skip to main content
Home » Teaching Online » Creating content » Lecture options for online courses: text-based options

Lecture options for online courses: text-based options

Posted at 2 p.m. Oct. 7, 2014, by in Creating content, Teaching Online

Text-based lecture options for online courses


Developing lectures for online courses is very different from developing lectures for face-to-face courses.There are a variety of options for different types of lectures and can take the form of video or narrative text. Overall, lectures should be split into short chunks and should be as interactive as possible to keep the learner engaged.

Text-based lecture

For those who may not have the technology to record audio, providing completely text-based lectures is possible, too. Text-based lectures should not be purely text, however. They can contain embedded images, relevant video clips (perhaps from YouTube), links to relevant articles, and check-for-understanding questions. Below, two types of text-based lectures are demonstrated: a text lecture built into a Sakai Lessons page with check-for-understanding questions, and a PowerPoint-based lecture with lecture notes included in the slides.

Text-based lecture in Sakai

It’s possible to build text-based lectures using the Lessons tool in Sakai. You can easily add your narrative lecture, along with accompanying images and video to enhance your lecture. The Lessons tool also allows for questions to be inserted in between chunks of text to check the student’s understanding of the content. This allows the student to remain engaged in the lecture instead being limited to passively reading content. It also provides the student immediate feedback on their understanding of the content; correctly responding to a check-for-understanding question signals the student that they can move on with the content, while if they choose an incorrect response, they may realize they need to review a section of reading again.

Download example of text-based lecture designed using Sakai Lesson page (PDF)

Test-based lecture using slideshow (such as PowerPoint)

Some instructors provide PowerPoint files for students to download and read as the lecture portion of an online course. Oftentimes, PowerPoint slides can contain useful images, charts, graphs, and content outlines, but may not include enough content for students to fully grasp key concepts. If you decide to use this form of lecture for your online course, it’s important to expand upon any unclear points on slides by providing accompanying presenter/speaker notes. You can view how to add presenter notes to your slides here.

Download an example of a text-based lecture as PowerPoint slides with notes (PPTX)

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2018 @ 4:20 pm


Icons made by Madebyoliver from