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Best Practice: Presenting Content

quotation marks  Outstanding online courses begin with outstanding content presented
             in a way that minimizes barriers to understanding. 

Effective content design can create a more compelling and engaging showcase for your course material. More importantly, well-designed content can help achieve the following:

Image illustrating associated text

  • Ease of learning: How quickly can a new student navigate through your course while learning the material?
  • Efficiency of use: After a student is familiar with your course setup, how quickly can they accomplish tasks?
  • Subjective satisfaction: How much do students enjoy working through your course material?
  • Usability: Can users with different levels of ability, experience, knowledge, language skills, hardware, or concentration level use your course easily?
  • Accessibility: Products and services that are accessible provide the means for people with disabilities to receive the same level of information, services, and use that people without disabilities receive. Is your course a level playing field?

Effective design can also be a simple and straightforward design. Clean and simple can be aesthetically pleasing and still have impact.

Pages with simple design:
  • Download quickly.
  • Are easy for students to understand and navigate.
  • Create emphasis and predictability.
  • Have a fresh, up-to-date feel.
  • Are more likely to meet accessibility guidelines.

A well-designed course requires planning. You must consider not only visual design, but also writing style, tone, arrangement of information, and accessibility.