Organizing Course Content

How you organize your online course materials has an impact on student learning. Students in an effectively organized courses are able to spend their time focusing on learning because they know what they are supposed to do and when. Course organization also impacts the speed of student learning.

Setting Course Tone and Expectations (7 min)

Learn how to immediately begin connecting with your students while quickly establishing course expectations and letting them know where to go for help. This video also introduces some simple tricks for helping your students easily navigate course material from day one of the course.



  1. Use the OWL Course Organization Checklist to ensure your course has all necessary components (pdf)
  2. Overview OWL Help - how to set up a rich Overview on your course site.
  3. OWL Syllabus Help 
  4. OWL Calendar Help - the OWL calendar is a great way to organize course tasks for students. 
  5. OWL Announcement Help - use the Announcements tool to communicate efficiently with students. 
  6. Creating an Online Orientation Video (pdf)

Organizing Course Materials and Activities (10 min)

This video expands on the concept of simple and deep course design. Learn how to organize your course resources and lessons so that students can focus on learning and track their progress. We'll also look at how to organize large units of content into smaller units to increase efficiency in student learning.

Chunking Course Content (4 min)

Organizing your course lessons and resources will help students focus on their learning and track their progress through course requirements. "Chunking" is a particularly important method of lesson organization for online learning. This is particularly important for online students.



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