Taking a class, whether it’s online, hybrid, or face-to-face can be a large undertaking for a student. To help students balance their schedules and workloads, CCAPS utilizes the Canvas Learning Management System. Canvas provides robust technical support for administering the course, but also requires consistent organization to remain usable to students, instructors, and support staff.

CCAPS-ATD adheres to a One-Best-Place Principle wherever possible to help that course remain usable and accessible. 

This principle is simple and comes in two parts: 

  1. Each course component lives in a specific place that supports the course template.
  2. Each course component lives only in its designated area and without unnecessary repetition.

Each Item In Its Place

You’ll note that our design drives students toward the Module Overview for each week of class. These overviews provide all the information a student needs to complete their work for their week. It is organized into three parts: 

  • The Overview - This provides information on the module’s purpose and goals
  • Resources - A list of resources and (where possible) links in a consistent format
  • Module Checklist - A list of the actionable items for the week. This section pulls dynamically from your Modules page. Please note that changes to the Modules page will reflect in both the Overview and the Homepage

In order to assist students in becoming used to finding resources and activities in their respective spaces, CCAPS-ATD discourages instructors from placing items from one category in another. (E.g., placing a resource in the Module Checklist). The exception to this rule is when a resource is necessary for completing an assignment, in which case it should be placed in the assignment (proximally) for immediate use.

Example: If an assignment requires referring to a study that contains specific graphs/tables, that study should be linked within the assignment instruction text.

Items Should Not Repeat

To avoid overloading students with long scrolling walls of text, CCAPS-ATD advises avoiding repeating items where possible. A resource should be placed in its list only once per Module. This helps prevent versioning issues and also ensures that the correct text is updated in the event of a broken hyperlink. However, there are more exceptions to this rule which follow the logic of usability/accessibility. For example:

  • A resource may appear in multiple modules if used over an extended period of time
  • A project may be linked in multiple modules if worked on/submitted over time (though its due date will remain the same in each module)
  • A resource may appear in both its module and an assignment’s instruction text if it is used both generally and specifically

Items that do not need repetition include:

  • Instructions
  • Reminders to submit work/look at an announcement

If you have questions about your site’s organization or would like some assistance with clean-up, please don’t hesitate to request a consultation with an ATD staff member by starting a ticket through the CCAPS-ATD Service Request