Teaching a Course - Presenting Content
The Section Designer designs a course by adding and organizing content. Content includes all material that was added to a course, such as course requirements, lessons, reading lists, assignments, or quizzes. Content can also include communication channels, such as discussion topics or chat rooms. As the Section Instructor or Teaching Assistant, you have some control over the presentation of content, allowing you to deliver the appropriate content at the appropriate time. This can help Students focus on specific learning objectives.
Depending on how content is organized in an online course, you can present it in the following ways:
Present content in individual course tools. This is the basic way of presenting content and requires Students to access content from different course tools.
- Present content in the Course Content tool. This is an advanced way of presenting content in a central location.
Presenting Content in Individual Course Tools
Depending on how a course was designed, Students may be able to access some or all tools listed under Course Tools on the course menu, which is visible throughout the course. Within each tool, Students can see a list of content items for a particular tool. For example, when Students click the link to the Assignments tool, they see an inventory of assignments. Or if they click the link to the Assessments tool, they see an inventory of quizzes, surveys, or self tests.
If you are using the online course as a supplement to a classroom course, you can present content in the classroom but you can use the online course to present specific learning activities or communication channels outside the classroom. For example, you can use the Discussions tool to present different topics that Students use in online discussions. Or you can use the Chat tool to present chat rooms where Students can interact, view files, or give feedback in real time.
Depending on administrator settings, you can control the presentation of content in course tools in the following ways:
Enable or disable a tool. If you disable a tool, you are removing it and all links to its content. For example, if you disable the Assignments tool, no users can access the tool or links to individual assignments throughout the course. The content is saved, so when you want to use the tool or access content in it, you can enable the tool again.
Show or hide a tool. If you hide a tool, it is temporarily hidden under Course Tools on the course menu, so Students cannot access it there. However, if there are links to individual assignments throughout the course, Students can still use the links. In the designer and instructor interface, a hidden tool is marked with (H).
Show or hide a content item. An example of a content item is an assignment in the Assignments tool. If you hide a content item, that item is not visible to Students.
- Set release criteria for content items. If you want to display certain items based on specific conditions, you can set release criteria for those items. Those items will be released when the criteria are met.
For more information on using these features, see the appropriate topics for each tool.
Presenting Content in the Course Content Tool
Depending on how a course was designed, you may be able to control the presentation of content from the Course Content tool. The Section Designer can organize content in the Course Content tool by adding the following:
- Links to content in other course tools, such as lessons, quizzes, or assignments
- Folders for organizing content further
This is an advanced way of organizing content and allows you to present content in logical units that are meaningful to Students. This also allows Students to access content from a central location.
Presenting content in the Course Content tool is effective because it can mirror the progression of a course. For example, if content is organized chronologically, you can show a different folder for each week. Students open the folder for the current week and access the content for that week. Or if content is organized by topic, you can show a different folder for each topic to be covered in the course. Students open the folder for a particular topic and access the content for that topic.
You can control the presentation of content in the Course Content tool by showing or hiding files, content links, and content folders. This allows you to deliver the appropriate content at the appropriate time.
IMPORTANT: Links to tools may be listed under Course Tools on the menu, which is visible throughout the course. Depending on administrator settings, you may be allowed to hide course tools. If you want Students to access content from the Course Content tool only, you must hide other tools listed under Course Tools on the course menu. If tools appear here, Students can still access those tools and content in them. However, if the Announcements, Calendar, Mail or Who's Online tools are used in your course, links to those tools must remain on the course menu. Content in these tools cannot be organized in the Course Content tool.
The Course Content tool is available in each online course. It is the first tool listed under Course Tools on the course menu.