to find out which style fits you? Take the quiz!

What did you find out? Are you creating:

What does your style mean? Learn about each course style here.

If the style you received doesn’t feel quite right, feel free to incorporate elements from the other styles. Remember all of these styles can be successful, but each style will attract different students, with different needs and expectations. We want to make sure your course has everything your students are looking for. Let’s learn how.


OTHER TYPES OF PRACTICE:

Additional Practice Activities. There are plenty of other activities that you can – and should include in your course. Use the resource below to explore a collection of activities to choose from.


PRACTICE ACTIVITIES IN THOUGHT-BASED COURSES:

Intro to Thought-Based Courses. There are three primary purposes of a thought-based course. The first is to help your students understand more about your subject, the second is to push your students to engage with concepts and ideas, and the third is to satisfy your students curiosity. At a high level, thought-based courses should spark inspiration and understanding in students.

Activating Questions: Overview. Activities create time for students to process what they’ve learned. Your activities should feel like natural pauses in the curriculum, that give students time to reflect to better understand and recall the topics you’ve just gone over.

Practice in Thought-Based Courses. Use Activating Questions to engage your students. These are questions that generally occur at the beginning of a course, section, or lecture. Use them to immediately grab your students’ interest, ground them in what you’re going to cover, and get them excited to learn more. You can use these questions as “hooks” to make your students pay more attention throughout each lecture or section.

Evaluate your Activating Questions. In the previous activity you worked on creating activating questions for your course. Before adding the actual questions into your curriculum, make sure they’re really good. Review each question and make sure they fit the following criteria:

  • Are located at the beginning of a section or lecture
  • Ask your students to think through any previous knowledge they have on your topic
  • Get your students excited to learn more
  • Tie in with the subject of your section and lecture

Make sure answer each question, either in the same lecture or in the following one.


PRACTICE ACTIVITIES IN SOLUTION-BASED COURSES:

Intro to Solution-Based Courses. Solution-based courses are powerful because they provide relevant solutions to problems, and teach best practices within a particular field. There are two primary purposes of a solution-based course. The first is to help your students find new techniques to solve immediate problems. The second is to help your students understand best practices in the topic. At a high level, solution-based courses should give your students an edge in their fields and renew their faith in their own abilities.

Practice in Solution-Based Courses. Your activities should help students solve their problems. Your students are hoping to immediately apply their newly learned strategies in real life, so the activities should feel extremely relevant. The examples you use in your activities should come from practical situations your students might encounter.

Case Studies – Overview. One great activity for Solution-Based Courses are Case Studies. A case study is a specific problem that is laid out and encourages students to apply what they’ve learned in a more realistic situation. Case studies focus less on coming up with the right answer, and more on how students “think” through a problem.

Evaluate your Case Studies. Make sure your case studies are as strong as they can be.
They should:

  • Be relevant and close to a real-life situation the student may encounter
  • Include any necessary backstory or details to illuminate the scenario
  • Focus around one specific skill covered in a previous section

Make sure to provide an opportunity for the student to evaluate HOW they did in their case study. Do this by including a resource or lecture that goes over different strategies for solving the case.

Review the Case Studies checklist below to evaluate each one you create. Once you feel confident about your case studies, add them to your curriculum.


PRACTICE ACTIVITIES IN COMPETENCE-BASED COURSES:

Intro to Competence-Based Courses. Competence-Based Courses are comprehensive and help students gain mastery of skills. With a competence-based course you’ll help your student reach new levels in their personal or professional lives.

Practice in Competence-Based Courses. The primary purpose of a competence-based course is to allow students to reach new levels in their performance by gaining confidence in a wide range of skills and topics. This course style is for a student who’s looking to change careers, or improve themselves in a dramatic way. At a high level, competence-based courses earn students a sense of mastery in a subject.

Projects – Overview. Include activities that help students practice concrete skills. As students progress through your course, the activities should build on each other. Your student should slowly work towards a higher level of mastery. It’s common in these courses to give students more support during the first activities, and then gradually decrease the support as their skills develop. In the end, students will be able to do what they came to learn on their own.

One popular activity in competence-based courses are Projects. We define a project as an activity that results in a substantial finished product the student can showcase. A project could be to paint a portrait, build a website, or create a portfolio of mobile apps.

There are two ways you can include a project in a competence-based course:

  1. Break one large project into small pieces. Help your students build each piece bit by bit throughout your entire course. This way, your students get the most support and know exactly what to do if they get stuck.
  2. Or, you can have a final project at the end of a course, that your students work through on their own, after learning all the relevant concepts and skills. This is good for more confident, more advanced, and more self-directed students. You should still include other practice activities throughout the course to keep your students engaged as they work their way to completing the project.

It’s important students work on each piece of the project on their own, so make sure your directions are clear. Projects show students they can accomplish something on their own. They’re a powerful way to engage your students throughout the topic.


Activity: Projects

Checklist: Project Evaluation

PRACTICE ACTIVITIES IN EXPERIENCE-BASED COURSES:

Intro to Experience-Based Courses. Experience based courses are about guiding your students step-by-step through a journey. With an experience-based course you’ll guide your students down a clear path while encouraging them to expand their learning.

Practice in Experience-Based Courses. Experience-based courses prompt students to follow along with you, step-by-step as you walk through a specific topic or skill. At a high level, experience-based courses give students a clear guide to accomplishing a discrete task.

Tutorial Tours – Overview. Experience-based courses are great for students who are complete beginners just starting out, or for those who are practicing more complex skills like creating a website, or cooking curry. Activities might make up most of your course. The best way to teach students in experience-based courses is through Tutorial Tours. These tours can be created at a course, section, or lecture level.

Examples of Tutorial Tours:

  • A lecture with a step by step recipe for cooking chicken curry
  • A section on a multi-step yoga routine
  • A course on building a website

Tutorial tours allow students to shadow an expert instructor, providing them a path to succeed at their goal.

Create and Evaluate Your Own Tutorial Tours

Activity: Tutorial Tours

To add practice activities to your course, click into your draft course from your instructor dashboard.

Go to My Draft Course