Menu Matters & Your Spring 2016 Course Shells

Posted by Angela Titherage on October 16, 2015

As I walked to my office this morning I noticed that the trees across campus are boasting a beautiful array of colors and felt the brisk nip in the air, signaling that fall is here. Can you believe it is the middle of October already? Not only does this mean that it is time to begin to think about midterms and plan for the holidays ahead, it also means that the Spring course shells are available for you to begin the process of preparing your online course shells for the Spring 2016 semester.

 Hopefully you have seen the communications and information that our LearnAU team has provided regarding the myAU Course Menu that has been establish as the default menu within the course shells. This standardized default menu is the next exciting step towards excellence in online learning here at AU.  I know-exciting may seem like an odd descriptor when talking about a course menu.  It is easy to take something as basic as a course menu for granted in the online course experience, unless of course you are a student who is struggling to adapt from one course menu organization to the next as they navigate through their courses in Blackboard.  If you are that student, a move towards something that is standard and will reduce your frustrations and time spent hunting for things as you move between the varied course menus of all your courses, exciting might be a perfect description!

 As you begin the process of looking at your 2016 course shells and planning for Spring 2016 and explore the myAU Course menu, keep that student in mind. I encourage you to remember that most students are taking more than one course each semester, and thus, have to learn a new navigation and roadmap for each course.  The more standard the navigation is across online courses, the less time a student has to spend learning the navigation and the more they can spend learning your material.


Want to learn more about best practices in course structure?

Check out the 2012 abstract from the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration article, An Analysis of Organizational Approaches to Online Course Structure.

In this article, Dr. Cheng-Yuan Lee, Dr. Jeremy Dickerson and Dr. Joe Winslow review the importance of a standardized course structure for online learners.