Over at Psychotactics, Sean D’Souza has a great post on “Why It’s Critical To Slow Down The First Week Of A Course.”

He focuses specifically on getting course participants up to speed on the technical aspects of a course (how to navigate, post, add photos, etc…)

If your course is being done on a forum (or any other similar system), there’s a good chance that a huge chunk of participants are completely at sea with the software. They don’t know how to do a lot of things that may seem simple in retrospect.

He concludes,

Slow down.
There’s no hurry.

One more week won’t make a difference to your schedule. But for the nervous student, it’s a matter of staying in or bailing out.

Sound advice.

But at the same time: shouldn’t we demand a better user experience for online courses? Should we really require extra time and explicit instruction, just be able to navigate and participate in a course? Let’s raise our standards for the software and services that we use to deliver courses.