Biggest Differentiator (3:06)

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Have Students Do Something

  • Use activities and exercises that require learners to apply what they are learning in a hands-on manner.
  • Encourage learners to participate in class discussions and ask questions.
  • Encourage learners to connect with each other and collaborate on projects or assignments online.

Make It Personal

  1. Share personal anecdotes or experiences to introduce a new concept or topic. This can help to set the stage for learning and make the content more relatable and memorable.
  2. Create case studies or real-world examples that illustrate the concepts being taught. These stories can help learners understand how the concepts apply in practical situations.
  3. Encourage learners to share their own stories or experiences related to the subject matter. This can help to create a sense of community and encourage engagement.

Two-Way Interaction

  1. Use discussion forums or comments in lessons to foster communication.
  2. Hold live sessions via Zoom or Google Meet for real-time interaction, which can be a good way to replicate the feel of a traditional in-person class.
  3. Use collaborative tools: Tools like Google Docs or Trello allow students to work together on projects in real-time.
  4. Use social media: Create a class-specific social media group, page, or hashtag so students can interact with each other and with you in real-time.

Student Choice

  • Offer different types of assignments. For example, you might allow students to choose between writing a blog post, creating a presentation, or filming a video.
  • Allow students to progress through the course at their own pace and focus on the topics that are most relevant to them.
  • Provide additional links and resources so students that want to go more in-depth can.


Online courses shouldn’t be passive. Students must be doing something to make it interactive.

Self Assessment (Optional)

Are your courses interactive?

Check off all the ways that you currently make your courses engaging.

  • Quizzes

  • Community / Forums / Discussions

  • Live Video Calls (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.)

  • Student Reflections

  • Podcasts or Audio

  • Peer Feedback

  • Group Projects

  • Other


All right. So now we’re getting to the heavy stuff. I told you about the biggest trap I see people fall into, and now I’m going to tell you about the biggest differentiator, how you can set yourself apart. And truthfully, this is my biggest pet peeve. And that is that the lesson content that you’re creating is the most important thing in your course? Right. It’s what makes it memorable. It’s what makes it impactful. It’s also what makes you unique. So these ways, these tips that I have for differentiation and how you can set yourself apart in the best teaching strategies, they’re so important that we’re actually going to pause this video for a second, and I’m going to let you read through them.

And then we’re going to come back and discuss a little bit more.