Navigating courses in online platforms can raise all sorts of issues for students and their instructors. At Queens University of Charlotte, we use Moodle to create opportunities for course management online.
As I’ve been seeking to understand the way that students navigate through this digital space, I began to realize that signposts were as important for online classrooms as they are for shopping malls, event venues, or roadways.
To create signposts in Moodle, I first asked myself how I want students to move through the course. In the case of my Introduction to Communication course, taught online last summer, I wanted them to move through it in a chronological format [In other courses, the format has been topically based or situated around course deliverables in production-based courses].
So, I added visual signposts as headers in all my courses on Moodle. These orient the students (and me) to the flow of the course and its assignments.
I presented my strategies for this practice at a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning workshop at Queens in February. It has been recreated in video form here:
Jada Williams in the university’s instructional design department also wrote the steps into a blog post in her “Moodle Tips” series.