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Tips for Designing your MyCourses Course

Before diving into the specifics of how to use MyCourses, take a few moments to review 10 tips on creating a welcoming environment for your students using MyCourses features and best practices. 

  1. Create a syllabus based on the syllabus template that uses learner-centered language.  Be prepared to share this syllabus via the Content Tool and Announcement Tool.  They syllabus should also include information on technology recommendations for computers and list the types of software/services students may expect to encounter in your course including Zoom, Respondus Lockdown Browser, or publisher content such as MyLabs.
  1. Provide clear and consistent information about due dates.  Consider having all assignments and projects due on the same day of the week at the same time.  Consider having quizzes, tests, and exams happen on the same day of the week.  This will help students establish a schedule for completing assignments and preparing for assessments.  Be prepared to use multiple communication channels to spread the word on due dates.  The Calendar Tool, Content Tool, Notifications feature, Intelligent Agent Tool, Pulse app, and of course the syllabus are all excellent ways to keep students up-to-date on due dates. 
  1. Welcome and direct your students to the course and required activities in the first week.  Use the Announcement Tool to post a welcome message that includes a short, video introduction to the course and yourself created using Kaltura or a picture of yourself.  Include links to activities you expect students to complete in the first week including a link to the syllabus. 
  1. Consider organizing your course content into content modules using the Content Tool.  Modules can be based on weeks of the semester or organized by topic.  A module should contain content, activities, and assessments.  Generally, the first module should be a Welcome module that contains the syllabus, course policies, an introductory activity, a practice quiz (especially if you’ll require Respondus Lockdown Browser on your assessments), and a roll verification activity (if your course is online).   The last module should be a “wrap-up” module that summarizes what happened in the course, sets the stage for future courses, and gives students an opportunity to provide feedback on the course—this may be different that the usual end of course assessment in that you may want to ask specific questions related to the design of your MyCourses course. 
  1. Be consistent in the structure of your content modules.  Each module (other than the welcome and wrap-up modules) should use a similar structure that includes an overview/objectives, content (lectures, slides, files, and videos), activities, assessments, metacognition activity, and an end of module wrap-up. 
  1. Set clear expectations for course communications/interactions.  Consider offering netiquette guidance
  1. Use TILT to describe course activities and assessments. 
  1. Communicate feedback on activities assessments in a timely manner using the Rubric Tool and Grades Tool
  1. Provide opportunities to check for understanding throughout your lectures.  This can be accomplished through short quizzes or embedded questions within a Kaltura video.  For live, online lectures consider using the Zoom polling feature
  1. Looks for opportunities to direct students to resources such as and Linkedin Learning

For more ideas on designing a MyCourses course to support student learning consider reading: 

Teach students how to learn strategies you can incorporate into any course to improve student metacognition, study skills, and motivation 

If you’d like a place to work on a course without impacting your students consider requesting a building section or sandbox.

Based on iCollegeNow by Tracy Adkins; Crystal Bundrage; Kathleen Mapson; and Will Kerr. This site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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