6 free tools and resources to help you create your next online course

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You’ve got an exciting idea for your online course and a number of great learning activities. But there’s a problem – your course lacks the professional touch and styling it needs to make it a high quality course.

Fortunately, there are a number of online tools and resources available on the Internet that can help you when you don’t have any existing experience in print and visual communication.

The OpenLearning team has compiled a list of useful online tools and resources to improve your course creation process. The best part? All of these tools are absolutely free!

1. Canva

Canva is a simple yet powerful design tool that allows anyone to create beautiful designs and documents without any design experience.

Choose from a number of customisable designs or you create your own. You can then drag and drop visual elements, images and text styles into your graphics.

It is easy to get started. Simply, create a free Canva account, choose a layout and start designing.

Including images inside your course can enhance learning retention. People remember 80% of what they see, as opposed to 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear.

This makes imagery a very powerful medium for communication.

People remember 80% of what they see

2. Befunky

Want to make your photos look more exciting?

Befunky is a free, easy-to-use option to retouch and edit photos. You can choose from different collage layouts for your photos as well as filters.

Found an image that doesn’t quite fit into the colour scheme of your course? Use Befunky to change its tone, or make a few adjustments to brightness, contrast and shadow. Even a few tweaks can take a photo from good to great!

Changing the tone of your photos can change the look from good to great

3. TinyPNG

Images and illustrations are great to have but if the file sizes are too large, it can affect the loading times of your course pages.

TinyPNG is a useful image compression tool for shrinking the file sizes of your images.

Images will still look the same but they will be optimised for the web and won’t slow your course down.

Keep the sizes of your files small for faster loading time

4. Piktochart

Piktochart allows you to create professional-looking infographics. Choose from a library of templates or create your own.

Piktochart also allows users to add pictures, videos or create presentations to make your charts more interactive.

Pikochart can also be integrated with other apps and use data from Survey Monkey and Google Sheets to create visual charts.

Create outstanding charts for your course

5. Flaticon

Flaticon is a database which provides thousands of simple, 2-dimensional icons suitable for a variety of educational needs and content.

There are currently over 533,000 vector icons and 10,000 icon packs to choose from. Most of the icons are free to use and only require users to credit the author when using them.

For simple icons, you can also download them in your desired colour to match your course’s colour palette.

Use simple icons to reiterate your idea

6. Grammarly

Grammarly can help you spot grammatical errors, typos and awkward sentences before you publish (for example, if you are using gerunds incorrectly).

You can download a browser extension from their website and once enabled, Grammarly will do a grammar check on all your writing.

Great writing is key to getting your message across and this free tool will help your message shine.

Great writing is key

What do you think of these tools? Are you using any other tool not mentioned in this post? Share your favourite tools in the comment section below!

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