A friend shared with me the experience he is having with an online course he is taking. During the first week he downloaded a 34 page welcome and instruction booklet. He was shocked when he noticed that each section was in a different font, font size, and style. There were no divisions between the sections just a change in formatting. It seemed that different people wrote each section and these sections were just put together. There was no table of contents so that he could not find anything easily. He could not determine any logical flow to the materials. When he went to read one set of instructions for an assignment, he found that all the text was centered and bolded. In that section he could not determine what were the critical parts nor what he was to do. He was new to the online program but there were no screenshots showing him what was where. There were no visual illustrations or concept maps showing how various things went together. Only one of the initial practice activities was critical to the topic of the online course. He said he would give it one more week before he gave up.
How do your online course materials support your students’ success in your course? Do your materials gently guide the student through the necessary background/skill set so that they can handle the mechanics of the course and focus on the content? Do your online materials help the students to grow in the content in an in-depth manner?