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  1. Explore your course, to identify these typical common components:
    • The primary content is in the middle “column” or area of the page. This content may be divided into sections or folders. In some cases, there may be links to other “pages” on the site.
    • Each section holds information and interactive tools.
    • There are columns on the right or left, containing blocks. These blocks typically contain “tools,” with most content “living” in the middle sections of the layout.
    • There is usually a Forum - often with other core information - in the very top middle area. This Forum (called a News Forum in OnCourse) serves as an “Announcements” area, which is controlled by the course instructor(s). Remember that students are auto-subscribed to the News Forum, thus receiving copies of these announcements directly in their FREDmail.
  2. Explore the breadcrumb trail. Breadcrumbs appear horizontally across the top of your OnCourse course view, below the title bar/header. They:
    • Are automatically generated, based on how the course is laid out and the user’s navigation.
    • Give users a way to track their location and follow back to the starting or entry point.
    • Are links to each previous page the user navigated through to get to the current page or - in OnCourse - where the current page is, in relation to its “parent” pages.
  3. Use the navigation bar on the left side of your course view. Each “area” is clickable from here, as well as using the main areas of the page.
  4. Check the “topics” or “sections” that hold the course’s content…are you clear about how users should navigate the activities and resources? For example, you may:
    • Number your learning steps.
    • Indent related items under each other.
    • Use Labels to categorize steps.
    • Consider “shrink-wrapping” multiple steps into OnCourse Books.

  • Although there will be similarity in many course layouts, each will also vary, including (a) location and types of blocks; (b) topic vs. date format; (c) folder or topic layout; (d) use of various OnCourse tools.
  • Some courses will have special content in the left- and right-margin blocks, but most courses will use the main/middle area to hold most content and activities.
  • Pay attention to messages that you get, about navigating your courses. In addition, use any built-in cues about getting around (e.g., images, labels).

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