Teaching & Learning

Course Enhancement

Making improvements

A course enhancement is a learning object or activity which helps communicate course content beyond readings and lectures. It usually engages the learner by presenting content in a more meaningful, memorable and stimulating way. Creating an online course opens up numerous possibilities of presenting the information, which has hitherto been constrained to classroom location, equipment and face-time.  Use technology when appropriate and choose media types based on your learning objectives.  For example, if motion or time-based sequencing are essential elements of the point you are teaching, choose motion motion video. Pick a suitable medium to communicate your ideas, so that your choice might help students understand the concept rather than introducing additional work or roadblocks to learning.

You may find ideas for various enhancements in the LearnDAT Showcase.

Course materials and technology

Online instructors have a variety of methods to provide information and instructions, including a textbook, PowerPoint presentations, links to websites, lecture notes, outlines, and multimedia. For example, a course may be richly furnished with external links to Internet resources, but it should be made clear whether those resources are for background information, personal enrichment, or required reading for an assignment.

Instructors should ensure that the level of difficulty of supporting materials is appropriate for the level of the course. Students should be able to easily determine the purpose of all materials, able to react to the technologies and methods used in the course, and be able to easily distinguish between “required” and “recommended” resources.

The material and instructions should aim to provide sufficient feedback and multiple methods of communications.  With the push for accessibility, building universally designed course material not only helps you respond to accessibility requests but also provide regular students with additional methods for absorbing the information.

Alternatives and Contingencies

At some time during your course, technology may fail unexpectedly, e.g., a student's computer may crash, the network may go down, an online video won't play, or online quiz questions won't display. Provide contingency plans or options to deal with technology issues and include these plans in your syllabus or orientation sections.

Example of enhancements found on the web

Here are some great examples of multimedia course enhancements on the web which use a mixture of text, audio, visuals, feedback, and interactivity to enrich the learner’s experience: