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Adding Content

The Instructor Experience
Tools and Content Areas

After you have considered which tools and course content will be used most frequently, your next step is to add them to the Course Menu.

For example, you can add the tools you use most commonly, such as the Calendar or the Discussion Board.

Add Tool Link

In addition to selecting tools for your course, you will likely want to add one or more Content Areas. Content Areas are containers for content, such as lecture notes and course readings (when you initially add a Content Area, it is empty). You can add the following to Content Areas:

  • Item (text or file)
  • Tools
  • Folders
  • Tests/Surveys
  • Assignments
  • Links to websites (external links)
  • Links to tools and content within the course (Course Links)

Organizing Content Areas:

There are various approaches to organizing your content into Content Areas. Consider the three common strategies:

  • Chronological - In this approach, the content is grouped into units of information that will be covered within a certain time period. For example, in a particular Content Area, the lecture, readings, assignment, and the discussions for Week 1 are all grouped together.
  • Content Type - In this type of organization, related types of content are grouped together in a Content Area. For example, you can group all assignments in a single Content Area.
  • Subject Area - In this type of organization, each Content Area contains lecture materials and readings on a specific subject. Related assignments, discussion forums, and assessments can also be included. For example, a Content Area can contain resources, readings, an assignment, and a collaboration session, all on federal laws and international policies with regard to persons with disabilities. This type of presentation can be effective if the materials to be covered in your course are related to each other, but do not build upon each other.

There are three locations where you can present content:

  • Learning Modules - Are located inside of Content Areas, you can choose the order in which the content is presented. You can specify that it must be viewed sequentially, or allow users to view it in any order. Folders cannot be created inside Learning Modules.
  • Folders - Are located inside of Content Areas, you can choose the order in which the content is presented, but users can access any item in any order. Folders can be created inside of Folders.
  • Content Areas - Are located on the Course Menu, you can choose the order in which the content is presented, but users can access any item in any order. Folders can be created inside Content Areas.

Be aware that most courses initially contain several default Content Areas, such as Course Information and Assignments. These default Content Areas are empty and you can choose to add content to them, rename them, or delete them. We advise eliminating links you will not use to present students with an uncluttered Course Menu.

Adding Tools to the Course Menu

Links to tools can be added to the Course menu. Consider the course content and the needs of the students and add the tools used frequently.

  1. In "Edit Mode", above the Course Menu, click the "Create Item" icon, shown as a "plus sign".
  2. Select the "Tool" link.
  3. Enter a "Name" for the link.
  4. From the "Type drop-down list", select the "tool to add".
  5. Select whether the tool will be "Available to Users".
  6. Click "Submit".

Adding Content Area

Adding a Content Area

Once the method of organization is decided, you are ready to add the Content Areas. A Content Area starts as an empty container.

  1. In "Edit Mode", above the "Course Menu", click the "plus sign".
  2. Select "Create Content Area"
  3. Enter a "Name" for the link.
  4. Select whether it will be "Available to Users".
  5. Click Submit.

Add content area

Remember Content Areas can be created and made unavailable to users until needed.

Ordering Links

The final step in creating your Course Menu is to order the links. For example, you can place the most important or frequently used links at the top of the Course Menu. You can also order links sequentially or group Tools together.

* Ordering items in the Course Menu is simple. Use the drag-and-drop function to move items into the order in which you want them to appear.

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Last Updated: 3/20/13