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How should I organize my course?

Sakai offers four tools that can help you organize a course site: Lessons, Resources, Calendar and Syllabus. Instructors should generally concentrate on one tool as the primary method for delivering course information such as readings, assignments and deadlines. Focusing on one tool or method will help minimize confusion for your students. Below are illustrations of each approach, some comments about the particular tool, and links to more detailed help.

Use the file structure of Resources to present materials

For a basic course, Resources is a good option for sharing information. Students navigate a folder system to get to course documents like readings and presentations. They will enter other tools like Test & Quizzes and Assignments to finish assessments created in the course site.

If you want to organize your course using Resources,

  • Carefully consider how to order folders and files for ease of use (for example, by week or topic).
  • When you add a folder or file, you may add a description. The user can click on the info button to read about it.
  • Create highly descriptive folder and file names.
  • Learn about functions like hiding folders, copying files from other site, and uploading new versions of documents.
  • Be aware that you can make folders visible for a limited time or to certain groups.

 Build sequenced units or weeks in the Lessons tool

The Lessons tool  allows an instructor to organize resources, quizzes, assignments, forums, and media (e.g. videos, audios and images) in a central location so that students don’t need to navigate to different tools to get things done. Commenting and student pages can also be added to the lessons pages. Get started here.

Lessons Structure

 Use the Calendar to organize your course workflow

The Schedule tool allows instructors to post items to a calendar that appears in the course site and in a merged calendar in the user’s My Workspace. Instructors can add icons for different kinds of events such as lecture, discussion section, or deadline. Tests and assignment due dates may be added automatically to the calendar. Attachments and hyperlinks are possible as well. See our guide to the Calendar tool for more.

Calendar view

Share a Syllabus to guide your students

There are several ways the syllabus tool can be used. Text can be added directly to build an online syllabus or the instructor can add a PDF syllabus as an attachments. The tool can be a redirect to a website or Word document that you update as needed. Hyperlinks to documents in Resources, Forum topics, and Tests can also be inserted into the Syllabus page. Learn more about the Syllabus.


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This entry was posted on Friday, May 4th, 2012 at 8:19 pm and is filed under Content Delivery, Guides, Sakai Concepts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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