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Advice around Large Course design

Hi Folks,

Our uni is mid-way through migration to Canvas from Blackboard. For the majority of our taught degrees which are modular in design this is pretty easy going, each 'module' (think ~12week unit of study) has it's own course space in Canvas. However we have a small number of other programmes that intend to become mega-courses, where a course is intended to be used by students for a full year or more, and we wondered if others here had any suggestions or findings from their own work they can share?

Here these are 'non-modular' which through their 'integrated' or 'spiral' design approach, themes are interwoven as the students pass through the course. Even assessment is pieces do not fall cleanly in one distinct area. So one programme has one coursespace per year, and another has one coursespace that is used for the full five-years of the course. That is how they have been ran in Blackboard and the teaching teams want to replicate that as far as possible in Canvas.

I wondered if anybody else in the community had experience of advising the design for programmes that take a similar approach?

Kind regards, Will


Some of the challenges we've found so far are:

  • Risk of having hundreds of staff building content in the same space
  • Providing an easy to use a logical navigation route for students
  • Modules Area being impractical to use if too large, so staff tend to want to design interlinking pages, forming a website
  • Missing out on some of the affordances of the Modules Area if not used (timed release of content, resource ordering, completion, mastery paths)
  • Making it mobile friendly
  • Good file management strategy
  • Renegotiating file size quota with our IT
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