Micro-Level Organization

Organizing what a week-to-week experience is like for your students.

The student experience

Creating a pattern within your course will help students know what to expect from week-to-week. These micro-level organization choices make the instructors job easier by creating repetition and reducing choices, and make learning easier for students who can focus more on learning content instead of on navigation and orienting themselves.

Considerations: folders or modules?

Folders

  • Present and organize course content
  • Two levels of folders can be created for organization
  • Navigation on smaller screens will be easier

Folders are an organizational choice that groups content such as readings or powerpoints into folders. These folders are organized by week or content area, and within them may be further folders such as “Homework” or “Supplemental Readings”. This is the basic organizational method most computer users are familiar with.

Modules

  • Used as containers to organize content
  • Allow simpler navigation
  • Allow for immersion into lessons without distraction
  • Within a module: add documents, files, tests, assignment, folders, multimedia and links to websites and discussions

Modules are containers that organize content. In these items may be sequenced, a table of contents may organize these parts, and students are given more guidance on how to proceed through the content.

Choosing folders or modules

To determine which organizational format you’d like to use, consider the following pros and cons for each:

  Folders Modules
Pros
  • Open
  • Can sequence items
  • Students can freely navigate
  • Can view all items by scrolling
  • Can preset unlock dates/times
  • Open or closed
  • Can sequence items
  • A table of content guides students
  • Option for free or guided navigation
  • Instructor will know if students “skipped” an item
Cons
  • Students can skip over items
  • Folders can get long and confusing
  • May include extra steps for students who want to review information

Next steps

When you have finished considering micro-level organization, the next step is to begin building your course. This is also a good time to learn about the online tools that will help you create and deliver your course.