Structuring VLE content

Structure applies to both your VLE space and the content contained within it. The structure of your course is significant as it will indicate to students the order and importance of the learning content.

Break your module into weeks or topics using the VLE folder structure.  Use folders and sub-folders as storage areas if you want to present a lot of documents or resources at once, this will prevent a long cluttered main page.

The VLE provides a default menu structure which is considered usable and navigable for students and includes direct links to library services and student services.

architectural structure in glass and steel

If the default structure does not meet the needs of your course then it is possible to change the look and feel, however there are certain options that should always be made available (e.g. staff profile, module information and course information) and an order that should be observed (e.g. introduction, induction, content, assessment). Keep the interface clean and try to avoid placing too much information on the first page as this will increase the cognitive load and overwhelm the users.

If you are using the Blackboard module template then the sections will have been predefined, although you may have requested some additional ones to meet specific requirements.

Tip - If you want to get your course up and running quickly with all the recommended options then speak to your VLE Support Officer about using the EDU VLE template.

Example VLE Template

A recent EDU project involved the creation of a VLE template incorporating many of these recommendations. This template was informed by practitioners and the attached guide explores in more detail its use including customisation and the use of activity icons.

  1. Roadmap to teaching in Brightspace: Thinking about your content, activities and assignments ('On this page, you will find a resource and workbook you can download to start planning what you will need to do before starting to move your content, activities and assessments into Brightspace.';
  2. Building your module/ unit/ course ('On this page, you will find a roadmap with suggestions of the order of steps you should follow when moving your teaching into Brightspace.');
  3. Benchmarks for the use of technology in learning and teaching ('guidance and exemplars for the effective use of Brightspace and other technologies for learning and teaching in pedagogically sound and evidence-based ways.')
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All efforts have been made to ensure materials created by the EDU comply with current accessibility guidelines (JISC: Support for learners with disabilities).

If further assistance is required with accessibility matters please contact the student support section in your academic partner UHI: Accessing learner support.


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