bCourses

Organize Materials in Your Course Site Using Modules

Organize Materials in Your Course Site Using Modules

Creating a pattern of weekly tasks allows students to plan ahead and stay organized in your course. As you plan discussions, quizzes, and assignments, make sure they follow a pattern. Indicate on your syllabus or course page any departure from the established patterns. Consistency in course design is a component of the universal instructional design to meet the needs of all learners (Palmer et al., 2003). In addition to the bCourses Pages layout, provide organization through a modular learning pathway. bCourses Modules...

Include Beginning of the Course and Mid-Semester Surveys

Include Beginning of the Course and Mid-Semester Surveys

One way to learn more about your students and their experience in your course is to conduct surveys at the beginning and mid-semester points. A survey at the beginning of the course will allow you to get a better understanding of the challenges students may face in a remote instruction course, as well as provides an opportunity to learn more about each student on an individual basis. A mid-semester survey provides an opportunity to find out what’s working and what’s not in your course, and then make adjustments where needed. It...

Include Knowledge Checks and Formative Assessments

Include Knowledge Checks and Formative Assessments

When you’re teaching in person, you may gauge student understanding of topics based on students’ facial expressions during lectures, whether or not they raise their hands and ask questions during discussions, and other non-verbal reactions to course material. When teaching remotely, you may not have the opportunity to pause mid-lecture and ask quick questions to ensure that students are understanding the content as you go, so it is imperative that you incorporate knowledge checks and other formative assessments to monitor and...

Add Reading Assignments to Weekly Landing Pages

Add Reading Assignments to Weekly Landing Pages

Whether you provide reading material as PDFs in bCourses, link out to articles, or assign chapters from books or eReaders, make sure to consistently describe them on the weekly landing page. If some of your readings are optional, specify this on the landing page. Consider creating a separate section in the page layout for additional resources to challenge students. Use a naming convention for your files that includes the week, title, and your name for students to distinguish it from other courses after they have downloaded it to their...

Add Lectures to Weekly Landing Pages

Add Lectures to Weekly Landing Pages

When adding lectures, ensure consistency in your layout so that students can follow a pattern; make a statement when you deviate from it. This will increase ‘findability’ and reduce time lost on tasks and frustration levels (Simunich, et al., 2012). bCourses Pages can be used to create a pattern layout for your units of study.

In the Core Template

Week 1 is set up in the page format in the template. You are welcome to edit the layout to create your pattern and designated space for your lectures.

How to Add Your...

Update the Homepage Navigation Bar

Update the Homepage Navigation Bar

Including a navigation bar on the homepage of your course will ensure that students have access to all of the content in an easy-to-navigate way. They won’t have to waste time digging through files or scrolling through lists and are less likely to get lost searching for key resources when these items are included in the navigation bar.

In the Core Template

The course homepage includes a navigation bar at the top where students can easily access different weeks in the course. Once your weekly landing pages are ready, you’ll link to them using this...

Edit the Weekly Landing Pages

Edit the Weekly Landing Pages

Weekly landing pages are an excellent way to keep your course organized so that students have easy access to relevant course content. Ensuring that students can successfully navigate your course site means that all of their time and focus can be directed to the course. Establishing appropriate heading structure will ensure that your pages are accessible to screen readers, and incorporating images will not only lend an aesthetic appeal to the pages, but will also give students the opportunity to explore course content more thoroughly.

In the Core Template...

Add Your Syllabus

Add Your Syllabus

It is important to provide a downloadable syllabus to your bCourses site for ease of access. Some instructors add the class schedule to the syllabus or use the course calendar with dated assignments to populate a schedule in the Syllabus section. There is also space provided on the Syllabus page to add text. Some professors post a table of their grading criteria or special notes.

In the Core Template

There is an accessible syllabus template for you to download and use on the Syllabus page. Download it and add your syllabus...

Edit the Homepage

Edit the Homepage

When students access your bCourses site for the first time, it’s as if they are walking into your classroom. How will you welcome them to the class and make sure they know where to get started? You can do this by setting a Homepage in your bCourses site that includes clear information about the course, how to get started, and welcoming materials and activities. This will ensure students are excited to engage with you and their classmates and can get started without any confusion.

In the Core Template

When you import the DLS Core Template...

Import Content from a Previous Course

Import Content from a Previous Course

In addition to using the DLS Core Template, in bCourses you can import content such as assignments, modules, pages, and discussions from previous courses using the Course Import tool. This is a quick way to transfer previously created content into your new course site to compliment the template resources.

Please take note of the following:

You only have access to copy content from current or previous courses in which you are an enrolled user. Importing a content more than once may have unintended...