Examples include clean course navigation with only tools used in the course, URL links that are labeled, limited “clicks” to access content, consistent navigation within modules.
Points: 3 (Essential)
QM Alignment: 8.1
Building off of standard 1.2 concerning course organization, here are some questions to consider when designing your course:
- Do you provide students with tips on how to navigate an online course?
- Does your course navigation menu provide students with direct links to key course components?
- What makes this module easy to navigate for students?
- Do your modules provide students with a clear structure?
- Can students interact with content found on course pages and documents?
You don’t want your students to fail or struggle to accomplish what they need to do in your course because they were not able to find or access the needed resources or activities. Clear, predictable organization and minimizing clutter and the number of clicks to access materials and activities can help reduce these issues. One other tip: when sending announcements or writing content on pages that refer to other activities or resources in your course, hyperlink directly to the items in Canvas, so that students don’t need to hunt for them.
- The course navigation menu is cluttered or is missing important items
- Edit your course navigation menu to remove unused items and include important items such as Announcements, Syllabus, Modules, Grades, etc.
- Course modules do not have a consistent organization and flow
- Use a regular pattern for naming and organizing your modules, such as Week 1, 2 or Module 1, 2…
- Use a common, predictable structure and layout within your modules, such as starting with a module introduction page, module learning resources, and then module learning activities and assignments.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have to have weekly modules?
- No, you could label your modules ‘Module 1’, 2, etc. instead, for example. This makes it more flexible for semesters with non-standard weeks, but a week by week organization would be most clear to students new to online learning.
clean course navigation with only tools used in the course
URL links that are labeled
limited “clicks” to access content
consistent navigation within modules
- Sample modules:
- The use of modules helps with scaffolding, or supporting, the learning of your students by breaking up the course into more manageable chunks. Here is more information about scaffolding: