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Course Design Best Practices

Good course design creates an engaging and consistent learning experience. By incorporating Course Design Best Practices, instructors create consistency throughout online courses at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, from program to program and course to course.

Students are able to easily find information in their courses without having to relearn with each course. 

Certified faculty will recognize these elements as Quality Matters standards.

For a quick reference guide, download our Online Instructor Checklist of things to do before, during, and at the end of a course. 

Best Practices:

  • Moodle Suggested Layout
    • Welcome Message Block 
    • Course Tour 
    • Instructor Contact Information Block
    • Announcements Forum
    • Q&A Forum
    • Getting Started Module
      • Course Syllabus
      • Course Outline
      • Information about Learner Support resources
      • Netiquette
      • Academic Honesty Policy
      • Introduction Forum/Assignment 
      • Student instructions for EduTools
  • Learning Objectives
    • Measurable Course Objectives
    • Measurable Module Objectives
    • Alignment of objectives with instructional materials, learning activities, and assessments
  • Accessibility
    • Creating consistent navigation from module to module
    • Providing closed captioning and/or transcripts for videos whether created in YouTube, Panopto, VoiceThread, or another tool. Note: EduTools supported by the Office of Distance Learning include auto-captioning.
    • Providing alt-tags, long descriptions or audio descriptions for images and graphs
    • Using PDFs that are selectable and searchable
    • Not using Word documents
    • Not relying on text colors alone to convey meaning
    • Avoiding underlined text except in navigation (hyperlinks)
  • Activity Tracking
  • Rubrics
  • Instructional Materials
    • EduTools
    • Multimedia
    • Moodle Features
    • Microlectures