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Course Structure: Weekly

Organizing content by time can help students stay on track. In Previous Weeks, create a folder for each week of the course. Course material in each of the weekly folders should follow a consistent layout for easy navigation, with similar content items, activities, and tools. You can make folders for future weeks unavailable until they are needed to keep students focused.

Each week, change the Current Week link in the cousrse menu so that it points to the current week's folder. This gives students one-click access to the week’s activities without needing to determine which week to choose.

Use Course Dialogue to address questions. The Ideas to Share blogs help students connect with their classmates and demonstrate understanding of course material. The Weekly Journal enables students to reflect on what they learned and communicate privately with you.

This structure works well for courses where students need to move through the content at the same pace.

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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 Weekly course structure.

Content Areas and Course Tools in the Weekly Course Structure
Content Type Description
Current Week Current Week is a course link that provides students with one-click access to the week's course activities.

Each week, modify this course link so that it points to the location of the current week's folder. The Previous Weeks content area contains the folders for each week of content.

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

Planner The customizable module page provides students with a single place to go for 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.

Course Dialogue You can use the Course Dialogue discussion forums to pose questions on weekly topics. Encourage interaction by responding to posts and grading forums so students are required to participate. You can also use discussions for informal interactions, where students can ask you and each other questions about the course.

To learn more, see Discussion Board.

Ideas to Share Students use the Ideas to Share blogs to demonstrate their understanding of each week's course materials. You can give students a topic to blog about, or allow them to explore their own questions and ideas. Encourage students to comment on each other's entries to extend the conversation.

To learn more, see Blogs.

Weekly Journal Weekly Journal entries allow you to communicate with and get to know students individually. Entries and your comments are visible only to you and the student, allowing them to reflect on their experiences privately, receive feedback before submitting graded work, or ask questions.

To learn more, see Journals.

Syllabus In the Syllabus content area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, a weekly schedule, textbook information, and important dates.

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

Previous Weeks In the Previous Weeks content area, create a folder for each week of your course. This area provides access to all prior content, but students use the Current Week course menu link for one-click access to the current week's folder.

Course material in each folder should follow a consistent layout for easy navigation, with similar content items, activities, and tools. Include a schedule for the week, links to relevant articles or websites, instructions for activities, assignments, and tests. Make folders for future weeks unavailable until they are needed.

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

Going Further In the Going Further content area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn more. Help students expand on the information presented each week 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.

My Instructor Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in your course in My Instructor. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers, office hours, and location.

To learn more, see Contacts.

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

To learn more, see My Grades.

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.

Help Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance should contact the institution's computing help desk.

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