- Individual pages should have a layout that contributes to effective learning.
- The units, weeks, or days can have their own effective architecture.
- The course as a whole can have its own architecture to lower cognitive load.
When building a LibreTexts course, the layout and design will influence learners and their ability to retain new information. This is both due to how content is laid out within a given page, but also in how to organize the pages into a full set of learning materials. Because online platforms provide the user with greater customization capabilities, we are able to implement psychologically sound architecture principles and pedagogical foundations. These principles include the implementation of multimedia, scaffolding complexes, and hypertext extensions.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- How many learning objectives will be on a single web page?
- If things are connected, should they be covered at the same time? On multiple pages? Hyperlinked in some way?
- How integrated do you want your syllabus to be? Do you use an online course manager? Do you want that to be your syllabus?
- Where will your homework be accessed? Do you need graded and ungraded homework?
- How integrated into the real world (even online materials: journal articles or news sites) do you want your course to be? How is that integrated?
- Does a single concept have multiple approaches or perspectives? How independent are they? Should they be linked or integrated?
- Is the navigation of your syllabus and course intuitive? Does it help reinforce concepts or connections?
- How important are multiple representations? 2D to 3D? Various models for representing similar materials? Real-world images vs. cartoons vs. models?
- When will being able to interact with data/plots/models be beneficial? When may it be distracting?
- How do you organize a page of information?
- Are you including something because it can be included or because it helps learning?