Visual Syllabus


This learning design task was to incorporate the production of media into online learning environments. Using media in online courses creates opportunities for students to connect, collaborate; all while learning new tools. Media serves to deliver course content in a variety of ways and engages a broader spectrum of learners. Although the use of media can be daunting, starting with small multimedia additions to course content, combined with media based learning activities, opens the door to so many possibilities. Using media in a course can take on a variety of forms and include elements such as a visual syllabus, a course introduction video and even the use of a course trailer. Examples of media elements can be found by visiting the ETS showcase course.


Visual Course Map

This is a visual course timeline from ETEC 510 which is part of the UBC MET program. It has some elements that showcase the flow of the course, using modules and weeks. In its current iteration, the visual timeline can be used from one semester to the next as it does not include specific due dates. The addition of assignment weights to the assessment tasks along with indications of when instructor feedback will occur also serves to enhance the timeline details.

Visual Course Schedule ETEC 510

Pedagogical Pros and Cons

Media in online learning activities provide a unique opportunity to engage students in course content with a variety of mediums. Creating and using media within in the learning environment can help students to cement concepts by engaging them with text, visuals, and video. In this application, the creation and use of media sources can help to connect learners and solidify a community of inquiry by combining instructor presence with cognitive and social presence. A visual syllabus in a course effectively communicates course information,while engaging students in the salient course information and drawing their attention to course milestones.

The use of media in a course does not come without challenges. An understanding of copyright law is needed along with knowledge on using media to enhance student learning rather than distracting students from the content.


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