Laura Hollinshead, Learning Technologist-Curriculum Development
The case study from Vita Snowden, highlights the importance of thinking carefully about how your module is organised within Course Resources. As set out in the universities Off-campus Digital Learning Baselines, linking the structure of your learning content within Course Resources to your high-level module plan will provide a clear journey for students, helping to divide learning into structured, manageable segments. Clear instructions on the expected engagement from students and the learning duration for these activities will help students to plan their time effectively. Thus, helping these online spaces feel less like a maze and making it easier for students to find what they need.
When structuring your content in this way it is important to:
- Use names for files and folders which help students to connect these to the high-level module plan helping them to find the resources they need at that moment.
- Provide context for the activities in folders by adding descriptions which helps to explain what students will find within them, how they should use these resources and the expected learning duration. This will also make it easier for students to go back and find resources they want to use again later.
- Add files using the Add Item option so you can provide a short description of how you want students to engage with these resources and the expected learning duration.
- Link to Panopto recordings from the relevant folder areas. This makes it easier for students to relate the recordings to other learning resources or activities.
- Create a screen recording (using Panopto) which guides students through the module, highlighting the key places they need to know about.
- Use adaptive release to make content available when it is needed by students as seeing everything at once can be overwhelming. However, you should remember that some students may be working at their own pace and could need access to some learning materials early to keep on track.
- Think about renaming or moving around content according to what is most relevant to students at this point (e.g. Week 1 at the bottom and week 6 at the top). This also helps unnecessary scrolling.
- Add links to resources in more than one place. Although it may seem as if you are repeating yourself, it will make it easier for the students to spot these resources.
- Make it clear where the central spaces are for students to interact with each other. Once students have established how to access these, you can also link to these areas within content folders to help guide students to the relevant places for interactions to take place.
I am sure you may have your own tips and hints so feel free to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org so, we can share these within the university community.