Enrollments to online courses continue to grow year after year. The flexibility of online education makes it a more accessible option than traditional courses for more than 6.3 million students, and counting.
Online courses vary: some classes include a synchronous element or two; some are small (30 students or fewer), while others have large enrollments; some courses are entirely homegrown, while others are highly coordinated across sections. There are also differences among the circumstances of online students: some are well equipped tech-wise, while others do all of their coursework in a computer lab on campus.
There are lots of things a teacher can do to improve the online learning experience for all those students. Plan to guide your online class actively and frequently, schedule a constant amount of time each week to be visibly present in your online class, record yourself whenever possible (by audio or video), strive for an intuitive course organization, make sure your course is visually appealing and provide meaningful support to your learners. Your course should enable students to make timely progress and receive feedback while there is still time to adjust their approach, and provide a lot of examples. Have a trusted colleague evaluate your online class. You also must commit to continuous improvement.