Making your course more user-friendly for students

Date: Friday, November 20, 2020, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The current academic environment is overwhelming for a lot of people. Students are juggling courses taught in different ways – online, in-person, hybrid, etc. – and with very different organizational structures. Students are reporting that one of their biggest challenges this semester is dealing with the cognitive load required just to navigate their widely varying courses. While individual instructors can’t do much about all of this variation, they can work hard to ensure their own courses are as intuitive and easy to navigate as possible. If students can easily find and access what they need in your course, they can focus all of their cognitive energy on learning course material.

In this session, participants learned about the different ways that course design can impact the cognitive load of students. This was followed by practical suggestions for making your course as user-friendly as possible for students. The last part of the session involved a hands-on activity where instructors worked with other instructors to assess the design of current courses. This session benefits all instructors, especially those who are designing new courses, doing major re-designs of existing ones, or struggling with lots of housekeeping questions from their students.

If you have questions, please contact Amy Ort at aort@unl.edu.

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