When making online content for either a completely online or a blended learning course there are some online content mistakes to avoid.
Creating Online Content Mistakes to Avoid:
- Listing of links, just links, nothing but the links, so help me God. If you have a HTML editor in your online delivery platform, use it man! Embed that content! When you allow, or worse yet lead, your participants away from the content nothing good happens. (feels like we need a post dedicated to “light HTML coping strategies“)
- If you do lead them from your content, do so via “open in a new tab” – NEVER give away the tab you are on to another website.
- Text features can provide a guide through the written content – use them. Headers, bulletting, fonts, and chunking text can all guide the reader to important information. But chunk text especially.
- Password Piracy. Giving out passwords in a non-secure environment (where students do not have to log in to view) or usernames/passwords which you do not have rights to.
- No pattern to a unit/module. This is a functional component for students; if students can predict what comes next they are thinking about their learning. If you are just starting out, consider either creating one complete unit first or adding the same element/item to each unit at once. For instance add all discussion posts first, then go back and add all submissions to each unit – keep that symmetry as it equals predictability! Consider 3 Things your Online Content Says about You.
- No theme. Color, style, and predictable components of organization (aesthetic) all lead up to a theme, the look and feel of intentionality. Consider the easiest, least academic, way to provide a theme to your course – color it so.
- No personalized touch by the teacher – where exactly is this relationship going? Most students give that extra effort for their teacher. If you’ve abandoned being Present in your Online Classroom expect disappointing effort from participants.
2016-02-18 at 10:53 am
You say never to give up your tab to another website. What about copyright infringement? If your content is open to the public then opening material within your tab could easily be copyright infringement.
2016-02-18 at 3:30 pm
Susan, I like that you aim to be responsible in how you handle the intellectual property of others. I would offer that my typical intended audience is within a LMS, they need credentials to enter the LMS. I also use embed code whenever possible, it keeps the size of the course down AND that way the original creator/web site retains control of the content and I am just passing content along. If the originating web site decided to stop sharing it they could, the result would be that I would need to find other content with which to update that page. Again, maybe a clarification would help here, I am thinking of free resources or resources which my district has purchased.
When I chat with other teachers about this I point out that public facing pages cannot provide logins to subscription sites. If embedding is an option for them usually the embed code contains attribution. So I think the way I operate here still honors the intellectual property of others.