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Course Structure: Expedition-Based

Expeditionary learning gives your students active, exploratory experiences with your curriculum. Activities you design for each topic, such as fieldwork, field trips, web quests, or interviews, are the basis for students' work.

The Expedition-Based course structure integrates the instructor-designed areas, such as Explorations and Trip Resources, with student-centered areas, such as Base Camp, Storytelling, and My Trip Journal.

This course structure works well for classes in outdoor and wilderness education, practicums, hands-on and observational sciences such as botany and ornithology, and community-focused courses that require a number of trips and interactions outside the classroom.

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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 Expedition-Based course structure.

Content Areas and Course Tools in the Expedition-Based Course Structure
Content Type Description
Explorations Explorations is your central instructor-designed content area. To provide your students with an easy-to-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each chapter or topic. Include all materials for the learning expedition, such as instructions, locations, websites, readings, assignments, and tests.

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

My Trip Journal In My Trip Journal, entries are visible only to you and the student. You can pose thought-provoking questions or allow students to freely reflect on their field experiences and online interactions. With regular entries, students can see the evolution of their learning over time.

To learn more, see Journals.

Stay on Track The customizable Stay on Track 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 Display.

Storytelling The Storytelling wiki enables students to share and build content, such as summaries of field trips or interviews, and highlighting the concepts learned during participation. As students create and edit pages together, the wiki tracks changes and additions so you can observe each student's contribution as well as the final product.

To learn more, see Wikis.

Base Camp Use the Base Camp discussion forums for required assignments, such as developing interview questions for a guest expert, and for informal interactions, such as debriefing after field trips or web quests.

To learn more, see About the Discussion Board.

Fireside Chat Use the live, text-based Fireside Chat area for virtual office hours, student project planning, or interviews with experts in the field.

To learn more, see Chat.

Trip Resources In the Trip Resources content area, include field trip maps, permission forms, recommended reading, optional documents, and relevant web articles so that interested students can learn more or find topics for projects.

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

Roadmap In the Roadmap content area, provide a course plan that students can access throughout the semester. Include a syllabus, planned expeditions, supplies needed for fieldwork, grading policies, textbook information, and important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so students can adjust their schedules.

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

Leader Information Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in your course in Leader Information. 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, 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 school's computing help desk.

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