Course Organization

Structuring courses for an improved learning experience.

On this page:

The importance of course organization

Organizing courses in a meaningful, clear and consistent way can benefit both the instructor and students. When the structure is pre-determined and systematic, it makes the building process more manageable. Additionally, a well-structured course allows students to intuitively navigate, find course content and submit assignments with ease. 

Course organization is particularly important in online classes. However, most in-person classes also have digital components such as a companion course. If no online element is present, there are still organizational considerations that need to be made and should be reflected in the syllabus. When deciding on an organizational structure, it can be helpful to explore how other instructors have configured their courses. Review the Exemplar Courses page for variety of course tours and syllabi examples.

Structured design to guide students

Organization tips

Online course navigation

When developing an online course, the overall organization and structure are very important. Strategically utilizing the course menu in UB Learns can help both the instructor and students navigate effectively. The structure should be logical, uncluttered and consistent.

Organize your course

All courses

  • Step 1: Determine the structure for how students will:
    • access course materials
    • communicate with the instructor and peers
    • turn in activities, assignments and projects
    • take and submit assessments
    • receive and apply feedback
    • attain resources and support
  • Step 2: Whenever possible, ensure that these procedures are consistent throughout the course. For example, if students are asked to submit one assignment via UB Learns, another assignment in person, and another through email, this can cause confusion. If there are a variety of procedures for a single type of assignment, it should be explicitly stated to students.
  • Step 3: Update your syllabus to reflect changes, improve consistency or clarify procedures.

Online courses

  • Step 1: Review exemplar courses to generate ideas about your course organization.
  • Step 2: Determine the navigation sections for your course menu.
  • Step 3: Change your course menu in UB Learns to reflect these sections.
  • Step 4: Arrange the sections in the ideal order and add dividers if desired.
  • Step 5: Hide or delete unused sections.
  • Step 6: Check the course navigation from Student Preview mode.