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COVID-19 Updates: CCAPS and the University

One Isn't Just like the Other: The LMS as Influencing Factor in Usability and Course Template Design

60 minutes
Oral Presentation

In 2016 the University of Minnesota School of Public Health's Office of E-Learning Services (ELS) underwent a transformation in how we design and integrate templates and quality assurance into online courses. Implementing the results of our usability testing was about relationships as much as process: gaining buy-in from faculty, instructional designers, and TAs. We assumed the work we did would be transferable as the University decided to transition from Moodle to Canvas. However, we found that the LMS constrained and shaped how we need to think about usability in our templates, given the different design choices and decisions between Moodle and Canvas. Our presentation will discuss the details of the template design process, as well as design challenges and opportunities. A framework for implementing a user-tested template in online courses and reevaluating as systems change. Ways student experience may change with a successful template after transitioning to a new system. Why routine usability testing should be incorporated into online course design.

Topic Area(s): Online & Hybrid Learning; Quality Design in Teaching


Sara Hurley, PhD, MFA, is an advocate for students' learning experiences, building community, solving problems, and pushing people to think ethically about technology. Solen Feyissa, PhD, MA, is focused on enhancing the learning experience in online learning environments by improving learner engagement through thoughtful design and understanding the context in which learning occurs.