Designing for learning progression

The navigation of the course website is generated from the structure of the course outline, which is based on the sequencing and chunking of the learning materials. With a well-defined underlying structure, the navigation of the course website determines a learning progression based on manageable units of information.

A note about nomenclature

In this course, we refer to the manageable unit of information as a learning pathway which is the sequence a learner would typically complete during a session. We have purposefully avoided using nomenclatures like:

  • Topic –> Section —> Unit or
  • Module –> Unit —> Lesson.

This is to facilitate reuse and integration of resources across institutions and to avoid ambiguity which may arise when the same concept is used to mean different things in different contexts and environments.

Outline templates

Learners are free to choose their own nomenclature and structures for sequencing and chunking the learning materials. In this course, you are required to develop two learning pathways. Usually these learning pathways are situated within the context of a larger course structure. So for example, this course has the following components:

  • Startup which provides the steps for getting started.
  • Course guide which contains information about the learning outcomes for the course, an overview, the course syllabus, the course assingment and any recommended resources which accompany the course.
  • Interactions where course announcements are posted and the aggregated course feed which harvests interactions on the web using the “ds4oer” tag (i.e. microblog and blog posts, comments on the course site and posts to Google +)
  • Learning pathways which lists the individual learning pathways (i.e. the courseware which guide learners through the learning resources and course activities)

For the purposes of this course, you are not required to develop the outline structure for a full course. The minimum requirements for the course outline are:

  • Course landing page or homepage for the course
  • Two learning pathways

Of course, you are free to develop a more comprehensive structure, but the main focus of this learning pathway is to determine the sequence of individual pages within two learning pathways.

Example sequence of an individual learning pathway

The outline of a learning pathway is a sequential list of individual pages planned for a learning session, or in other words, the table of contents for individual pages of your learning pathway. The outline is used for chunking concepts, which defines the sequence of individual webpages and navigation for a learning pathway. For example, the sequence of pages for the learning pathway in this course titled “Designing a blueprint” in the wiki outline (scroll down to the relevant pathway in the courseware section) is summarised in the following table:

Learning pathway page Summary of the page content
Overview Summary of the learning objectives for the learning pathway
Video signpost Succinct video from a practitioner describing what a blueprint is and how it is used in the open design model
Open design and development Describing open design and illustrating how this is different from traditional instructional design
Workflow Overview of the design and development process incorporating key milestones, for example, course description, design blueprint, course outline, development, delivery, and revision
Planning homepage Summary of the structure and suggested links for the planning homepage of a course development in WikiEducator
Course description challenge Substantive e-learning activity to develop a course description for the public listing of the course and the “About” page of the course site
Blueprint components Summary of the main components of a course blueprint
Blueprint example Links to real-world examples of a course blueprint
Design blueprint challenge Substantive e-learning activity to develop a design blueprint

At this phase of the design, some developers may find it useful to storyboard the anticipated content for individual pages, for example the headings and sub-headings of the individual pages. However, the primary purpose of the course outline is to determine the sequence of the individual webpages in the course. The resultant outline page is the wiki page used for automatically generating the navigation and links to content pages for the published website (see web publishing model).