Course Design Tips and Tricks

Designing an online course presents unique challenges and opportunities to captivate students. While organizing course content, resources, and activities might lack specific instructions, with proper planning and suitable tools, you can craft a well-structured course that fosters student engagement. 

The Collaborative Learning Environment (CLE), commonly known as Moodle, introduces exciting features and enhancements that empower educators to create dynamic and interactive online courses. Let's delve into some course design tips and tricks that leverage the CLE's potential, enabling you to craft compelling learning experiences.

Course Structure Hierarchy Interactive Content Design

Plan Your Course Structure

Image that displays the Common parts of an eLearning course: 1. Welcome screen 2. Instructions 3. Objectives 4. Course content 5. Assessment 6. Summary 7. Next steps 8. Exit instructions

Before starting your course design, it's essential to plan its overall structure thoughtfully. Create a logical outline that breaks down the content into modules or topics, ensuring a smooth flow for learners to navigate effortlessly through the material. To add structure, you can select from six different course formats available in the CLE, such as organizing by Weeks or by Topics. Consider using Collapsed Topics to hide or expand sections, keeping the course page organized, or the Flexible Sections format for information-dense courses.

Here are some tips to enhance your course structure:

1. Establish a clear starting point for your course by creating a heading at the top of the course menu. Include essential course start-up information, like a welcome message, key dates, instructions for reviewing the syllabus, and recommended books.

2. Provide clear instructions for activities and resources. When posting materials, add explanations to help students understand what they need to do. For assignments, reiterate guidelines and due dates, even if this information is already in the syllabus.

3. Design an inclusive course for all students. Use a consistent color scheme and avoid combinations that may be challenging for color-blind individuals, such as red/green/purple. Ensuring accessibility is essential, and you can refer to the UCSF Digital Accessibility website for more information on accessibility practices and policies.

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