Welcome to “EduTips”

Course Architecture

Architecture “the complex or carefully designed structure of something.”

You are a master in your discipline and textbook in hand you walk into your classroom a professor!  Yet in the online classroom you have a different role and interactions with students.  You are expected to master the online course technology, multimedia tools and teach students at a distance.  Focusing on each of these four elements of online course architecture will enable you to structure your course in a way that leads toward student success.


  • From the student perspective.
  • Keep it simple and clean.
  • Consider the type of menu (left navigation menu in Blackboard)

The course navigation should create a flow through your online course giving students different pathways to take to essential sections of the course.  Students should be lead to the syllabus, course content and assignments by a scent of information.  Ponder: make course navigation fun with a theme or scavenger hunt.

Content Organization

  • Organizing content by module/unit or weekly folders.
  • Keep it simple and clean.
  • Provide accessible content.
  • Become familiar with content types (links, uploads, embedded, created in Blackboard)

Pause to consider: What might work for you…and your students?


  • Remember, first impressions do matter in online courses.
  • Model after examples that work for others.  Best practices?
  • Have a peer or instructional designer take a look at your course.


Tech Tip:

The Course Management Control Panel have a “Teaching Style” and “Quick Setup Guide” to use templates for the course navigation, organization and presentation.





ContentAcademic Innovations & eLearning

  1. Connect with an instructional designer to work on your online course.
  2. Attend upcoming workshops: Friday, October 10, Quality Matters Overview; Wednesday, October 15 & Friday, October 24, Course Architecture & Planning.
  3. Participate in the UAA Commons online learning community for faculty and staff.
  4. Watch Atomic Learning tutorials.

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