Nine tips for student-centered Sakai sites
Anastasia Salter’s helpful ProfHacker article, Student-Centered Design Within an LMS, features five great suggestions:
- Include a map – put a clear guide for students on the course home page.
- Use tools consistently – be aware of how other instructors name the tools and use them.
- Be careful of redundancy – such as posting the same dates on both the Calendar and the Syllabus, or the same files in both Resources and Lessons.
- Watch for relics – when you re-use a site from a previous semester, check for outdated materials and deadlines.
- Consider a schedule – offer one even if you have flexible due dates.
I’ve been helping Notre Dame faculty members use an LMS (right now it’s Sakai) for nearly 18 years, so I feel qualified to add a few more tips.
- Turn off all of the tools – hide them when you first open a course site, then students won’t find empty pages. Turn on a tool after you identify a way it can help meet a learning goal.
- Limit the verbiage – a website is not a peer-reviewed journal. Get to the point quickly and don’t bury key information at the bottom of a page.
- Use media … purposefully – definitely incorporate images and video, but stick to items that convey useful information.
- Use headings – if you choose to include a lot of text on a single page, then make it easy for students to find information. (I prefer to break large content blocks into separate pages)
- Sakai and the seven principles (Longsight)
- Active Learning and Sakai (Bradley)
- 4 Steps to Becoming a Learner-Centered eLearning Professional (Karla Gutierrez, Sh!ft)