TCC08: Extreme Makeover: Course Edition

This is another liveblogged post from the TCC 2008 conference. The presenter is Robin Bartoletti, Texas Women’s University, Denton, Texas , USA.

She does course redesigns–has done over 80 of them

Goal is to make courses easier to look at and navigate

Mix it up

  • More than just text
  • Multimedia–you can find things online
  • Many instructors rely overly on PowerPoint


  • Users
  • Redesign
  • Navigation = curb appeal
  • Resources
  • Information Basics
  • Testing & Evaluation
  • Examples


  • Who are your users?
  • Traditional or nontraditional students?
  • Experienced or not?

Redesign Rules

  • Get small
    • Small steps–don’t need to do everything at once or use every Web 2.0 tool available
    • Small chunks–chop content into bite-sized pieces, make it more readable
    • Small links–focused research with refined searches, use existing directories instead of creating your own


  • Includes a “Start here” link in the navigation I think this might be a good thing for us to copy when we switch to the new LMS
  • Submenus have instructional goals explicitly visible
  • Checklists of content–if you do everything on this list, you have finished this module

Blog has examples of resources, data visualization, favorite tools (most free, some paid)

Information Basics

  • This is the “Start here” info
  • Syllabus, calendar, course map, policies
  • Where to get help

Testing & Evaluation

  • Usability testing
  • Student satisfaction
  • Faculty satisfaction


  • Fun
  • Simple
  • Small steps
  • Conversational–course evaluations are better for courses with a conversational tone
  • Interactivity–more than just reading and discussion
  • No lecture pages–no big long text
  • Online is different
  • No “books”–“Don’t put War and Peace online.” They won’t read it.
    She gave an example of a course where you could watch 170+ slides, or you could watch the slides while listening to the audio of the instructor reading the 170+ slides. Her choice? Neither!
  • Check Teaching Naked
  • This is all stuff we’re already working on with PLS courses–nice to see that we’re on the right track


  • Visual test with maps–created in WebCT, can be done elsewhere too
  • Zip files for Blackboard course available on blog

Read the other liveblogged posts from this conference.

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  1. Pingback: My History of Live Blogged Notes | Experiencing E-Learning

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