What are the 'pieces' of my course all about?

All course elements are visible on the main page. The main central column is the primary content area, and contains links to the various elements that your facilitator has posted as part of the course. These may include plain text or HTML documents, links for downloading Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, images, and links to web pages at other locations on the Internet. There may also be links to special features, such as online discussion groups (called forums), and a variety of other learning activities . It is beyond the scope of this document to explain how to access and use these various features -- your facilitator will help you learn to use those special features that have been included in your course.

Blocks

In the left and right columns of your course home page are special content objects called blocks. You will see the following blocks somewhere on either the left or right side of your course home page:

  1. Quick Links. A list of links to various special features of this course, including any assignments, forums, quizzes, and other elements created by your facilitator. There is a useful link here called Course Outline, which points to an easy-to-use single-page index to all the objects in the course. Dropboxes and Forums links take you to a single-page index of those specific object types.
  2. Before You Begin. Helpful information prior to starting your course work.
  3. Surveys. This is where you will find course related surveys to take at different times of your course.
  4. Graduate Credit. Courses which award graduate credit will have this block containing a link to graduate credit FAQs as well as a link to go through the steps of registering with one of the graduate credit providers associated with the course section.
  5. CEUs. This is information we provide for those who wish to research their local certification requirement information.
  6. Announcements. Recent postings to the forums are listed here.
  7. People. Contains an item called Participants, which is a list of the learners in your class. You can send messages to individuals as well as see what forum posts and discussions they may have authored.
  8. Administration. This is the place where you can view your grade book and modify your personal profile information. Take a look in particular at the Profile section in this block for ways to modify some of the features of the course, see your forum posts, and view your activity report which is updated by the facilitator with grades and feedback. This section also provides a tool for uploading a photo of yourself, which then appears next to your personal messages posted on the system.
  9. Online Now. This display shows you who is logged in to the course at that time.

TIP: Note that by clicking the "minus sign" icon at the top of each block closes it to reduce screen clutter. You can open it at any time by clicking the "plus sign" icon.

Show Single Topic

The ability to show a specific topic (i.e. a specific session or resources) in courses that have multiple pages per topic are square icons to the right of each main heading [Show only topic (topic number)]. Clicking this icon will collapse the table of contents to display that single topic. Clicking the link again will expand the table of contents again.

Navigation

  1. Bread Crumb - Getting around your course is not much different than getting around any web site. An advantage of your course is that you are usually never more than one or two clicks away from any course feature. This feature, located at the top of each page view, shows you where you are in the context of the course structure and provides quick links to get back to where you came from. The very top of the hierarchy will show you course links and a synopsis of forum and dropbox activity and links to each specific activity for all your enrolled courses. Clicking on a course title will take you into that specific course.
  2. Drop-down Menu - Using the drop-down menu at the top, you can 'jump' to any of the topics quickly, which is surrounded by 'previous' and 'next' navigational links to go backwards or forwards through the topics in a linear fashion.
  3. Course Outline - There is a Course Outline link under Shortcuts, which points to an easy-to-use single-page index to all the objects in the course. The Course Outline will present itself in the bread crumb navigation as an interim step back from the course content page you are on at any time.

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