Why? It is helpful to students to explicitly state where materials are located and to explain what they need to do to navigate to the materials. Even though we may understand where everything in the course is located, don’t assume that students have the same depth of understanding. Providing a section explaining all major sections in the course in clear language helps students to get a feel for the structure of the course and eases some anxiety. Expanding this to let them know which regular feature they will find in each class is also helpful.
Did you Know? Careful explanation of the navigation should reduce the number of questions you answer throughout the semester on where to find activities or assignments. While we are on this subject, the most pressing thing most students want to know when they open your class is what to do next. One thing you can do is to create a “Start Here” button or icon. You don’t have to use the exact language but do consider creating something directing students what to do next after reading your opening announcement.