Physically structuring the information of your course.
The framework, or macro-level of organization of your course is how the material and activities are laid out for students to navigate. What do students see? How easy is it to navigate?
Because our working memory is limited (Sweller, 1988), students learn best when guided through the learning process (Kirschner et al., 2006). Course designs that reduce unnecessary confusion help students learn more efficiently. When students cannot navigate a course, they may miss important information (Powell, 2003) and be less motivated to continue (Hara and Kling, 1999). A well organized course allows students to focus on what’s most important, learning the material.
Course organization should be logical, consistent and uncluttered.
Similar to the simple hierarchical structure already mentioned, when students enter course sections they should already be familiar with what they will see because of consistent:
Information that is not necessary for learning can often lead students to become either distracted or overwhelmed (Mayer and Moreno, 2003). Therefore:
Organization in UB Learns requires several important choices. The first to consider is whether your course will use tabs, or live-in content.
Consider how this might look for a discussion. Will you have a “Discussion Forum” tab on your navigation bar? Or will students access the discussion through the weekly content folder or module?
This is also a common distinction for Assignments. Will students see an “Assignments” tab on the left navigation bar of your course? Or will the assignments be embedded within each week’s content folder or module?
While courses will always use tabs, what they say, where students will go to access content or assignments and activities is a choice that needs to be made.
When you have finished outlining and making the macro-level organization choices for your course the next step is micro-level organization.