Best Practices for myWPI Site Design
A well designed myWPI site will be easier for students to navigate, students will be able to see relationships between content, they will be more efficient in their use of the site, and they may even learn better!
Best Practices for Site Design
The following best practices will help you organize your site to maximize its effectiveness for you and your students.
- Start with the default site menu, shown below. The default menu was updated in Fall 2006, so new course sites created since then use it. The new default site menu attempts to use meaningful and useful labels for different sections of the course site. The new default menu is a good starting point and the labels can be changed and sections can be added and deleted from the menu. See Setting Up the Course Menu and Site Features for more information.
If you are using a course site that has been copied from an older version of the course, you probably have a different menu structure. You can change the menu on your own, or the ATC would be happy to convert your older course site to the new template and help you restructure your site. Contact the myHelp team in the ATC at email@example.com to request help or call 508-831-5220.
- Keep all of your course content under one menu item. This makes it easier for students to find your content. They will only have to look in one menu item. A good place to keep your content is in the Course Materials section.
- Within the Course Materials section of your course, organize all related content into folders that are organized by week, or by topic, or by module, etc.
- All handouts, media files, supplemental materials, external links, etc. that are related to a specific week, topic, or module should go into one folder so that students can easily find related content and information. You can even link related discussion board topics and assignments within the appropriate folders.
- Try using the
Grade Center to keep track of students' grades and inform students of their grades. Students often appreciate seeing all of their grades in one place so they know where they stand in the course. If you use the
for assignment submission, the assignment grades will automatically feed into the
- Remember the "Rule of Three," which is that no piece of content or information should be more than three clicks away from the first page of your course site. So, the first click would be on a course menu item, the second click would be on a folder within the menu item, and the third click would be a folder within a folder. Avoid putting too many folders within folders within folders, as it makes it difficult for students to navigate.
- Give content items meaningful titles. You can use color to differentiate between different types of content items. For example, course handouts could have blue titles and assignments could have red titles. When linking files to content items, replace the standard file names with more meaningful titles.
- Provide brief descriptions of content items.
Contact the myHelp team if you need assistance designing your myWPI course site. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-831-5220.
Last modified: Aug 05, 2008, 08:50 EDT