Organization

Keep it together
Keeping track of things online can be overwhelming. Using web-based organization software like Evernote, iCloud, or Google Apps can save you time, but planning ahead is always a good idea. Before your course begins, determine where you will save course files, how you will post assignments, and what application you plan to use for tracking student grades. Making changes in the middle of the term is confusing for students and can result in lost work or missing information.

Help your students stay on track

calendar
Many students who are new to online learning mistakenly assume that all online courses are self-paced. It requires self-direction and self-discipline to succeed in an asynchronous but structured online class. Make sure that deadlines are clearly posted and that students have enough time to complete their assignments. Remember, too, that the academic rigor and anticipated work load for an online course at WOU should be equal to that of a traditional course.

Pay attention to design

website
Aesthetic appeal may not top your list of priorities when creating a course, but logical navigation and a simple, attractive interface are important features of a quality online learning experience.

If your class website or Moodle page is poorly organized and visually cluttered, your students can become frustrated or overwhelmed. In addition to this, overly decorated or disorganized pages can make things very difficult for your students with visual impairments. If you create a course website for your class, be sure to include alternate text for your images so that students with screen readers are able to understand their meaning and purpose.