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Module A ButtonTopic A10.4: Creating An Effective Online Syllabus

B] Navigation Aids
As Palloff and Pratt (2000, p.76) note:
"Most often, a simple course site that is easy to navigate leads to the most successful experience."

Whichever format(s) or design(s) you choose, the easier you make it for the student to navigate your online syllabus, the more effective it will be.

Following are two very simple and basic tools which you can provide to help students more effectively navigate your online syllabus. Targets allow students to go directly to specific sites within the syllabus document rather than have to scroll continuously. For an example of how this tool works, click here for a Generic Course Syllabus to open a new window and follow the instructions below:

1. Click on the "Course Objectives" phrase showing under the "Course Title."
Notice that it takes you directly to the "Course Objectives" section of the syllabus.

2. Now, to return to the top of the syllabus: Scroll down the screen until you come to the "Top of Page" phrase showing to the right of the screen (opposite "Course Topics")

Click on the "Top of Page" phrase

Notice that it takes you directly back to the top of the syllabus, no continuous scrolling until you reach the beginning of the document.

3. Practice/play around with these tools to get an appreciation for how much easier they make it for students to use your online syllabus.

You can create a target (referred to as a "bookmark" in Front Page) within any online document, including the syllabus, regardless of the design(s)/format(s) you decide to use. To find out how, you can click on Navigational Aids-Targets.rtf for directions.


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