Structuring online spaces
When developing the structure of online learning and teaching spaces, consider the needs of the learner. When providing online resources, what might make sense for the teacher to house it in one section, may not make sense to the learner. How you structure the online learning space can impact on the student learning experience.
Moodle course templates have been developed to respond to the need identified by students for consistency in presentation, organisation and navigation of their Moodle learning sites. Using the standardised administrative course components laid out in the templates for all courses gives students a consistent experience for these very basic course information/functions, at the same time allowing for an individual teacher to make choices in pedagogy and modes of delivery. Each Institute has slight variations of the template, as a result, it is best to discuss this with your Learning Designer or L&T Technology Support liaison.
Guidelines for online organisation
These guidelines relate to the set up and layout of your online course presence in Moodle. The guidelines do not relate to the type of content and activities you should include in your course, but refer to how you should layout and structure your course page. Have a chat to your Learning Designer or L&T Technology Support liaison for online organisation and presentation for a list of ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’.
In the physical learning environment, students often commence their on-campus experience with a map and a campus tour. They familiarise themselves with the location of their classrooms, lecture hall, teacher offices and student lounge or cafeteria. Consider the same needs for your online students.
- How do they access the teacher and when?
- How do they access the weekly learning resources and activities?
- How and where to they converse and interact their online peers?
- Where do they submit assessments?
- Where do they access additional resources to support academic or general student needs supports?
It is essential that online learners are given support in navigating the online learning space to ensure they can access what they need, when they need it, for a successful learning experience. Consider creating an ‘online tour’ using video to highlight the key areas.
Signposting in the online learning environment has the same purpose as the physical space – an image and/or word to highlight a significant location or feature.
Consider how you can highlight resources or sections of the online learning journey to ensure students do not miss essential components. A common online tool is using Information blocks.
Moodle ‘information blocks’ are items which may be added to the left or right or centre column of any page in Moodle. Similar to a billboard, blocks can provide shortcuts in order to navigate quickly through the Moodle site or highlight specific information. Some common examples include:
- Staff Contact
- Latest announcements
- Progress Bar
- Study Resources
For more information on a range of Moodle ‘Blocks’, visit Managing a Moodle Course: Blocks
Need resources or assistance?
- Teaching Practice - Developing spaces for learning
- Managing a Moodle Course: Federation University Moodle Support Documentation
- Contact your Director, Learning and Teaching or Learning Designer to arrange for the upskilling of our teaching team to help develop the necessary components of your online learning spaces.