Monday, August 8, 2011

Pencil and Paper Prototyping: Time To Lay Out Your Course

Just when you are beginning to wrap up the summer semester, you realize that there is less than a month left to design your online course for the upcoming semester. Online student enrollment is growing, but you quietly cringe at the thought of all the time it is going to take you to have the course(s) ready by the first day of class!

One of the things you might find useful as you think about designing a course is to put it to paper. By that, sketch out major sections of the course to give yourself a sense of how the course will look to students. You already know the menu will be on the left side of the screen. Sketch out a rectangle and write in your menu items. Take another sheet of paper and plan out your module structure. Since most modules are a series of folders and items, sketch in small rectangles and label accordingly.

It is much easier to make revisions on your paper than within the Course Management System. Don’t worry about your artistic ability at all. This is just a quick planning guide that will help you visualize the flow of the menu and the modules.