Plan Course Content & Schedule

Create a Course Structure

At some point in the course design process, you will need to make decisions about how to structure the course overall. Take into consideration the learning outcomes, course topics, content, assessments and modality. To start, view this basic template and/or a much more detailed course map. As you organize your course, also consider these following tips.

“Chunking” Content

Break up long segments of content. Establish a module-, unit-, or week-based framework for the various instructional topics and components. This approach is what’s known as “chunking.” Include summary statements after each chunk of content, transition statements connecting adjacent chunks and introductory statements for each subsequent chunk.

Content for Each Unit

As you map content into your calendar, aim for a consistent workload across the semester.

Course Rhythm

A clearly-defined weekly or regular rhythm can help learners manage their time, understand expectations, and complete tasks.

Identify Course Media

You may consider videos and other kinds of media as a type of content to include in the course. There are a variety of formats and approaches for using media including course lectures, narrated presentations, demonstrations and instructor feedback.

Review Guidelines

Before creating media content for your course, review these guidelines. The guidelines cover creating more effective audio and visual media including definitions, benefits of video, length of video content, student outcomes, format recommendations and technology recommendations.

Engaging Students with Video Content

As you decide what media to include, consider how you will ask students to engage with media. View these guidelines for engaging students with video content.

Consider Types of Videos

As part of your plan, consider developing:

  •  Course introduction videos – Course introduction videos are short (3-5 minute) videos of what the course is about and what students can expect from it. This can be helpful both for students prior to registering for the course, as well as for orienting students at the beginning of the course.
  • Instructor response videos – Instructor response videos can be an effective way to communicate with students and can increase instructor presence in both blended and online courses.
  • Narrated presentations (Windows or Mac) – Narrated presentations and screencasts can be an effective way to deliver lecture content. There are many things to consider to ensure presentation content is effective at facilitating learning.

Create Accessible Video Content

Videos and audio content needs to be made accessible for all students. For example, instructors should provide a transcript for an audio file and captioning for video files. Offering a secondary way to access content not only makes the content accessible, but research demonstrates it helps most students absorb the information more effectively. You can now use Kaltura to caption these materials using their Machine MediaSpace Captioning service.

Organize Digital Learning Materials

As you create and curate course content, it is helpful to determine where this content will reside and how you will present that content to students. In some cases, your content will reside in Canvas, while in other cases, files may need to be located elsewhere and linked to your Canvas course.

Review Canvas File Storage Capacity

In Canvas, each course is allocated 1GB of storage. It is important to understand that this amount of storage is temporary and will be reset to 1GB at a future date (to be determined). To determine how much of your course’s storage is currently in use, open the Files tool, and in the lower left, look for the “Storage Used” information. Find more information about Canvas file storage capacity.

Alternative File Storage

It may be useful to keep your teaching content stored outside of Canvas, pulling  in or linking to only what you need each semester.  This will help keep your Canvas course current and your files easier to navigate.  In addition, keeping your content archived in a storage space other than Canvas helps to ensure you stay below the Canvas storage quota. Find options for storing files outside of Canvas.

Kaltura MediaSpace for Video Storage

Kaltura is a powerful tool to deliver media content in courses.

Media Assets in Canvas

Kaltura MediaSpace is UW-Madison’s media streaming service, often compared with a non-commercial version of YouTube. Kaltura MediaSpace is integrated with Canvas, and media can be embedded wherever Canvas allows you to use the rich content editor.