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Course Structure: Open Source 2

If you are familiar with the Sakai® open source course management system, this course structure provides a similar menu. Sakai is a registered trademark of the Sakai Foundation.

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You can print this topic and refer to it while you build your course. You might also want to print Using Course Structures to use as a reference.

What Does the Course Menu Look Like?

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Using Your Course Menu

The following table describes the content areas and course tools included in the Open Source 2 course structure.

Content Areas and Course Tools in the Open Source 2 Course Structure
Content Type Description
Home The customizable Home module page provides students with an overview of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.

To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard.

Announcements Keep students on track with regular announcements. You can link to specific items, such as a test or exercise, give students reminders, or let them know about new or revised course material.

To learn more, see Announcements.

Calendar Create events on the course calendar to mark due dates or reminders to help students plan their work and meet deadlines.

To learn more, see Calendar.

Objectives In the Objectives content area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester. Include a objectives or other basics, such as evaluation policies, textbook information, and important term dates.

To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.

Resources In the Resources content area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn more. Help students expand on the course content by directing them to specific web articles and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find topics for projects or papers.

To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.

Modules Modules is your central instructor-designed course area. To provide your students with an easy-to-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each module. Include similar content, such as readings, instructions, and your lectures.

To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.

Exercises Store exercises in a single content area for students to access and submit. To provide students with feedback before assigning final results, you can allow more than one attempt on an individual exercise. To help students locate current content easily, use folders or make individual exercises unavailable after their due dates have passed.

To learn more, see Create Assignments and Edit and Manage Assignments.

Forums You can create discussion forums for formal exercises, such as posing weekly questions related to the course topics, and for informal interactions, where students ask and respond to each other's questions. You can create evaluable discussion forums and threads to assess students' participation and knowledge. After each module, ask reflective questions to invoke conversation. What is the critical message of the reading exercise? What would you do in this particular situation? How would you approach solving this problem?

To learn more, see Discussion Board.

Tests & Quizzes In the Tests & Quizzes content area, you can provide students with one place to access all the tests and quizzes for the semester. Consider offering students an initial unevaluated quiz so they can become familiar with the interface. To help students locate current content easily, use folders or make individual tests and quizzes unavailable after their due dates have passed.

To learn more, see Creating Tests and Surveys.

Blog Students can make a blog entry after each module so they have a space to think through aspects of the material they find interesting or challenging. You can ask students to answer a specific question or allow them to react freely to the content. Students can extend classroom conversations by commenting on each other's blog entries. You can help them develop their thoughts by offering encouragement, more background information, and supplementary resources.

To learn more, see Blogs.

Wiki In the course wiki, students can share and collaborate on content. As they create and edit pages together, they develop interpersonal skills and the capacity to solve problems in a team environment. Ask students to address an issue presented in one of your lectures so they become actively involved in the analysis.

To learn more, see Wikis.

Email Use Email to communicate timely information to individual course users or groups of users.

To learn more, see Email.

My Grades Students can see the status of evaluable items such as exercises, tests, blog entries, and discussion posts on their My Grades pages.

To learn more, see My Grades.

Student User Guide Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance should contact the institution's computing help desk.
Additional Tools Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools to the course menu for easy access.

To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.

Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding content areas and links to tools.