From the MSU Roadmap

  • Faculty guidelines for 2020 fall course preparations, Brightspace: Faculty will organize and post course content such that it is informative and accessible for students whether they are participating in-person, virtually or online.

Organizing Content for Online Learning

It may be tempting to simply just post all your content in Brightspace/D2L and assume that your students will be able navigate it because your organizing scheme makes sense to you. However, this can lead to confusion and the inability to locate key course materials, resulting in increased anxiety and frustration. Try to avoid putting course materials in separate locations or modules, e.g. one each for lectures, readings, assignments etc. Instead, try to organize the content and course materials around weeks in the course and follow these principles: 

  • Keep weeks consistent with ordering of items or materials, due dates and naming.
  • As much as possible, include everything that the student needs for learning in the weekly unit, e.g. readings (PDFs), links, videos, and books; links to quizzes; links to discussion forums; and links to assignments rather than having students search for all these and try to connect to their learning tasks.

Your goal is to establish a pattern of learning where students can log into the course, know where to find everything they need for their learning, and what the workflow is from week to week whether the course is in-person, virtual, online or blended.

Here is an example of how this may look in Brightspace/D2L using modules, sub-modules, create a file pages, and add existing activities links to assignments, discussions and quizzes.Online course organizing graphic 

Note the consistent order of course materials and naming from week to week. It can be effective to provide a short overview of the topic and what students need to do. Also, make sure to let students know if something is different for that week, e.g. there is no quiz or recorded lecture, as students may panic looking for it.

Here is another example:

Online course organizing graphic 

How to Organize Content in Brightspace/D2L

In Brightspace/D2L, modules can serve as weekly units, creating a file through Upload/Create can be used for text-based information such as Weekly overviews, and quiz, assignment and discussion forum links can be embedded in the week through Add Existing Activities.

Here are some relevant Brightspace/D2L video tutorials for creating and organizing content:

Tutorial for Creating Weeks as Modules in Brightspace/D2L

Tutorial for Adding Existing Activities (Linking to Quizzes, Assignments, Discussions)

Tutorial for Rearranging Modules and Sub-Modules in Brightspace/D2L

Tutorial for Create a File and Insert Stuff in Brightspace/D2L