U3.4 - Presence of Course Orientation
||This rather simple standard deals with the issue of giving the learner cues as to where they are in the context of the course at all times. While standard 3.3 dealt with progress at a Macro level, this standard deals with progress at a Micro level.
||The following must be included for this standard to be complete.
- Within units or sub-units, with multiple screens, there should be cues as to what Course, Unit and/or Sub-Unit the learners currently in.
- When in a sub-unit of multiple screens, there should be some indication of how far in the sub-unit theyve come and how far they have yet to go. For instance, if there are 8 screens in a particular sub-unit and the learner is on screen 4, the learner should be told how far theyve come and that they have 4 more screens to cover.
- When beginning a unit or sub-unit, the learner should be told how many screens and/or how much time it may take to complete. Since learners are more comfortable stopping at a definable point, this will help the learner judge how much material can be completed at a sitting.
A rating of 5 should be given only if all criteria are fully met, or if it is a small course designed to be completed at one sitting with very small definable chunks. A rating of 4 can be given if one criterion is found to be only partially met (e.g. if orientation is present, but somewhat confusing). A rating of 3 should be given if more than one criterion is found to be partially met. If one of the criterion isn't fully met (e.g. no indicators of Unit size are present), a rating of 2 should be given. If more than one criterion isn't fully met, a rating of 1 should be given.
Just as its important to inform the learner as to the actual progress theyve made in completing a course, its equally important to keep the learner oriented as to where they are in relation to the entire course at all times. It is also vital that the learner know how far they have to go in modular units to judge their capability to finish material in logical sections.
Quality Online Courses
U1 - Interface
U2 - Support
U3 - Navigation
U4 - Media
U5 - Communication
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