Thoughtful menu layout & content organization
creates clear pathways for identifying & accessing materials

Easy navigation depends upon the structure of a course site, and a by-module format works well for my courses in both Moodle and Blackboard.

For my classes, students must complete multiple assignments each week, so grouping all the materials needed for one module makes it easy for students to understand what is required and to access all information from one location.

Illustrated below is a pathway for navigating to a specific assignment (in this case, Theme with Supporting Detail) within my ENG 111 Blackboard course; the screenshots follow this channel:

Assignments — February 15-19 ► What We Read — Theme with Supporting Detail Submission Box — Submit.

Navigation Menu

To begin, students would log in to the Blackboard course site. Once logged in, students would see a navigation menu with the content buttons for the course site.

ENG 111 navigation menu numbered with pointer

The course navigation menu in this screenshot is typical of the ones in the Blackboard courses I build: Buttons are grouped by kind, and horizontal lines visually separate the different content types.

Section 1 • Primary content buttons.

Section 2 • Course links to online textbooks.

Section 3 • Supplements & resources.

Section 4 • Course tools.

Assignments Content Button

Clicking on the Assignments button on the navigation menu above leads to a page that vertically lists all weekly course modules.

Specific module content like readings, quizzes, instructions and submission boxes are housed within each folder and are accessible by clicking on the folder titles.

The bulleted list beneath the folder title indicates what assignments are to be completed for each module as well as what materials are to be found within the module folder.

For each weekly module, information is listed in the same order and format.

A partial view of an Assignments page is given here:

ENG 111 Assignment folder partial view.

Below is a closer look at one of these module folders:

Screenshot of ENG 111 module folder with numbers.

1 • Folder Icon • Indicates that more content is accessible within the folder by clicking on the title of the folder.

2 • Folder Title • Indicates the timeframe and subject matter of the module. The underlining indicates that more information is accessible by clicking on the title.

3 • Bulleted List • Outlines the assignments to be completed for the module and information to be found within the folder. Subject matter is organized by type.

4 • Deadline • Displays the date and time by which assignments are due.

Assignments Module Folder

Clicking on the title of an Assignments folder (like the one above) leads to a page (like the one below) that vertically displays all links and/or content needed to complete the module.

As with the display of folders on the Assignments page, the display of materials within each folder is listed in the same order for each module.

1 • Page Title • Indicates the timeframe and topic of the module.

2 • Quizzes Folder • Clicking on the folder title opens a page displaying links to all quizzes for the module.

3 • Linked Content • Clicking on the titles of the links opens the content for viewing within the course site. Some content has a download option.

4 • Discussion Board Link • Conversation bubble icon indicates a Discussion Forum assignment. Clicking on the title of the forum opens the forum itself, where students can post their response to the topic. This assignment type is also accessible via the Discussion Board button on the course’s navigation menu. *

5 •Submission Box • Clicking on the title opens a page where students can upload their work.

6 • Checkpoint Assignment • Clicking on the assignment title opens a page where students can type or upload their responses. *

* Instructions for Quote Response Discussion Boards and Checkpoint Assignments are given in earlier modules. Since these assignments types are completed weekly, instructions are not included within every module. For more on these assignments, see the Student Engagement section of this portfolio.

Assignments Submission Box

Clicking on the title of the submission box leads a page where the student can upload work. Once uploaded, click the Submit button and the work is turned in.

Submission box with arrow.